Does the thought of taking a 30-minute chunk of exercise time out of your busy day to improve your health put you off doing anything at all? What if you broke it down into three 10-minute sessions? Could that also have a positive impact on your health? More and more studies indicate that multiple short sessions of exercise provide the same health benefits as a comparable workout completed in one go. And some studies indicate that shorter sessions are better!
Better health backed by science
A number of universities from around the world presented research results in May at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting. A few highlights:
- Researchers in China compared arterial benefits in men riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes to men doing two 15-minute sessions. They discovered that the benefits provided by the shorter sessions lasted longer.
- In a 2012 study on exercise and blood pressure control, researchers found that among adults with borderline hypertension a 30-minute afternoon walk or three 10-minute walks spaced throughout the day improved overall blood pressure just as effectively. However, the 3x 10-minute routine also reduced later spikes in pressure.
- Scientists also reported almost identical endurance improvements in college students, whether they jogged for 30 minutes on the treadmill or broke it down into 3 sessions.
Don’t let the ’30-minutes of exercise advice’ scare you off!
If you think 30 minutes of exercise is too much – or if it takes up too much time – break it down. Head out for a brisk 10-minute walk or bike ride. Or jump on that treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike haunting you from the corner. You may need to bundle up against the cold. Or depending on your choice of exercise, you may not even need to put on your sweats! Opt for three short sessions, morning, noon and night.
Do you go for long or short workouts? What’s your favorite 10-minute workout?