Mini-Workouts Are a Great Option When You’re Crunched for Time

Fit It In

Mini-Workouts Are a Great Option When You’re Crunched for Time- The cumulative exercise that is done throughout the day is just as efficient as a single session. Don’t believe us when we say it, but rely on the research.

If you’re trying to find an opportunity to incorporate mini-workouts into your routine but you’re unable to find a 30-45 minute block of time, think about short exercises. These short sessions can replace one longer exercise by breaking an ongoing routine into smaller workouts.

You might be wondering if several mini-exercises are as beneficial as one single session. The answer is yes! There is no need to do all of your workouts all at once to have a significant impact to your lifestyle. The act of moving throughout the day can be equally efficient.

How Much Exercise is Sufficient?

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Adults should strive at a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity -either 75 minutes or intense aerobic exercise each week.

The CDC also emphasizes the importance of training for strength at least 2 times each week. These sessions should be focused on total-body exercises that target the most important muscles.

In order to meet these guidelines many people stick to an exercise routine which includes a longer training session each day. You can, however, break up your longer workout into a series of mini workouts to reap the same benefits and achieve the recommended number of minutes.


Try to do 150 minutes moderately intense aerobic workout (or 75 min of intensities of aerobic exercise) every week. Also, aim for 2 days of strength training per week.

Benefits of Mini-Workouts

As per John Gallucci, Jr. DPT, JAG-ONE’s CEO Physical Therapy, one of the advantages of fewer, more intense time sessions are that they offer greater flexibility in your schedule, and let you prioritize your health and fitness while you are juggling work, family, and obligations for friends.

Also, doing small-sized workouts throughout the day will make it easier to stick to an exercise program and reap the numerous benefits of exercising regularly.

Here are eight best benefits of exercising regularly.

Enhance Your General Health

Multiple studies have proven that the accumulation of exercise in small, short bursts of no less than 10 minutes over the time of the day can have similar results in a variety of health-related outcomes. It’s a lot more effective when you perform the same exercise in a single, continuous workout.

Particularly, one study of 19 studies with 1,080 participants did not find any differences between continuous and accumulated training for the blood tension or cardiorespiratory results.

In addition, the researchers found similar benefits to the levels of blood fats, insulin levels, and glucose levels in the two groups.

In the end, they found that adults are more likely to enjoy similar health benefits when they accumulate less time of activity during the day like they do doing a single session of exercising.

Easy to Fit in Your Daytime

Glenn Gaesser, PhD professor of exercise the physiology department in Arizona State University, says the most common reason to not exercise often is a perception of absence of time.

“This is because the majority of people view exercising as something that takes lots of effort, time and changing clothes. A few short exercises throughout the day could attract people who do not have the desire or time for a large exercise,” he says.

According to Gaesser’s research the mini workouts can consist in 5-10 mins of strolling or strength exercises which do not require a change of clothing.

Research has proven that the accumulation of daily physical activity is as effective in increasing fitness and health as a single workout as long as an equal duration of time dedicated to each.

Could Improve the Adherence to Exercise

The commitment to a fitness program in the long run requires perseverance, patience, and plenty of determination. Mini-workouts can give you all of them!

Many people quit working out before they are able to benefit from exercise. The good news is that shorter sessions during the day can aid in sticking to a regular routine.

A previous study showed that short bursts of exercise — about 10 minutes in duration are equally effective in promoting fitness adherence and weight loss as one long session.

Enhance Your Brain’s Well-Being and Boost Your Mood


“Shorter duration workouts save people time, [allow people to] fit multiple bouts of exercise into a single day, and take advantage of the short-term neurological, physical, and psychological benefits of exercise,” says Ryan Glatt, FAFS, BSc, CPT NBWHC psychometrist, personal coach, and brain health coach at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

In actual fact, Glatt says performing single sessions of exercise (as short as 3-5 minutes) all day long may bring about a temporary boost for the brain and improve mood.

Indeed, one study showed that those who completed a 10-minute session of walking briskly or meditation were happier, when compared with an inactive study class.

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Gaesser and his team carried out a study of a smaller size to examine the impact of brief aerobic workouts and continuous exercise on 24 hour blood pressure in ambulatory conditions.

