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Mini-Workouts for the Win

We all know how important it is to regularly move your body and exercise. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans say that adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity weekly. 

But life happens, and we get busy. Things pop up all the time, especially at the last minute. It’s all too easy to say, “I’ll just work out tomorrow,” and push it to the back-burner, which in reality is what most of us end up doing. But missing workouts and failing to follow through on your commitments don’t feel very good.

It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a solution! 

“Mini-workouts” are workouts that are 10 minutes or less. These workouts might not take much time, but they WILL help you achieve profound results. Not just in terms of helping you become stronger and fitter, but in building your confidence and creating a fitness habit that can last a lifetime.

Benefits of Exercise

A little intentional movement (a.k.a. exercise) every day will do more for your fitness and results than the occasional workout marathon. Here are some benefits of adding mini-workouts throughout your day:

1. Improves your overall health.

Multiple studies have shown that doing mini-workouts throughout the day produces similar health-related benefits compared to performing the same exercises in one continuous bout. One study found no differences in blood pressure or cardiorespiratory outcomes between accumulated and continuous exercise. There were also similar benefits for blood fat, insulin, and glucose levels between the two groups. 

2. Easier to fit into the day.

Have trouble working up the motivation to work out? Committing to an exercise program requires persistence, patience, and motivation. Unfortunately, many people stop exercising before they even get a chance to reap the benefits. However, breaking up your daily exercise time into smaller increments makes it easier to stick to a routine. Instead of doing one 30 minute workout, break it into 10-minute mini-workouts (possibly in the morning, afternoon, and evening). 

BONUS: a study found that doing three 10-minute walks during the day lowered blood pressure more than one 30-minute walk in prehypertensive individuals. 

3. Boosts your brain health and mood.

Studies show that moving your body daily can help boost your mood, decrease symptoms of depression, and reduce stress levels. Extra points if you can get some physical activity outside! You can go for a walk, do yoga, do some chores outside, play with the kids, etc. Even spending just 10 minutes outside each day can make a notable impact on your level of energy and mood. 

4. Makes it easier to exercise at a higher intensity. 

Even for seasoned athletes, performing a high-intensity workout isn’t an easy task to do for an extended period. That’s why breaking it up into mini-workouts is appealing for all fitness levels. Dedicating the small bouts of exercise for higher intensities can optimize fat burning and keep your metabolism elevated long after you’ve stopped. This is due to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). A high EPOC level increases your metabolism as your body works to return to its resting state. This includes replenishing depleted energy reserves, repairing cellular damage, clearing metabolic byproducts, and facilitating tissue growth.

Bottom line? Finding time to exercise for one long session can be difficult and overwhelming. We’re all busy, and we know that fitting fitness into our lifestyles is essential. But performing mini-workouts throughout the day allows you to reap the benefits of a long session, even when you do just a little at a time. All the time that you spend moving your body adds up. Remember, something is always better than nothing! 

Two Mini-Workouts

Here are two minimal-equipment, 10-minute mini-workouts that you can add to your routine! 

10-Minute Leg HIIT Workout*

Perform these in a circuit fashion (resting 10 seconds after each set) and do as many rounds as you can during the 10 minutes. 

  • 10 Bodyweight squats
  • 10 Reverse lunges (5 on each side)
  • 20 Mountain climbers
  • 10 Lateral lunges (5 on each side)
  • 10-second rest

10-Minute Arm and Abs HIIT Workout*

  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Full sit-ups
  • 10 Regular burpees
  • 10 Dips
  • 10 Scissors kicks
  • 10-second rest

*Always consult with your health care provider before taking any new supplements or starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, or wellness program. 

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About the Author: Brittinie Wick is an Air Force Veteran turned Health and Fitness Coach who founded Brittinie Wick Fitness. Her mission is to empower all women, through fitness and nutrition, to gain confidence, lose weight, and celebrate the feeling of strong and sexy. Grab her “Healthy at Every Age” guide! This ebook is aimed at people just like you, who want to live their BEST, MOST ACTIVE life, starting TODAY and continuing deep into the future!

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