The Yin and Yang of Short Workouts

The Yin and Yang of Short Workouts

These days, we are in a different situation.  Many of us are trying to work out a different schedule, and are probably pretty stressed out.  Perhaps taking care of our health has slipped a bit.   

Has the desire to exercise and eat healthy foods gone on the back burner?  Is getting to the gym impossible? 

Clearly, we are having to work around a whole new set of circumstances when it  comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

So, what is the skinny on what we can still do to stay healthy?  How much is enough exercise?  How much is NOT enough? 

First of all, let’s say this.  “They” have now discovered that doing the recommended amount of exercise is not going to cut it if you sit around the rest of the time.  What does this mean exactly? 

The recommended amount of exercise for health benefits is 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week (or at least 150 minutes per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous exercise (or at least 75 minutes per week), or a combination of the two.  With that on board, apparently you are less likely to die.  On top of that, you get improvements in your lipid profile (lowering LDL and raising HDL), improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of colon cancer. 

But, it’s just not fair.  They say that, but then pull the rug out by adding that this won’t happen if you sit the rest of the time. 

Short Workouts

Here’s where short workouts or periods of activity of 10 minutes can come into their own.    

First of all, you can get your 30 minutes a day in 10-minute increments.  This has been well researched.  You can get ALMOST as much out of short bouts as doing a 30-minute workout.  But, the 10 minutes of exercise needs to be MODERATE.  This means something that makes you breathe a bit hard, maybe sweat just a bit, or make you feel like you are doing something besides strolling around the house.  The trick for many is to ramp up to moderate for 10 minutes.  People may say to themselves it’s not worth the effort, but it is.  That is, IF it is part of a bigger plan. 

The POINT:  Studies have shown that often is more motivating to consider and complete a 10-minute workout than a 30 minute one.  That is the good news. BUT, this needs to be scheduled three times a day in order to start to be a significant way to improve your health.

The OTHER POINT:  When short bouts of exercise happen on a regular basis, it can speak to a lifestyle that includes frequent exertion.  Frequent exertion rocks.  That may mean that you are NOT sitting around most of the day.  It may even mean that you are constantly figuring out how to move more in addition to getting in your three 10-minute bouts. 

Once that happens, “they” will be very pleased with you and your health.  And so will you! 

All the best

© 2020 Kristen Carter, MS. All rights reserved.

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