The researchers found that taking three 10-minute walks throughout the daytime (morning and midday, then late afternoon) decreased blood pressure more than 30 minutes of walking for prehypertensive people.

It will be easier to exercise at higher intensity

The ability to maintain a high level of intensity for long periods of time isn’t an easy task — even for experienced athletes.

This is why short workouts attract fitness enthusiasts at all levels. The shorter duration allows you to train at higher intensity which are not easy or comfortable to sustain for extended periods of time.

Relieve the stress of exercising

“Incorporating shorter workouts into your day can reduce the stress response or fear that some people have towards a workout session,” says Gallucci.

If you look at fitness from this angle the shorter workouts become part of your routine instead of a stressful time in the gym.

Helps to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Based on Christine Ogbonna, DPT, an occupational therapy therapist in Providence Saint John’s Performance Therapy Center Mini exercises help busy individuals reach the fitness targets they have set.

“Shorter workouts allow people with busy schedules to focus on what they can perform in small controlled bouts throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed by committing a huge amount of time to work out,” she adds.

Additionally mini workouts are easy to schedule and more durable to follow and commit to over the long haul. They also enable intense and focused workouts to take place, particularly when you’re distracted.


The top advantages of doing mini-workouts are an improved mood and general health as well as lower blood pressure and improved exercise adhering to.

Drawbacks of Mini-Workouts

“There are really no drawbacks in terms of health benefits”, Gaesser says. Gaesser.

The primary problem is that you’ll need the ability to cool off and warm-up prior to and after every exercise to avoid injuries. Furthermore, he adds the process of building endurance can be difficult due to the limitations set for workout duration.

It’s unclear if brief workouts produce enough calories to have an impact on weight loss, however we know that intense intervals can burn more calories than steady, continuous exercises.

Furthermore, some research suggests that high intensity interval exercise can be beneficial for losing fat.

A very brief study from the past looked at Tabata intervals performed repeatedly versus intermittently. Researchers found that the results on body composition and resting metabolic rate and cardio fitness were much or identical.

No matter how many calories are consumed, for those who do not exercise due to the lack of time, shorter workouts are superior to no exercise even.

In reality, Gaesser says they’ll keep your body healthy and live longer. It’s better to focus on the goal, and make fitness a habit of your life is the best strategy of all, regardless of how you go about doing this.


The benefits of short workouts are far greater than any possible drawbacks.

Tips to Fit in Mini-Exercises

If you’re looking to give some mini-exercises a go but don’t know what to do to make them effective Here are some tips to build a balanced mix of cardio, strength along with movement exercises all day long.

Set out your plans

According to Ogbonna the best method to ensure a balance between cardio, strength, and movement exercises is to create a plan.

“Find a mode of exercise you thoroughly enjoy that will be a relief for you at certain times throughout the day, then, set up your office space, home, even your car to accommodate the exercises you need to perform,” she adds.

Plan your exercise routine for Mini-Workouts

Glatt states that it is beneficial to plan these mini exercise routines, also known as “movement snacks,” as he prefers to refer to them during the day, or just do them when you can find the time. For certain people, setting up an appointment on your calendar is beneficial to be alerted whenever it’s the right time to get moving.

Mix it up

“If you’re breaking up your workouts into multiple, short sessions, try to focus on a different body part and type of exercise each time,” Gallucci suggests. Gallucci.

For instance, the initial exercise could focus on your cardio and core. The second workout can concentrate on your strength and arms and strength, while the final one could concentrate the back as well as flexibility.

“It may not feel like much while you are doing it; however, these small workouts will prove to be just as effective over time,” the trainer states.

Break it up

If you’re already active and want to give short workouts, you can do the standard 30-45-minute exercise and break it into a couple of mini-sessions.

As an example instead of having 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular or strength training session at the end of your workday go for a walk of 15 minutes in the morning, then do the 15-minute yoga or stretching exercise during lunch, and finally, take a 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine after work.

You can break up an hour-long session into 10 3-minute periods of intense activity during the course of your day.

