A Short Workout May Be More Beneficial
By Paul Rothbart
When it comes to working out, many people feel that more is better. Gym rats love to get in a session of an hour or more. As long as you've got the stamina, you'll get more fit the more you work out, right? As it turns out, there is evidence to counter that. A short, focused workout may do more for your fitness than a marathon session. Here are some ways that less is more.
Short Workouts Improve Fitness
Getting the same results in a short workout that you would in a longer one would make it better. You would have more time in your day for other things. Studies have shown that this is the case. Research involving 27 men who were sedentary split them into three groups of nine. One group did nothing to change their level of activity. A second performed 50-minute workouts consistently of a short warmup and cooldown surrounding 45 minutes of biking at a moderate pace. The third group did a 10-minute exercise session in which they alternated between two minutes of low-intensity biking followed by 10 seconds of cycling at maximum effort. The sessions were done three times a week for 12 weeks.
The findings were fascinating. A number of health markers were measured before and after. The group that changed nothing obviously did not improve their health or fitness at all. The group that did the shorter workouts showed the same improvements as those that did the longer sessions. Getting the same results in less time is certainly better.
More Time for Other Things
Achieving quality exercise in shorter periods means you have more time for other aspects of good health. Applying that extra time to sleep can offer a significant boost to health. Even just one additional hour of sleep each night can help fight obesity, disease, and mental health issues. Shorter workouts provide more downtime for hobbies, socializing, and just relaxing and enjoying life. All of these activities can improve your health. Not having to prepare for a lengthy workout is one less thing to stress about. Reduced stress is always good for health.
The 10-Minute Workout
The 10-minute workout is effective because it involves high-intensity training. You can only exercise at that level for short periods so the idea is to alternate brief bursts of intense training with longer periods of low-intensity exercise. The two-minute low and 10-second high method used in the study is a good way to train. It's a great way for people who haven't exercised in a while to get started. Rather than face a long workout they may not be able to finish, they can jump into 10-minute workouts and start reaping the benefits right away.
Regular exercise is important to good health. That's a fact. But you don't need to spend an hour or more sweating away in a gym or on a track. With the right method, a much shorter workout can provide the same benefits and leave you more time for other things.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractor in Fayetteville, N.C.