A Summer Afternoon Walk in Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
It’s not uncommon to see people in fitness centers laboring away, sweating out every pour on the cardio equipment for up to an hour at a time.
There certainly is nothing wrong with this sort of cardiovascular exercise, to each their own, and at least they are exercising.
However, one of the most common excuses people give for not exercising is ‘’lack of time’.
There is a misconception that if they don’t have an hour to spare, then they don’t feel there is enough time or that exercise is worth their effort.
They couldn’t be more wrong!
Research shows that short periods of exercise but at a higher intensity is just as beneficial as the longer sessions, and sometimes more, depending on your goals.
A recent study from the mayo clinic followed a group of men for 2 weeks.
They measured the fitness levels of participants at the beginning of the study and again after a two-week program consisting only of short, medium to high intensity exercise sessions.
After just 2 weeks, they found that all the men they measured had improved exercise performance and metabolism in their muscles. In just 2 weeks!
Still not convinced?
Here are a few more reason you should try it:
Done in half the time.
Short intense workouts save you time, you can be done in half the time, freeing up your schedule for other things.
So, no more excuses about being too busy.
Keeps your interest.
Workouts that take up an hour or more can get a bit tedious for those less motivated.
Mix it up and keep it interesting.
Intersperse your weight training routine with bursts of cardio or swap the long slow jog on the treadmill for a half hour interval session instead. Remember variety is the spice of life.
Working out at a higher intensity can give you greater gains than if you complete a low and slow intensity session over an hour or more.
The longer you exercise, the more tired you can become and this may jeopardize your technique.
Poor technique is not only a precursor for potential injury but also does not yield the best results.
Working out more intensely but for a shorter period tends to build lean muscle which will increase your metabolic rate and means you are ultimately burning more calories.
There are many benefits to the short, intense workouts, it behooves you to give it a try.
They can be especially challenging for those new to exercise or for anyone who has not been exercising regularly.
Hang in there.
The key is to slowly build up the intensity as you get stronger and your endurance improves.
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