This is a fantastic way to get your child moving in however you want to. For instance, you can do three hours of squats when your child is at play, or keep the dumbbells on your desk, and do 3 sets of one exercise at one time.

Use a format

To increase your cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your muscles, Ogbonna recommends performing exercises using Tabata or HIIT fashion.

Here’s the format to adhere to:

  • 5 exercises
  • Two minutes for each exercise, with a the ratio of work-rest being 1: (30 seconds on 30 seconds off)
  • based upon your level of fitness, ratio of work-rest may be altered based on your fitness level.

To increase your strength and mobility, Ogbonna says to challenge your body with more weights, and focus on your form and form as the exercises are done for shorter time periods.

If 10 minutes are difficult to squeeze in think about shorter, bite-sized exercises.

Here’s a good format to help you perform shorter workouts:

  • Select two to three exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls bodyweight squats, calves lunges or raises or planks.
  • Set your timer for 3 minutes, and then do thirty seconds in one workout followed by 30 seconds of the next. Repeat until the time is done.


Strategies for incorporating mini workouts in your schedule include breaking down a long session into three shorter ones, selecting a body part to concentrate on throughout every workout making a plan ahead, and adhering to a format that you have already designed.

Brief bursts of activity

You’re looking for a few minutes, but don’t know how to proceed?

Here are some suggestions for mini-workouts that are very brief that you can squeeze in when you’re at work, on the phone, around in the house, taking an hour-long break from work or standing by the sidelines during your child’s sporting event or on the playground.

You can select from the list below or make your own. Try to spend 3 minutes movement, 10 times per day.

  • If you live with stairs take 30 seconds to double step-ups every when you go along the stairs. Keep track of the amount of sets you do during the day.
  • No stairs? There’s no problem. Do 30 seconds of bodyweight lunges following every trip to the bathroom in the midst of waiting for the coffee to be brewed or after you rise up from a sitting place.
  • In the workplace, perform thirty seconds of squats following ascending a flight of stairs. When you are in a conference call, or in a break set your timer for 3 minutes , and then do alternate set of 30 second sets of squats. This is followed by 30 secs of Calf raises.
  • On the playground or on the along the sides, set your watch for 3 minutes and perform alternate sets that consist of 30 second pushups with an incline in a chair then 30 secs of knees high. You can also try 3 minutes of walking in a lunge.
  • Keep an assortment of dumbbells beneath your desk while at work. When you’re on the phone or at a break perform bicep curls for 30 seconds, and press your shoulders for 30 seconds. If you’re sitting in a solid chair, you can do 30 seconds of dips of the triceps. The goal is to complete the exercise in 3-5 minutes.

10-Minute Mini-Workouts


In 10-minute chunks of time you can try one of these mini-exercises.

Bodyweight circuit #1

  • 10 bodyweight squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 second plank
  • Bridges with 10 glutes
  • 20 seconds of silence
  • Repeat as many times as you can within 10 minutes

Bodyweight circuit #2

  • 30 seconds of bodyweight squats
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks, or high knees
  • 30-second plank
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • Repeat this 4-5 times

Strength and cardio hill repetitions

  1. Find a hill that is only a little.
  2. You can run or walk up to the top.
  3. Do 10 bodyweight squats, as well as 15 lunges for walking.
  4. Go across the hill.
  5. Repeat the process as many times as is possible for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sample yoga routine

  • The Child’s Pose Repeat 2-3 times, remain for 20-30 seconds.
  • Cat-Cow 10-repeats
  • Chair Pose: 10 repetitions
  • Downward Dog: 8 repetitions
  • Repeat the process and do as many times as you can in 10 minutes.

It’s the bottom line

The process of finding time to exercise is a lot simpler if you break an entire session into bite-sized exercises.

Doing shorter bursts of exercise throughout the day can allow you to build up the required time to adhere to CDC’s minimum physical guidelines for exercise. In addition, mini-exercises can offer the same benefits provided by a long-term session.

We’re all busy , and we know that keeping fit is vital. Be assured that the time you move your body is accumulating, and you’ll benefit from exercising, even if it’s only a small amount at an time. You never know, you could develop a habit within a matter of minutes.

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