Micro Workouts: The Benefits of Short Bursts of Exercise
In our busy lives, finding time to exercise can be a challenge. However, recent research has shown that short bursts of exercise, also known as micro workouts, can have numerous health benefits (1). In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of micro workouts, how to incorporate them into your daily routine, and some examples of micro workouts to get you started.
Benefits of Micro Workouts
Micro workouts are time-efficient, as they can be completed in as little as 5-10 minutes (2). This makes it easier to fit exercise into your busy schedule.
2. Improved Fitness
Research has shown that even short bursts of exercise can improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength, and boost metabolism (3).
3. Increased Productivity
Micro workouts can also increase productivity, as they provide a quick burst of energy and focus (4).
4. Reduced Stress
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, and micro workouts can provide a quick and effective way to relieve stress throughout the day (5).
How to Incorporate Micro Workouts into Your Daily Routine
Incorporating micro workouts into your daily routine can be easier than you think. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Schedule It
Schedule micro workouts into your daily routine, just like you would with any other appointment. This will help you prioritize exercise and ensure that you make time for it.
2. Use Your Environment
Use your environment to your advantage. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, do some squats while brushing your teeth, or take a quick walk around the block during your lunch break.
3. Set Goals
Set goals for yourself and track your progress. This will help you stay motivated and see the benefits of your micro workouts.
4. Mix It Up
Mix up your micro workouts to keep things interesting and challenge your body. Try different exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, or jumping jacks.
Examples of Micro Workouts
Here are some examples of micro workouts that you can try:
1. 5-Minute Cardio Blast
Complete a series of high-intensity exercises such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and burpees for 30 seconds each, with a 10-second rest in between.
2. Office Chair Workout
Use your office chair to complete a series of exercises such as chair squats, chair dips, and chair leg raises.
3. Bodyweight Circuit
Complete a circuit of bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, lunges, and planks for 30 seconds each, with a 10-second rest in between.
Micro workouts offer numerous health benefits, including time-efficiency, improved fitness, increased productivity, and reduced stress. By incorporating micro workouts into your daily routine, setting goals, using your environment, and mixing up your exercises, you can reap the benefits of short bursts of exercise. Try some examples of micro workouts such as a 5-minute cardio blast, office chair workout, or bodyweight circuit to get you started on your micro workout journey.
- Saint-Maurice, P., Troiano, R., Matthews, C. & Kraus, W., 2018. Moderate‐to‐Vigorous Physical Activity and All‐Cause Mortality: Do Bouts Matter?. Journal of the American Heart Association, 7(6).
- Gibala, M. J. & Little, J. P., 2019. Physiological basis of brief vigorous exercise to improve health. The Journal of Physiology.
- Jakicic, J., Wing, R., Butler, B. & Robertson, R., 1995. Prescribing exercise in multiple short bouts versus one continuous bout: effects on adherence, cardiorespiratory fitness, and weight loss in overweight women. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 19(12).
- Wendell, T. C., 2011. Booster Breaks: An Easy-to-Implement Workplace Policy Designed to Improve Employee Health, Increase Productivity, and Lower Health Care Costs. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 26(1).
- Bogdanis, G. et al., 2013. Short-term high-intensity interval exercise training attenuates oxidative stress responses and improves antioxidant status in healthy humans. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 61.