For most of us, the minimum amount of exercise we need to get a day is about 30 minutes. If you find it hard to wedge in 30 minutes of continuous activity a day, the New York Times has good news: you can break your exercise up into short, 10-minute blocks and still get the same health benefits.
Image: Tony Alter.
The New York Times talked with Glenn Gaesser, a professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research centre at Arizona State University, and found that to benefit from exercise, you don't need 30 minutes of sustained activity. Gaesser explains:
"For people who think that 30 minutes of exercise is too hard or takes up too much time, we can say, just do 10 minutes" three times during the day. And conversely, if someone is tempted to dismiss a mere 10 minutes of walking as too meagre to be meaningful, "it seems clear that, at least for blood pressure control, fractionised exercise is actually more effective" than a single 30-minute bout.
Of course, this type of exercise is all about keeping yourself healthy, not training for anything, losing weight, or getting into athletic shape. The biggest benefit seems to involve lowering blood pressure, but as the Times points out, a number of studies have shown that breaking up your exercise is just as beneficial as longer blocks. If you do have a little more time to workout, be sure to check out our 20-minute daily exercise plan.
The 10-Minute Workout, Times Three [New York Times]