A one-minute workout or running for just five minutes a day might just sound like the ideal way to get fit for those of us short on time.
It's good news then that it’s been shown that super short bursts of exercise really might do us some good. Perhaps even more good than the prolonged sessions.
For example, it’s been shown that people briskly walking for one minute and then gently strolling for one minute, repeated six times, is actually better than a continuous 30-minute walk for those at risk of diabetes and those wanting to control their blood sugar levels.
The theory of running for just five minutes a day increasing someone’s lifespan works on the basis that anyone can manage to take five minutes out of their day – so it’s more likely that you’ll do the short run and improve your fitness, rather than trying to a longer run and possibly not committing to it.
The super-short workout follows the popular HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions, which involve going all out for short amounts of time, or for just a few reps. The idea has come to fruition that exercise in the modern sense doesn’t have to be all time-consuming.
If you can spend just a few minutes a day doing exercise, as opposed to nothing at all, then the benefits are huge. Brain health is improved; prevention of disease, stronger bones and muscles and the benefits of anti-ageing are all plus points to giving up just a few minutes of your day for some simple workouts.
So try a five-minute workout each day, maybe in your lunch break, or just before you cook the dinner, because five minutes has got to be worth it when it comes to your overall health and wellbeing.
I think you have to mix your super short workouts in with a few long ones - that way you're getting the best of both worlds.
very good point - all movement is exercise. Even the housework, although have to do a lot of that to equal a gym session!
This emphasis on HIIT is actually putting some people off exercise. A couple of friends just like going for a steady jog without any mad springing intervals, but now feel like their exercise is second-rate. We should really keep reminding people that any exercise is good, and the difference between HIIT and just normal workouts in minimal (I think!)
I'd be too much on the 'gentle stroll' - need to turn it up a fair bit!
brutally, 5 minutes is more likely to get done, even on days when it is nasty outside and there's no incentive to leave the house. Everyone can manage a five minute workout.
Sasha, I think that it would have to be fairly fast running to make a significant difference, but jogging is still better than nothing!
I have never heard of that 5 minutes a day thing. Does that have to be sprinting, or would jogging do?
every little helps, as they say - and we can all find five minutes!
Some weeks it feels impossible to squeeze any exercise in when my work schedule is busy so it's good to know even 5 minutes can make a difference.