Short Bursts of Exercise Proven Worthwhile
When your days are jam-packed with work, kids, errands and more, squeezing in a workout can be a challenge. But research shows that even a little bit of movement is better than none at all. If you have just 10 minutes to spare, you can incorporate enough exercise into your daily routine to make a real difference in your overall health.
The Magic Number: 150 Minutes
According to findings published online in the journal Circulation, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week can lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease by 14 percent. It’s worth repeating that coronary heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. for men and women. “Our bodies are made to move, and the more opportunity we give them to do that, the happier they are,” says Jolene Bodily, a registered dietitian at UVA-WorkMed, a University of Virginia occupational medicine clinic that teaches working people about health, exercise and nutrition.
10-Minute Bursts of Exercise
“Sparks,” or 10-minute bursts of exercise done in an office setting, is a practice proven to be successful among Bodily’s course participants. The exercises can be done in work attire, even in a cubicle, and they range from lunges and punches to knee lifts and pushups.
The idea for sparks is based on research by UVA exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser. He found that doing fifteen 10-minute rounds each week of strength, flexibility and aerobic exercises improved endurance, flexibility and encouraged weight loss.
“Our classes with these 10-minute sparks are modeled on [Gaesser’s] research, and we see the same results … as long as people do enough of them and do them to a level of intensity that is making their body really work,” says Bodily. “You don’t need to change clothes. You don’t need special equipment. And you don’t need more than 10 minutes.”
Get Moving at Your Desk
Learn exercises you can do at the office. Exercise along to this short video: