Is Exercising in Ten-Minute Increments Just as Effective as Longer Periods?

You don't have to exercise for long periods to achieve your fitness goals. Many people are so busy with work and their daily lives that they can't seem to find the time to exercise. Splitting your workout routine into 10-minute increments can provide the same results as exercising for 30 minutes to an hour at one time.

Exercise Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have set exercise guidelines for healthy adults to follow. They recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (brisk walking, swimming, lawn mowing) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, aerobic dancing) per week. There is no specific amount of time recommended for strength training exercises (using weight machines, heavy gardening, rock climbing), but they should be performed at least two times a week.

Health Benefits

The American Journal of Sports Medicine published a study indicating short walks can be better than longer exercises after a heavy meal. Shorter sessions were more effective in lowering the amount of fat and cholesterol in the blood. Other research shows that short amounts of exercise help reduce high blood pressure and eliminate inches from the waistline and hips. Multiple short workout sessions are perfect for beginners and sedentary people to help them reach their fitness goals easier. Short exercise bursts can also help people who are trying to quit smoking by reducing cigarette cravings.

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Short Exercises

To get the most out of your 10-minute workout, choose activities you enjoy doing that work several different muscle groups at the same time. Some simple movements include: standing and sitting repeatedly, bending over to pick things up, putting things up high on a shelf and taking them down repeatedly, leg and arm stretches while sitting in a chair and standing straight with your shoulders pulled back while tightening your abdomen and holding that posture for five minutes at a time. Many quick and easy activities can be performed at work, while driving, in line at the store, and even while watching television. The more intense the activity, the better benefits you will gain.

Set Goals

Set a goal of at least 30 minutes of some type of physical activity each day for three to five times a week. You can do it all at once or two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions, in order to receive the full benefits of exercising for good health. The important thing is to make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle. Once you meet this goal and are comfortable with it, increase your time (add one or two more 10-minute sessions) to achieve even more health and fitness benefits. For more information on healthy lifestyle changes, go to Healthy Diet Guidelines.

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