Why 15 Minutes of Exercise is Enough

People avoid exercise for a host of reasons — it’s boring, they’re too tired, they’re too old, or they’re out of shape. But the number one reason why people don’t exercise is time. There simply isn’t enough time to tend a job, take care of family and other responsibilities, engage in self-care and get a full night’s sleep AND work out…or so they think. The truth is, 15 or even 10 minutes is enough time to get some much-needed exercise, but not all exercises that take ten minutes are created equal — so be sure to choose those that really do a good job of raising the heart rate and working up a good sweat.

All exercise, even quick bursts of exercise, is beneficial to your health, though some may be better than others. To take it a step further, three minutes of exercise is better than no exercise at all, right? So, if you only have a few minutes to exercise, don’t fret, go get it. Small exercise sessions do add up, and you can always make the most of the short sessions.

Any Amount of Exercise Improves Health

Ideally, we should all get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, provided we work out at a moderate intensity. The recommended time needed for vigorous activity is half that, at 75 minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic. But it’s not an all or nothing proposition. If you can only get 70, or 30, or 15 minutes of moderate activity per week, go for it! Get some exercise and make it a habit. Don't use a lack of time as an excuse.

According to a 2017 study, ANY amount of exercise reduces the risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer and early death. The study followed 64,000 people. Of the participants, some got the recommended amount of exercise, some only exercised on the weekends, some got insufficient exercise and some got no exercise at all. The results? Even those who exercised an insufficient amount had a 30% less chance of mortality and a 40% less chance of developing cardiovascular disease. So we say get some, any at all, just get it however you can.

Small Exercise Sessions Add Up

Every little bit of exercise adds up. Short aerobic sessions of just over 20 minutes per day are enough to get us to the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week. Just 15 minutes gets very close at 105 minutes per week. And it's not necessary to exercise all in one stretch per day. You can exercise for 10 minutes two times per day or for five minutes three times per day and still reap the benefits.

Daily Activities Offer Healthy Benefits

Every activity, even those you may not think about, also add up. A recent study followed young adults who took three flights of stairs a few times per week. After just six weeks, the participants had better lung function. Similar research found that women who took a three-minute walk every half-hour enjoyed lower blood pressure throughout the day. Walking at the mall, taking the stairs, lugging groceries in … it all adds up to huge rewards.

Exercise Harder, Work Out Less

If you want to enjoy the greatest benefits from short bursts of activity, you can always make the most of them by increasing the intensity of the activity. Remember, you only need 75 minutes per week of high-intensity activity. To be considered high intensity, the workout must leave you breathless and get your heart rate up to 80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate. Consider: a sprint versus a stroll. You need a lot of strolling to get the amount needed but relatively few sprints.

High-intensity workout ideas include:

  • Running
  • Cross country skiing
  • Climbing stairs quickly
  • Running up a hill
  • Speed walking
  • Tabata training
  • High-intensity interval training

Don't roll down a slippery slope of overwhelm and set yourself up for failure. Remember that you only need a little bit to make a big difference. We should all strive to have zero days of zero physical activity. If you only have time to do 10 sit-ups, do 10 sit-ups and call it good. Be kind to yourself and know that every little bit really does matter.

Copyright 2020, Wellness.com

7/15/2022 4:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
Wellness Exists to Empower Health Conscious Consumers. Wellness.com helps people live healthier, happier and more successful lives by connecting them with the best health, wellness and lifestyle information and resources on the web.
View Full Profile Website: http://www.wellness.com/

Be the first to leave a comment.
Wellness.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment nor do we verify or endorse any specific business or professional listed on the site. Wellness.com does not verify the accuracy or efficacy of user generated content, reviews, ratings or any published content on the site. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
©2024 Wellness®.com is a registered trademark of Wellness.com, Inc. Powered by Earnware