We all know that we need to exercise if we want a tighter core, shapely arms and better endurance but did you know that shorter workouts can be just as effective than longer workouts?
What Does Research Suggest
Short workouts are not only proving to be healthier than longer exercise routines but also tend to burn the same amount of calories, studies suggest.
Those who exercise vigorously, reduce their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by two-thirds compared to those who did not exercise, according to one research study.
Exercises such as running and jumping rope are labeled as vigorous while those like walking or leisure bike riding come under moderate exercises.
Those who develop the metabolic syndrome face difficulty in controlling their blood sugar level, have excess fat around the waist, are prone to high blood pressure, and have low levels of good cholesterol.
Development of this condition also leads to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
Shorter Workouts Can Be Intense
These shorter workouts that include periods of heightened focus and strength mixed with rest period was developed in the 1990s by a Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata.
It includes a 20-second high-intensity workout followed by a 10-second rest period repeated for eight sets.
These eight sets may last for about a total time duration of 4 minutes and has proven to be beneficial in multiple research trials.
It has shown to boost endurance and can be incorporated with any kind of exercise protocol such as running, biking, swimming, or weight resistance.
In recent years, I learned about High-Intensity Interval Workouts (HIIT) from Dr. Mercola. It’s similar to Tabata except the duration is longer.
4 Reasons To Stop Doing Long Cardio Sessions and Opt for Shorter Intense Workouts
For most people, more may not be better. Studies are showing that shorter interval workouts help diabetics control their blood sugar levels better.
Also, scientists are learning these workouts may help your heart get stronger.
These shorter workouts can be scaled to any starting level of fitness.
For those of you who have a busy schedule, this is a perfect way to have consistent workouts.
You can fit in a short session anywhere without much planning.
It’s Less Intimidating
An hour long exercise session scares many people away. A shorter duration that comes with calorie burning promise may be just what is needed.
The thought that exercise can take you less than half an hour should be motivation enough to get you going.
With shorter workout sessions you can try different routines to add variety to your routine.
Switching up workouts also helps prevent muscle overuse and injuries.
What We Do?
Dave and I adopted shorter workouts over the last few years.
It’s so much more enjoyable to workout when you know you won’t be grinding away on the treadmill for an hour.
Back in the day, I would pride myself on how many hour cardio sessions I could do in a week.
The funny thing is, now I maintain more muscle and weigh less than I did when I was doing all that cardio!
Short intense workouts have been found to be very effective and possibly healthier than long cardio sessions.
You might find they are less intimidating and will help you exercise more consistently.
If you want some workout ideas, check out what David did for 30 Days. This is Day 1.
What about you? What do you like to do for exercise?