Super-Short Workouts Shouldn’t Be Your Only Exercise

Super-Short Workouts Shouldn’t Be Your Only Exercise

Who doesn’t love a short workout? There’s the seven minute workout, the four minute workout and finally this week scientists announced a one minute workout. (We’ve come a long way from the days of the 11-minute workout.) These routines give impressive results, but they aren’t a complete fitness solution.

Photo by Maria Ly.

The short times often don’t include a warm-up or any between-intervals rest time, so the one-minute workout is really ten minutes long. Still, that’s very time-efficient. Short interval or strength sessions often give results that are comparable with a longer session of lower-intensity cardio. Time to give up ordinary workouts? Think again.

“I seriously doubt that ANYONE IN THE WORLD could keep up only this type of training without injury or getting bored/flat/stale,” the one-minute workout’s author wrote to Outside magazine. He points out that the super-short workout studies are done on mostly sedentary people, and they rack up their results over a short time, in this case 12 weeks.

If you’re already fit, these short workouts might not do a lot for your overall fitness. But that doesn’t mean they’re useless. Workouts based on high intensity intervals are great to work into your routine. They build strength and cardio endurance, and improve your insulin sensitivity (which means you’ll be less likely to develop diabetes). Plan intervals into a regular length workout to reap serious benefits.

That said, we know there are times when it’s hard to get out of the office, or to find a spare minute among the tons of things you have to do on a busy day. For those times, short workouts are a great fill-in. It’s better to do a five-minute Sworkit session than to skip your workout entirely. Likewise, short workouts are also a great transition tool for ramping back up to exercise after an injury or a long time off. Just remember that they can’t be your only exercise forever.

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