The science has spoken: you do not need to exercise for hours on end in order to improve all aspects of your health, nor to boost your life expectancy. In fact, the secret to feeling fit, healthy, and mentally buoyant actually lies in how consistently you move. Even the most die-hard fitness experts agree that getting your heart pumping, however you choose to do it, is the ticket to improving your health—and you don’t need to commit to hour-long studio classes to do that.
Federal guidelines say U.S. adults should get at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or 150 minutes of less-intense activity, each week. But over the past few years, a slew of studies have promoted the benefits of getting much, much less exercise than that.
One 2022 study found that squeezing in just three one-minute bursts of vigorous activity each day could lead to a longer life.
When you can't dedicate as much time to training as you might like, here's how to keep your priorities straight—without feeling guilty.
Think you’re too busy to work out? We have the workout for you. In minutes, high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) will have you sweating, breathing hard and maximizing the health benefits of exercise without the time commitment. Best of all, it’s scientifically proven to work.
Most of us know that regular exercise is important for our health and longevity. But with our busy schedules, many of us struggle to find the time to fit in a workout. Data from our latest study has shown that you don’t need a lengthy workout to get health benefits from exercise.
The research revealed that as little as three or four minutes of short, vigorous activity bursts throughout the day were associated with a substantially lower risk of premature death from all causes compared with people who did none.
Fact of life: working out is never easy. But there are a couple things you can do to make it easier. One: keep your session to an efficient, effective 30 minutes. Two: find a routine that doesn't require any equipment, so you can do it anywhere. Three: did we mention it only takes 30 minutes?
In the time it takes to make a cup of tea, you can build your core muscles, increase hip flexibility and stave off the effects of sitting at your desk all day
Making time for exercise can be difficult because of work, family commitments or cost. Here’s how to squeeze it in, whatever your schedule.
It's easy to feel too busy to exercise — and maybe spending an hour at the gym isn't realistic. But what about finding time for a 20-minute workout at home? Well ... 22 minutes, to be exact.
In a rush to squeeze in a few reps? All you need is a few minutes, a set of dumbbells, and a little space to crank out this quick arm workout.
Combining resistance training and cardio will get your heart pumping, even if you only have 15 or 20 minutes to spare. Maybe in a perfect world, you’d devote an hour a day to fitness, a finely tuned program of strength training and cardio. In the real world, it can be difficult. That’s OK, experts say: Even shorter bouts of exercise can have health benefits.
Walk your hands out on the floor into a high plank, then walk the hands back up to meet the feet and roll up to standing. Complete five reps.
Even fitness in short bursts can benefit those getting no exercise
A new study confirms that you don’t have to do a hard workout to reap the longevity rewards of exercise.
In his book The One Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That's Smarter, Faster, Shorter, which comes out Tuesday, Gibala explains the physiology and history of interval training and includes a dozen workouts. And yes, one of them is based on just one minute of hard exercise (with another nine minutes of warm-up, recovery periods and cool-down), which in a small study conducted by Gibala and colleagues improved markers of health comparably to a 45-minute session of steady, moderate exercise.
Modern high-intensity workouts are seductively short – but do they offer the same life-extending benefits as established exercise regimes?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts have become popular in recent years for a number of reasons. They don’t require as much time as a regular workout (some can take as little as 10 minutes), and research shows they improve fitness, lower blood pressure and help people better manage their blood sugar levels – which may aid in weight loss and prevent disease, such as type 2 diabetes.
And recently, a review has found that a form of HIIT workout called low-volume HIIT has benefits on cardiometabolic health. That means low-volume HIIT could induce similar – or greater – improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, blood sugar control, blood pressure and cardiac function compared to continuous aerobic exercise (such as a five-mile run).
Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often, new research suggests.
Even people who get less exercise than recommended have less risk than folks who don’t break a sweat at all.
While we can't always escape for a lunch-break workout, these moves are the next best thing. Physique57 instructor Shannon Smith shares a 10-move quickie workout you can do right in your office—or any available conference room.
Amping up the intensity of everyday activities—like charging up the stairs or carrying heavy groceries—can lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
These three high-intensity workouts can all be done at home with minimal equipment. They take 20 minutes or less, so you can sneak in a session while the holiday cookies are baking.
Interval training is meant to be tough but quick, so you can work harder (and smarter) not longer. Check out these interval training workout routines for inspiration.
These short workouts are just as effective as a full gym session.
Incredibly, with all the science that has been done on how to exercise, what we know about what works for fitness is almost embarrassingly simple — yet we have invented myriad ways to cloud, over-complicate, and obscure these basic, common-sense truths:
The New York Times’ Gretchen Reynolds has gone from writing about a six-minute workout to a three-second workout. Who’s actually doing these?
Most of us don’t know how to get lean without wasting our time.
You don't have to devote yourself to long workouts to see a difference. Just 15 minutes is a lot more powerful than it seems.
Short workouts have exploded with a wider array of apps and digital videos; a quick hit of yoga or climbing the stairs
Exercise 'snacks' can lower blood pressure and blood sugar.
A new study suggests high-intensity intervals aren’t magic.
While you don’t have to toil over the dumbbells to make a difference to your health, all research points to the fact that consistency is key. Move a little each day and make a promise to yourself to prioritize it—there is always time for a quick walk.
queezing exercise into a busy schedule can be tough. However, new research suggests that doing just 15 minutes of physical activity over the course of a week is linked to a lower risk of dying prematurely compared to not exercising at all—as long as the movement gets your heart pumping.
Decades ago, exercise was something we did for fun and to feel good, but these days exercise isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. We've gone from an active society to one that spends most of its time on its rear end. We sit at work, when we watch TV, playing video games, driving—most of us sit much more than we stand or move. Sitting too much contributes to all kinds of health risks like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
When last-minute plans pop up or the day just gets too crazy, it's easy to pass on the gym because of time constraints. That doesn't mean you have to skip exercising entirely, though. Turning your living room into a temporary fitness studio saves you a ton of steps—after all, just getting to the gym, tossing your bag in a locker, and getting settled all take time. Time you don't have when you're in a crunch.
Next time you don't have a minute to spare, try one of these eight workouts right at home—they're all 10 minutes or less, and they require minimal (or zero) equipment. You can even combine a couple of them if you have extra time—or keep the rest bookmarked for when you need a quick game plan.
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