This blog is all about the benefits of lots of shorter exercise sessions over the traditional long session.
I have been a staunch advocate of short sharp exercise sessions for some time now and have even implemented a program for NHS choose in the NE featuring three or more four minute hard sessions for weight loss.
According to modern science, not only do multiple short sessions of exercise generally provide the same health and fitness benefits as a comparable amount of exercise completed in one uninterrupted workout, but by most measures, the briefer bouts are better.
We are not even talking about short high intensity(tabata style) efforts here which we know provide profound extra benefits over long slow efforts.
For instance, researchers at the Capital University of Physical Education and Sports in Beijing strapped small monitors to the ankles of a group of healthy men. The monitors measure changes in blood flow, providing an indirect measure of arterial stiffness. Less stiffness is healthier.
Then they had each individual, on alternating days, ride a stationary bicycle or rest quietly for half an hour. Some rode for 30 minutes uninterrupted, while others rode for two sessions of 15 minutes each, with 20 minutes of rest between.
After the 30-minute session and the two 15-minute sessions, the men’s arteries were more pliable than when they rested. But the arterial benefits did not linger long after the 30-minute workout, dissipating within 40 minutes when final measurements were taken. Not so with the shorter sessions; after the second of those, the men’s arteries retained extra flexibility 40 minutes later.
Similarly, when researchers examined exercise and blood pressure control in a 2012 study, they found that one 30-minute afternoon walk improved blood pressure readings for 24 hours among adults with borderline hypertension. Three 10-minute walks spaced throughout the day improved overall blood pressure just as effectively, but unlike the single session, they also blunted subsequent spikes in pressure, which can indicate worsening blood pressure control.
In another study presented at the sports medicine meeting, Taiwanese researchers reported that eight weeks of treadmill jogging significantly improved college students’ endurance, and the improvements were almost identical, whether the volunteers jogged for 30 minutes or for three 10-minute sessions on the same day.
So all of this begs the age old question do you have time for exercise? Do you really not have time for three 10 minute walks?
Even better do you have time for three 4 minute tabata style high intensity workouts ? You can even do them at home. Check them out for free on my Youtube channel
Glenn ( you DO have time ) Hill
Personal Trainer Durham | 07983570574