One of our healthy habits for this month is to get at least five minutes of purposeful activity in your day, each day. You might be asking, is five minutes of activity really enough to make any difference? The answer is yes!
You probably picture getting your exercise in as a more time-consuming activity, but in fact, even just five minutes is enough to get your heart rate up. The University of Utah concluded in a study from 2013 that all of the short bits of exercise throughout your day add up to a noticeable impact. In the study, they concluded that the intensity of the activity matters much more than the duration of the activity. It doesn’t even matter what activity you do, so long as you get your heart rate up.
You may feel that finding time for even five minutes of exercise is hard with your busy schedule. You work all day, and you get home and have even more to do that by the time you complete your to-do list, you are exhausted and just need some rest. Many people are in this same situation.
Tips to Make Time for Short Exercise
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park in the back of the parking lot at the grocery store. Go for a brisk walk with your dog, with a loved one, or by yourself, around your neighborhood.
If you watch TV, use commercial breaks to your advantage. Pick a commercial break to do jumping jacks, or some other exercise of your choice. You could even do them while you watch TV if you prefer to have the distraction. Or maybe you don’t want to get up from the chair. Try the chair exercises we went over in the latest episode of Community Health Corner!
Set a reminder on your phone to get some physical activity in. If you work in an office building, close your office door and dedicate five minutes to dedicated exercise time. Check out the five-minute office workout linked below! The below workouts aren’t solely for those who need to take a break at the office– anyone can do these exercises at any time!
Other Short Workouts for Your 5-Minute Exercise Session
You don’t need a gym membership to work up a sweat. YouTube has thousands of free videos you can follow along with, so when you feel compelled to do so, try finding one to add to your next session. Some examples from healthline:
- Work your core with XHIT’s 5 Minute Abs routine. You’ll complete a series of five exercises that are each one minute long. Prepare to become an expert at straight-edged planks, hip thrusts, oblique crunches, side planks, and full situps.
- Work your favorite asset with this 5-minute Butt and Thigh Workout by Fitness Blender. You’ll do a variety of squats using the pattern of 40 seconds on with five seconds of rest. These moves will help lift, tone, and strengthen your bottom half so you’ll look better in your jeans and have more power for your daily activities.
- POPSUGAR Fitness shares this 5-Minute Fat-Blasting Bodyweight Workout video for those of you who need an all-over burn. You’ll start with jumping jacks and sprint intervals. Then you’ll move on to pike jumps, scissor jacks, and jumping lunges and squats.
- This 4-minute Tabata workout by Rebekah Borucki has been viewed over 2 million times. It’s part of her series titled “You have four minutes” — and it’s killer. Each exercise in the workout is performed twice, each for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. She suggests doing it as a warmup to a longer routine or as a start to your morning.
Starting with five minutes every day is great for those that are just getting started with their fitness journey and is reasonable for those of you that are so busy that finding time to fit in exercise feels impossible. Remember, when you are comfortable with five minutes of exercise in your day, try to incorporate another five into your day, whether this be with the previous five minutes to total ten minutes in one go, or if you break it up into two five-minute sessions a day.
The point is, getting into exercise does not need to feel scary. In fact, it is completely customizable to yourself and your needs, and can be fun!