Short Daily Workouts Are A step to Better Health

What can I do in 15 minutes a day?

Many of us have been conditioned to think if we can’t get a solid 30+ minute workout, why bother. This is especially true of former athletes who spent multiple hours exercising per day in their youth. What can 15 minutes a day really do? The answer is a lot.  A study by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center showed women who walked only 72 minutes a week for 6 months had improved heart health and cardiovascular fitness. 

In addition, 10-15 minutes of strength training or cardiovascular exercise can burn 100 calories or more depending on intensity.  100 extra calories a day is approximately one pound a month, or twelve pounds a year you’re keeping off your body!

Short intense workouts are appetite suppressing

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that high intensity interval training was effective at reducing appetite and caloric intake.  The intense intervals (even those lasting for only 15 seconds), resulted in decreased calorie summation over the next 24 hours. On the contrary, long-term endurance exercise has been shown to increase caloric intake, sometimes resulting in a caloric surplus or weight gain.   

You burn calories even after you’re done working out.

We all know you burn calories while you exercise, but you also burn a fair amount of calories recovering from exercise. In fact, your metabolism can be elevated for 24-72 hours after you complete a workout.  This mostly occurs when you complete interval or high intensity exercise. Elevating your heart rate during exercise, (even small bursts of near maximal intensity), help with the “after burn” of additional calories.  Add in some post exercise muscle recovery, and those frequent workouts keep your metabolic rate constantly elevated. This makes it much easier to stay in a healthy BMI range.

Frequent short workouts may lessen injury risk

Trained athletes may be able to handle two-hour runs or bike rides, but the average person is going to face extreme muscle soreness and fatigue if they extend their workouts too long. Fatigued muscles are more prone to acute and chronic injuries.  Injuries and soreness are listed as two of the top contributing factors for lack exercise in a sedentary population. By building in frequent short workouts, you may lower your injury risk and raise your chances of getting into a consistent workout schedule.  

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The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.