An ever-growing pile of evidence is showing that exercise sessions do not have to be long to be effective.
It now seems that short quick workouts can also build brainpower as well as muscle. This seems to be particularly relevant when the short workouts are built in as breaks from using your brain.
Getting moving gets oxygenated blood flowing to the organs, and that includes the brain. A bit of movement boosts your brainpower with extra oxygen, and the break away from concentration can also bring new ideas to the front. Longer term, it is now believed that regular exercisers may even reduce their risk of future dementia or stroke.
That ‘brain break’ need not be long – in fact there is ever-growing evidence that a short burst of gentle exercise is all that is needed.
A small scale but believable study observed three groups of students who watched a fifty minute lecture, shown online. One group saw it in one sitting, while the other two groups had breaks. One of those groups did some light exercises in the breaks, the other played video games.
The group taking exercise retained more information and felt that the lecture was of greater value than the other two groups.
With concerns that we all spend too much time sitting down, even the busiest office should have some ‘getting up and down’ time scheduled in. If you can fit in a lunchtime workout, that’s great. Otherwise even a walk along a corridor or a few trips up and down stairs may be all you need.
However tight the timescale, take a break, get outside and exercise, even if it is just a walk round the block. It will pay dividends both for health and performance at work.
I use the 7 minute workout app on my phone when I'm pushed for time. But it doesn't feel as good as a proper gym workout. I know all I need is a few minutes, but I actually like working out for longer!!