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.
Those who develop the metabolic syndrome increase their chance of becoming diabetic, getting heart disease, and often having excess fat around the waist.
Exercises such as running and jumping rope are labeled as vigorous while those like walking or leisure bike riding come under moderate exercises.
Shorter Workouts Can Be Intense
These shorter workouts that include periods of heightened focus and strength mixed with a rest period were developed in the 1990s by a Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata.
His Tabata workouts include a 20-second high-intensity movement followed by a 10-second rest period repeated for eight sets.
These eight sets last for about 4 minutes and have proven to be beneficial in multiple research trials.
It has been shown to boost endurance and can be incorporated with any kind of exercise protocol such as running, biking, swimming, or weight resistance.
5 Reasons To Stop Doing Long Cardio Sessions and Opt for Shorter Intense Workouts
1. It’s Healthier
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.
(as in this article “The Year In Fitness: Shorter Workouts Greater Clarity, Longer Lives“)
These shorter workouts can be scaled to any starting level of fitness.
2. Saves Time
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.
3. It’s Less Intimidating
An hour-long exercise session scares many people away.
A shorter duration that comes with a 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.
4. Prevents Injury
This is probably the most important.
Switching up your workouts helps prevent muscle overuse and injuries. The last thing you want to do is get injured so you can’t work out.
5. Adds Variety
With shorter workout sessions you can try different routines to add variety to your life. You are less likely to get bored with your workouts, therefore, workout more consistently.
What About HIIT Training?
I’ve mentioned before about HIIT training.
HIIT and Tabata are similar in several ways.
They both focus on using maximum effort over short periods of time with only brief rest breaks. Also, they both burn fat, improve endurance and speed, and aid weight loss.
The difference is HIIT workouts are usually a bit longer for the work and rest cycles. Changing up the cycles allows you time to work on certain goals.
For instance, if you want to build more arm muscle you might add more moves like tricep dips or pushups.
If you are trying to burn fat you might lengthen the cardio cycle and recover longer.
4 Minute Workout – Zach Bush
Dave and I adopted shorter workouts over the last few years.
Back in the day, I would pride myself on how many hour cardio sessions I could do in a week.
It’s so much more enjoyable to work out when I know I won’t be grinding away on the treadmill for an hour.
The funny thing is, now I maintain more muscle and weigh less than I did when I was doing all that cardio!
This last year I integrated this Zac Bush 4 Minute Workout into my day.
Watch it to learn why Zac Bush developed it and why his workout is important for the body’s ability to use Nitric Oxide for muscle growth.
Short intense workouts have been found to be very effective and possibly healthier than long cardio sessions.
Tabata and HIIT workouts are shorter than the traditional workouts that are hard for most of us to fit in our busy schedules.
Shorter Tabata workouts are less intimidating and will help you exercise more consistently. You can move on to longer cycles such as in HIIT workouts as your endurance builds.
Check out these posts for more workout ideas:
30-Day Arm Challenge Workouts For You To Try
4 Exercises For Flabby Arms
10 Workouts To Burn Fat and Lose Weight
What do think? Will you try shorter workouts?