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5 Minute Workout - Lame or Legit?

5 Minute Workout - Lame or Legit?

We live in a busy world where not everybody has the luxury of blocking out a whole hour in their day for exercise. Days can seem to just evaporate when you have to work, travel, prepare meals, get enough sleep, and maybe take care of a few cute kids. 

Many might ask, is it worth my time to squeeze in a 5-minute workout now and then throughout the week? 

The answer is - Absolutely, Yes! Let’s explore why and how.

Every Minute Counts 

A study at the University of Utah showed that minutes of intense exercise sprinkled throughout your day count towards your total weekly exercise time. The average person should aim for 150 minutes of exercise over the week, so 5 minutes here and there are perfectly valid contributions to reaching that ultimate 150-minute goal! 

For participating women in the study, every daily minute of high-intensity exercise in short periods was connected to “a decrease of .07 BMI”. In other terms, “each such minute offset the calorie equivalent of .41 pounds.” That’s significant! And it shows how every single minute of exercise positively impacts your body. 

There’s also research to suggest that every minute of exercise burns about 20 calories. That means 5 minutes of working out will burn around 100 calories! The ‘afterburn effect’ is also something to consider. When you work out, your body will continue to burn calories and fat for up to 48 hours afterward. This means that a short spout of exercise may trigger a long afterburn that will keep you feeling good for hours afterward! 

Keeping the Momentum

Being active isn’t about being perfect. It’s about staying moving and feeling good in your body and mind. One reason 5-minute workouts are noteworthy is because they are simply better than not working out at all! They also help you keep your physical and mental momentum going.

Exercise researcher Michael Joyner M.D at Mayo Clinic says, “A 5-to-10 minute workout if done consistently, coupled with building as much cardio into your daily life by doing things like walking the dog and taking the stairs every chance you get, can all add up to get you in shape. Maybe not in enough shape to do an Iron Man, but definitely in shape.”

Greasing the Groove

Most people think that there’s some magical reason why a "full workout routine” is the best way to get results and stay in shape. The truth is, people who just commit to moving more in general tend to be healthier and more fit. The concept of greasing the groove, made popular by fitness guru Pavel Tsatsouline, is all about getting stronger by accumulating lower intensity repetitions throughout the day. Believe it or not, our body actually gets stronger this way without as much fatigue or soreness normally associated with a hard training session. A perfect example of this would be performing 3 sets of 50% effort push ups spaced out and randomly throughout the day (aka 5 reps if your max amount of pushups is 10). 


Examples of Effective 5-Minute Workouts

  1. Go up and down a hill or flight of stairs at a brisk pace for 5 minutes
  2. Cleaning the house with a few push-ups added in the mix
  3. Pull out a few resistance bands for a quick and simple training session
  4. Here is a favorite 5-minute workout of ours:
  • 1 minute marching in place and jumping jacks
  • 15 seconds pushups
  • 15 seconds rest
  • 15 seconds squats (bodyweight or resisted)
  • 15 seconds
  • 30 seconds push ups / plank
  • 30 seconds squats (bodyweight or resisted)
  • 30 seconds push ups / plank
  • 30 seconds squats (bodyweight or resisted)
  • 30 seconds push ups / plank
  • 30 seconds squats (bodyweight or resisted)
  • DONE!

Do What You Can! 

The last thing we want is for you to finish the day feeling sluggish, lazy or guilty about not crushing your workout. Focus on doing what you can and doing it well! At the end of the week, the little bouts of movement will add up to seven days of well-intentioned and manageable physical activity. 

Be creative, stay committed, and be proud of your accomplishments! 

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