What are Micro-Workouts and Should You Be Doing Them?
Looking for a way to boost your fitness regime? Micro-workouts are the latest trend. These short blasts of exercise are a fast way to meet your workout needs.
While you might have heard the name, you may be unsure about what they are. In this guide, we will take a look at the facts and explain everything you need to know to get started.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND MICRO-WORKOUTS
One enlightening study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology saw inactive adults take 20-second ‘sprint snacks’ (i.e. fast cycles) three times throughout the day.
The results showed that after six weeks of engaging in these micro-workouts the participants’ cardiorespiratory health improved by a massive 9%. That suggests that the short bursts of physical exercise had a direct impact on people's overall fitness levels.
It doesn’t end there. In a similar study, published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that healthy women were able to increase their cardiorespiratory fitness by doing 20 seconds of vigorous stairs climbing three times a day for three weeks.
This simple lifestyle change meant that their body’s ability to pump blood improved dramatically.
THE MAIN BENEFITS OF MICRO-WORKOUTS
Now that we’ve looked at the research behind micro-workouts, let’s delve deeper into the benefits of adding them to your routine.
Choosing to squeeze these types of exercises into your daily schedule could have a significant impact on your health and wellness. With that in mind, here are some of the major benefits to exploring micro-workouts:
Fits into busy schedules
Let’s face it - while we’d all love to hit the gym for hour-long sessions every day, that’s not always possible. You might have a busy work schedule, have kids to look after, or simply have many social plans.
Whatever it is that’s holding you back, know that you don’t always need to engage in a long exercise session to start reaping some rewards. The beauty of micro-workouts is that they take minutes to complete, and so you can fit them in with ease.
No need for equipment
Investing in expensive home gym equipment can be a real undertaking. When you decide to do micro-workouts, though, you don’t need a bunch of gear. Instead, you can use things around your home to empower your workout.
For example, you may choose to do steps on your stairs, run on the spot, or even do some star jumps. Since you can choose what type of workout you’d prefer to do, it means that you can exercise whenever you please.
Improve your fitness levels
Needless to say, one of the biggest benefits of engaging in micro-workouts is that it can improve your fitness levels. The truth of the matter is that you get big results for a small input.
If you’re struggling to find a way to get the exercise that you need on a daily basis, it’s worth looking into micro-workouts. You can measure your results when you do them.
Exercise when you’re not feeling it
Not feeling like hitting the gym for a full-on session? Peppering your day with micro-workouts is the answer. When you’re out and about, you can fit small workouts into your daily life.
For instance, when you’re headed to work, you can sprint for 20 seconds on the way. Alternatively, when you’re going up the stairs, make it a high-intensity movement. Whenever you have an off day, including some micro-movements is the answer.
MICRO-WORKOUTS TO TRY TODAY
Want to give micro-workouts a go? If you’re in the mood for something short and sweet, we’ve got you covered. These types of exercises take no time to learn and will get your blood pumping.
It doesn’t matter how busy you are or what else you have on, you should find that fitting these into your life is easier than ever. Here are some to give a go:
Commercial Break Star Jumps
Watching TV at home? If you’re sitting on the sofa and chilling, use the commercial breaks to your advantage. Whenever the break comes on, get up out of your seat and start doing some star jumps.
Try sets of 20 or 30 to start out with, and then take a short break. See how long you can keep jumping and whether you can make it to the end of the adverts.
Walking somewhere? Why not get moving and sprint for a minute? Whether you’re on the way to meet a friend or headed to work, you can incorporate this into your routine.
Set a timer on your phone for a minute and then get moving. Sprinting for just a minute will help you to boost your physical fitness and get more out of your walk (or run!).
The next time you’re home alone, add some lunges to your down time. You could set a timer for three minutes and get moving. Don’t go too slow here—the point is to boost your heart rate. Move swiftly from lunge to lunge. The faster you can move, the better.
Ready to get moving? Now that you know all that there is to know about micro-workouts, you can add them to your day. Get as creative as you please and think about the types of movements that suit you. You never know - it might just boost your health and wellness.