Why Even One Minute of Working Out is Worth It
You might be busy but you are never too busy to exercise even if you only have a minute to spare, according to some research hailing from Canada. The study determined that even one single minute of intense exercise can improve your fitness levels. Not that one minute alone is going to count for your daily workout every day of the week, but it’s a good reason to never skip out on it.
The study asked participants to train on stationary bikes three times a week over a six week period. Their prescribed workouts were ten minutes rides that were overall mellow, other than three different 20 second sprints that of course equal out to a minute in total.
At the end of the study, it was found that all the participants saw a 12 percent increase of their cardiorespiratory fitness levels. They also saw an increase in their fat burning ability, due to an increase in their muscles ability to use oxygen more effectively.
The quick sprints of course have to be of incredibly high intensity, but when they are they can activate the fast twitch muscle fibers in the body and use more muscle energy in less time.
Obviously studies like these are done over short periods of time and are in no way a suggestion that quick intense workouts should be swapped your average endurance one, but they do mean that even a minute to spare is enough to positively affect your body.
Still, when you are short on time in general, the best way to get in a high intensity workout is to incorporate intervals into your training. Decide ahead of time if you will be focusing mostly on cardio or on resistance training, and incorporate high intensity bursts either way. This might be sprinting every few minutes during a treadmill run, or it might be doing jumping jacks or taking a lap between bench presses.
Don’t think you necessarily have to get to the gym to get a quick workout in either, your body can be the source of plenty of resistance if you’re using it right. Set up a circuit for yourself where you move from one set of exercises to the next, with things like side walking pushups, bicycle crunches, planks, etc. Some research even suggests that high intensity intervals can help you burn more calories than a steady endurance one can. You can hit more muscles more quickly when you are switching up your moves and that adds up to major calorie burn.
That calorie burn doesn’t just stop when your workout does either. The harder you work during high intensity interval training, the longer your body will remain in an elevated metabolic state. Basically, all those surprising intervals have sent your body into overdrive and you keep burning some extra calories post workout. Just don’t stuff your face to make up for the entire calorie deficit if you’re trying to shed fat.
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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.