One of the biggest reasons why some people do not workout on a regular basis is because they say they do not have the time. However, this excuse is based on the misconception that you have to spend hours at the gym in order to make any progress, when in fact about 3 or 4 short sessions per week are all that is needed to meet most fitness goals. Even if you have very demanding fitness goals, you can simply opt for intense workout sessions that focus on quality over quantity. Read on for more information on why short workout sessions are good enough, and what form they can take.
How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?
The specific exercise that you do will depend on your fitness levels and your fitness goals. Furthermore, the length of time you spend exercising will depend on the intensity of the exercise you do, as an expert from Choose My Plate explains:
Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a moderate level OR 1 hour and 15 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity at a vigorous level.
This much exercise should not be too demanding to the extent where you don’t have enough time to do it. Think of it this way, just like sleeping, eating, going to work – exercise is something that you must do daily. You don’t have to make time for those other activities and therefore you shouldn’t have to try too hard to make time for workout sessions. It should be something that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
10 Minute Exercises
If you have a hard time doing exercise for even 30 minutes straight then consider doing 10 minute chunks as it has been proven that doing the same amount of exercise in 10 minute segments is not only as good, but even better than doing it all in one go. The New York Times back up this point:
And, conversely, if someone is tempted to dismiss a mere 10 minutes of walking as too meager to be meaningful, “it seems clear that, at least for blood pressure control, fractionized exercise is actually more effective” than a single 30-minute bout.
If you have exercise equipment at home then you go for 10 minute chunks while getting in some housework, or other activity that you need to do. For example, if you are a student and need to get some studying done, then there is no reason why you can’t include a few 10 minute exercise chunks in between your studying time.
When Starting Out
During the initial stages of your workout program if you are experiencing too much fatigue, or are finding it hard to meet the energy requirements for your workouts then doing the 10 minute workouts is a great way to go. Easing into an exercise regime is important, because over-working your body will be counter-productive. You might pull a muscle and end up unable to workout for a few weeks, or your energy levels will become so drained that you feel working out just isn’t for you, and quit pre-maturely. As a writer from Life Hacker suggests, the shorter sessions can be better than the longer ones:
It’s hard to say how effective the shorter bouts are in the long term, but at least for those first few weeks they seem as useful as extended periods of exercise.
You need to pay attention to your body during the initial weeks of exercising, because everyone is different and the amount of exercise that is optimal for you will depend on many factors.