These exercise snacks can provide a beneficial alternative for many, and can be a great way for beginners to start their journey into the world of fitness…writes Meenakshi Mohanty
The approaching holiday is a period of the year that most people prefer to spend on leisure activities, but it can easily become a cause for stress for many, owing to the reduced time available for keeping up with a workout routine. Elaborate structured exercises that last up to 45 minutes to an hour can be difficult to accommodate, making burnouts unavoidable.
Damaging effects relayed in from the growing prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle among adults have become increasingly evident across the world. The need for physical activity has been recognised with renewed importance and stressed upon globally. Recent research has highlighted that even short bouts of physical activity in a day can result in a number of benefits useful for reducing anxiety, weight gain and blood pressure, while improving blood circulation to the nervous system, along with availing better sleep. Positive results can be experienced from brief and quick hits of activity, such as from brisk walking, stair climbing, jump-rope, and high-intensity interval workouts ranging from 8-10 minutes!
Isolated vigorous exercises, called ‘exercise snacks’, which are lasting under a minute and performed three to eight times a day have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, blood-sugar levels and pressure by a 2022 study conducted by Martin Gibala, a kinesiology professor from McMaster University in Ontario. Similarly, the World health Organisation suggests that adults should incorporate 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week to remain healthy. Further, a study published in the European Heart Journal in October showed that adopting practices of 15 to 20 minutes of exercise in a week has been repeatedly associated with lowering mortality rate among adults, leading to longer and healthier lifespans.
While performance training remains specifically crucial for building on attributes such as muscle mass, strength and endurance, 10-minute workouts prove to be an easy solution to ensure health and well-being while greatly reducing the level of commitment necessary. These exercise snacks can provide a beneficial alternative for many, and can be a great way for beginners to start their journey into the world of fitness.
Take walking for instance. The simple act of walking for 10 minutes a day can provide a person with an adequate energy expenditure, while enabling them to take time for themselves, procure natural light which is beneficial for cognitive health, build on a structured routine, control blood glucose and reduce muscle soreness. Walking is thus one of the easiest, simplest and highly effective measures people can take to improve upon their health.
A proliferating number of fitness apps have also enabled scores of people to adopt healthy practices from the comfort of their homes. Here are two 10-minute workout routines that anyone can try, and that require no equipment, no gym membership, and only 10 minutes in a day to make the most out of:
Circuit 1: To be done on minute 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9
20 Jumping jacks
10 Jump squats
Circuit 2: To be done on minute 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10
10 Sumo squats
10 Alternating reverse lunges
10 pushups with alternating shoulder taps
These brief routines can help several people manage their time, while allowing them to maintain balance in everyday life.