In today’s world, where being busy is the new normal, practicing regular workouts is something that most of us struggle with. While the first few days or weeks might be easier, as time passes, it becomes difficult to maintain consistency when you have an important meeting or party to attend. Or even when any other sudden needs pop up.
Fortunately, mini workouts can be a great way to maintain your health and fitness levels, without having to dedicate hours every day to the gym.
Why Do Mini Workouts Improve Overall Health?
But what exactly are these mini-workouts? Although its name easily gives away the meaning, here is a simple definition. Mini workouts are short, high-intensity bursts of exercise that can be completed in just 10-15 minutes.
And contrary to popular belief, mini workouts can actually provide better overall health benefits than traditional hour-long workouts.
Why Are Mini Workouts So Good For Us?
To start with, mini workouts allow you to maintain your fitness levels more easily than traditional workouts. Why? A major reason for the delay in our ability to practice regular exercises is that we don’t have enough time at hand throughout the day. Now, how does this help us?
Well, recent research suggests that 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise can provide the same benefits as 90 minutes of medium-intensity workouts.
And since short, intense workouts take less time, they are far more effective than traditional hour-long workout sessions.
Here are a few of the key benefits that you can expect.
1. Burn More Calories: A recent study published in the Journal of Obesity showed that participants who completed mini-workouts burned more calories than those who exercised for a full hour. This is because mini-workouts are high-intensity and require you to give your all, whereas traditional workouts tend to be less intense, and sufficient enough for your body.
2. Promotes Weight Loss: Mini-workouts engage the metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) that burns calories and prevents weight gain. It also helps reduce belly fat and promote weight loss on a long-term basis.
3. Enhances Bone Strength: Both short-duration high-intensity workouts and long-duration low-intensity workouts can help improve bone density. However, since mini-workouts are high intensity they provide a larger force to our bones when compared to normal workout sessions, thus giving them greater strength.
4. Cuts Down Recovery Time: Mini-workouts are shorter in nature, which means that you don’t have to dedicate as much time for post-workout recovery. This is especially beneficial for those who are short on time or tend to be constantly on the go.
5. Increases Cardiovascular Fitness: Mini-workouts improve cardiovascular fitness and help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. One of the main reasons for this is that they target all the major muscle groups instead of just specific ones like some traditional workouts do.
6. Improves Your Mood: Studies suggest that exercise can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing endorphin production in your brain. This has a positive effect on your mood and can help you feel better overall.
Simple Mini Workouts
Now that you know the benefits of these short exercises, here are a few that you may want to try out!
The Wall Sits: This is a great exercise to do when you are short on time as it only requires 10-15 seconds of your effort. To perform this mini-workout, stand with your back against a wall and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and then repeat.
High Knee March: Begin by standing with your feet together, arms at your side. Now, step forward with one leg and bring the opposite knee up to chest height or just below it. Ensure that you keep the foot flexed throughout the movement and touch the ground lightly with each step.
Squats: Start by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and pointing your toes outward slightly. Keep your knees and hips bent until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your back has to be straight and make sure to not allow your knees to go past your toes.
Jumping Jacks: Start by standing with feet together and arms at your side. Now, jump with the legs apart and simultaneously spread arms out to the side. Jump again while bringing your jumping leg back in, this time, moving the arms back to the original position by your side.
Mountain Climbers: Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bring one knee in towards your chest, followed by the opposite leg. Repeat this movement, bringing your other knee in towards your chest.
If you are looking for an efficient way to improve your health without dedicating hours every day to the gym, mini-workouts might just be the answer for you. Try out a few different 10-15 minute workouts and see which one works best for you. If you are a beginner, shorter workouts might be a great place to start. Do them 2-3 times a week for best results!