Will Multiple Small Workouts a Day be Effective?

by Deborah McConnell

July 23, 2012 // Category: Fitness Advisor

Lack of time and motivation seem to be the most common roadblocks for not participating in a regular exercise program for many people nowadays. The recent  economic times have caused many people to take on more than one job to make ends meet. If you fall into this category and cannot even fathom having time to exercise, it is time to rethink your exercise strategy now.

A common misconception is that one has to spend countless hours in the gym to gain any health benefit. According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) recommendations, most adults need to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Key points that ACSM adds are:

  • Exercise can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
  • One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.

These guidelines help people understand how even a little goes a long way. Breaking up exercise sessions could have several benefits, including:

  • Finding 10-15 minutes in the morning or during lunch break for exercise, such as a brisk walk, can be much easier than blocking off an entire hour.
  • During and after exercise, your metabolism will increase. Doing two shorter workout sessions in one day will help keep your internal engines fuming.
  • Realizing that you are not getting ready to spend one to two hours in the gym can help motivate you and help you stick with a routine. It’s easier to anticipate and participate in two shorter bouts of exercise.

Try early morning cardio exercise before breakfast and the workday and then finish out your day by a post-work or end of the day resistance training session or yoga class. I have an extremely busy schedule. I find that if I split up my cardio and resistance training in the day, I am much more consistent with my exercise, as well as more motivated to get the gym and knock out a great workout.

Other tips for getting in quick workouts:

  • Keep a small clean up kit in your gym bag: baby wipes, extra makeup, deodorant and dry shampoo
  • Store your gym bag and an extra set of clothes in your car to get a workout in whenever the opportunity arises.
  • Find a friend to go with you on quick walks or runs during lunch.
  • Keep a few quick, total-body workouts in your back pocket to do at home

Remember that everyone is unique. Find a time that works for your schedule and go from there. And keep pressing forward. Don’t dwell on past failures; focus on the here and now and what your daily schedule is composed of.

You can do it. Make a decision and start today.

 
Deborah McConnell
 

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