Benefits of Micro Workout Exercises
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Setting aside time for a workout can be challenging. Many of us often feel that there's not enough time in the day to do everything. Going to the gym can feel like a luxury we can't afford, even though exercise is an essential aspect of our health and wellbeing. Exercise helps prevent weight gain, decrease the risk of heart disease, enhances sleep quality, improves insulin sensitivity, and keeps us feeling happy and calm.
Fitting in some physical activity is crucial in attaining a work-life balance. The best way to start is to change the way we think about exercise. The days when working out was limited to the gym have passed. Try embracing the idea of completing micro-workouts throughout the day, no gym required.
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What are Micro-Workouts, aka HIIT?
Micro-workouts are also referred to as HIIT (high-intensity interval training), an exercise involving several sets of exercises in short bursts, followed by a rest period. Sessions usually last between 10 and 30 minutes in total, including a warm-up and cool down.
The benefits of Micro HIIT workouts have been recently supported in The American College of Sports Medicine Journal study, which found that seven minutes of intense HIIT exercise is sufficient to reap the fitness benefits. Micro HIIT workouts have broad appeal for several reasons. It’s much easier to work at max-effort for shorter periods, and the benefits remain mainly the same, which helps to boost your metabolism not just during your working, but even for some time post-workout.
Micro HIIT exercises are a great way to keep your fitness in check as they require a lot of power and stamina to get through. This type of training helps boost your heart rate and improve your lung capacity and stamina. Micro-workouts also offer a wide range of other positive physical and mental health benefits, such as:
Rapid Weight Loss
If your goal is weight loss, then the increased calorie burning makes HIIT right for you. Numerous studies have demonstrated that interval training effectively reduces total fat, abdominal fat, and visceral fat despite these micro-workouts' short duration. This result is significant because visceral fat lines human organs. Accumulation behind the abdominal wall leads to numerous health problems, including an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
HIIT burns more calories in less time than low or moderate-intensity continuous exercise for beginners, which shouldn't come as a shock––higher effort output equals more calories burned. This means you can get the same benefit from a 30-minute workout as an hour's workout.
Additionally, interval training combines both aerobic activities (like jumping jacks or a brisk walk) and resistance training (like pushups, lifting weights, or squats), increasing your metabolic rate for the rest of the day, which means more calories are burned even after you stop exercising! Interestingly enough, it only occurs in the combination of both aerobic activity and resistance training.
Related: What Muscles Do Push-Ups Work?
Improved Fitness and Endurance
Many people experience discomfort when starting a new workout routine, as it takes time for the respiratory system to adjust. High-intensity interval training has been shown to create rapid, measurable improvements in VO2max, the amount of oxygen you can breathe in, and utilize during your workout.
HIIT has also been shown to improve all cardiorespiratory fitness levels more effectively than moderate-intensity continuous activity. An increase in cardiorespiratory fitness will make exercising more comfortable. More importantly, an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness can also decrease your overall risk of morbidity and mortality.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Many studies have demonstrated that high-intensity interval training positively affects blood pressure. When compared to continuous moderate-intensity exercise, interval training significantly reduces blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Even only one session of interval training has been shown to deliver measurable improvements. In a recent study, researchers measured patients' blood pressure with heart failure before and after they engaged in a 36-minute session of HIIT. In these sessions, patients ran on a treadmill at high intensity for 4 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of recovery.
After just a 30 minute workout, these patients exhibited statistically significant improvements in blood pressure. Maintaining these improvements, the patients would most likely have to engage in regular training, but, notably, even just one HIIT session can result in measurable health improvements.
Decreased Insulin Resistance
High-intensity interval training has also been shown to improve glucose control and decrease insulin resistance as a longer-duration moderate continuous exercise in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It's well known that exercise is hugely beneficial in managing type 2 diabetes, and these results are quite promising for individuals who are struggling to find time to workout.
Don’t have time for a long workout? Download the Push App for intense micro workouts to strengthen your body and build your core.