Short Exercise Sessions Provide Health Benefits

Time to get moving (source: alal/morguefile)

Time to get moving (source: alal/morguefile)

Don’t have time to exercise?  If you’re like many Americans, you can’t find hour-long blocks of time to go to the gym, go for a jog, or hop on your bike. But I’ll bet you can find ten minutes.  A new study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise found that a short exercise segments lasting ten minutes or less might do the trick to improve your heart health.

How Long Should I Exercise?

The current recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association is that you get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.  That’s about four 40-minutes sessions per week.  But many people skip exercise altogether because it’s too hard to find that amount of time.

The new study examined the effects of using short bursts of moderate to vigorous activity to meet the weekly activity requirement.  Researchers examined a large segment of middle aged exercisers and found that those who used short exercise sessions shared the same heart health benefits as the people who participated in longer sessions.

Should I Stop Doing Long Exercise Sessions?

This single study doesn’t mean that you should change your current exercise plan if you already get your 150 minutes of physical activity each week. But it does help busy people find small windows of time when they can improve their health.  If you can’t schedule a full hour or a 40 minutes session, try one of these mini workouts to get the job done.

Are you ready to start an exercise program?  Use our Exercise Time Finder and other resources at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss.  Then find us on Facebook and Twitter to get daily tips and inspiration.


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