Health benefits of short workouts & The 10-Minute Myth


    These days, as many of us drive from a sedentary job to a sedentary home life, it can be tough to find time to move around. National exercise guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, split into workouts of no less than ten minutes apiece. According to these guidelines, physical activity under ten minutes isn’t sustained enough to provide health benefits, no matter the how many total minutes you spend active over the course of the day.

    But there's hope! A recent study by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health aimed to revisit these 1995 guidelines to account for greatly improved tracking technology. Researchers followed their 5,000 subjects for six years. They divided the subjects in two groups - those who typically engaged in physical activity for periods of over 10 minutes, and those who hit their activity quota in short bursts of under ten minutes - and measured the health benefits of both. Of course, those individuals that worked out in a more vigorous manner derive greater benefits. But among those of us that work out with mild-to-moderate intensity, the study found similar health benefits whether the individual was moving for continuous segments of 10+ minutes or for a greater quantity of shorter bursts.

     This study proves that small changes in lifestyle, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking slightly further from your destination than you need to, can have as great a positive effect on your health as adding a moderate intentional workout to your routine - without the time commitment of a gym visit. So next time you want to work out but barely have time to spare, try reframing your fitness not in terms of the duration of your workout, but rather a quota of active minutes that you need to hit before the day is out. Even 5 minutes of jogging, a quick walk around the block, or even a vigorous housecleaning session will add to your minute count - and thus, to your well-being!



Questions? Reach out to us anytime at to discuss further, see how Spring could factor in to your short-workout activity goals, or just to geek out about running science with us :)

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Cecilia Winter