Are you looking for a new way to stay fit but struggle to find enough time to do it? Micro workouts may be the answer. These easy, quick routines are designed for busy people with little time to exercise. Micro workouts are short bursts of physical activity that can be done almost anywhere. They usually last one to two minutes and involve simple exercises like jumping jacks, planks, and squats.
When done regularly, research shows these micro workouts can help you meet the CDC's recommended two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Plus, they're more likely to fit into your busy life than longer workouts. This post will examine why micro workouts benefit heart health and provide tips on incorporating them into your daily routine.
What Are Micro Workouts?
Micro workouts are shorter and less time-consuming (10 minutes vs. 60 minutes). While they can be more intense than traditional workouts, they don’t need to be. A micro workout is a workout that involves 10 minutes of focused, intense work followed by a rest period.
They are known in the fitness world as "exercise snacks" and are meant to work for people with time constraints. They involve short bursts of exercise that anyone can do between activities or during breaks throughout the day. Examples include doing push-ups, squats, pull-ups, and other bodyweight exercises.
Do micro workouts involve high-intensity interval training?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of intense activity followed by rest periods. Micro workouts are similar, but they typically don't include the same level of intensity as HIIT. While mini-exercises can be done at a high intensity, it's not necessary to get the benefits.
An example of a HIIT workout on a stationary bike would involve two short bouts of cycling as fast as possible with high resistance for 30 seconds, followed by several minutes of slow, easy cycling with low resistance. Most people consider this cycle as one repetition of HIIT, and you would usually complete 4-6 repetitions in one session. The duration of your exercise and recovery periods will depend on the activity you select and the intensity of your workout.
Can you lose weight with micro workouts?
Micro workouts are trending on social media networks like TikTok and Instagram, with many claiming they can help you lose weight. Research suggests that mini-exercises throughout the day can help you boost your metabolism and gain muscle, leading to weight loss in as little as 4 minutes. In addition, these short workouts build muscle more effectively than one hour-long training session.
With these activities, anyone can build strength and improve their endurance by keeping their heart rate up. However, mini-exercises aren't for building muscle like weight-lifters may want, but they could still serve as a great warm-up.
The Science Behind Micro Workouts
Research has shown that micro workouts can be as effective as longer, more traditional exercises to improve overall health and fitness and battle heart disease. For example, preliminary research finds that a mini exercise could boost fat metabolism by 43%, comparable to results from longer exercise sessions. Additionally, micro workouts have been found to burn fat and increase energy levels and productivity throughout the day.
According to a recently published study in the European Heart Journal spanning seven years, individuals who engage in vigorous exercise for 19 minutes each week have a 40% lower risk of developing heart disease.
Simple Micro Workouts To Try
You can perform several micro workouts at home, gym, or office. If you need a little inspiration for your micro exercises, here are some easy bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere:
- 10 push-ups, bicep curls, and chin-ups
- 15 bodyweight squats
- 5 pull-ups using a doorway pull-up bar
- 10-15 minutes of jogging in place or jumping jacks
- 30 seconds of planks or mountain climbers
If you want to challenge yourself, try other HIIT exercises, including burpees or jump squats. The point of micro workouts is to get your body moving and participate in some form of vigorous movement, so the type of workout doesn’t matter as much as getting the blood flowing and muscles working. Micro activities can be done anywhere, anytime, and are perfect for those who don't have a lot of time to exercise.
The Benefits of Micro Workouts
The main benefit of incorporating micro workouts into your daily routine is that they don't require a lot of time or effort. They can easily fit into even the busiest schedule, making them an ideal option for those with limited time for exercise. In addition, micro workouts can boost energy levels and productivity throughout the day, allowing you to do more in less time.
Plan three mini-workouts spread throughout the day to improve your overall health. Instead of waiting for random free time, schedule your workouts at specific times, such as before work, during lunch, and in the evening while watching TV.
How to Incorporate Micro Workouts into Your Routine
If you want to try out micro workouts, you can incorporate them into your routine in several ways. Start by setting aside 10-15 minutes for your daily micro workout session. During this time, focus on one type of exercise, such as push-ups, squats, or pull-ups, and aim for three sets with eight repetitions each set.
You can also add other exercises, such as jumping jacks, burpees, or mountain climbers if you want to mix it up more. Finally, don’t forget to take regular breaks throughout the day to give yourself time to rest and recover from your micro workout session.
Tips For Making Micro Workouts A Habit
To make these workouts a routine, set aside dedicated time each day and stick to that schedule. Additionally, consider setting up an alarm or reminder on your phone to help you stay on track. Finally, work on tracking your progress to help you stay motivated and see your improvements over time.
Making micro workouts a regular part of your daily routine takes dedication and consistency. Here are some tips to help you make it happen:
- Schedule Your Micro Workouts – set aside a specific time to do each day so they become part of your routine.
- Find an Accountability Partner – having someone who will hold you accountable for sticking with your routine will help keep you motivated and on track with your goals.
- Start Small – if you’re new to exercising, start with shorter sessions and gradually work up to longer ones so you don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.
Tips for Stay-at-Home-Moms
As a stay-at-home mom, you may feel like you don’t have the time to fit in a complete workout, but micro workouts can range from 10-minute HIIT sessions to simple exercises like squats and push-ups that anyone can do while multitasking. Not only do micro activities help you stay active, but they also boost your energy levels and productivity.
To make micro workouts part of your routine while caring for your children, start by finding small pockets during the day. For example, try doing some jumping jacks or squats while cooking dinner, or take a quick walk around the block with the stroller. If you can access outdoor space, try doing some yoga poses or running drills outside for convenience.
You could even turn on a dance video for yourself and your kids – it’ll be fun for everyone.
Remember that taking care of yourself is as important as caring for your family. A few minutes of movement daily will make a big difference to your health and well-being in the long run. So don’t be afraid to take time out for yourself – it will pay off.
Tips for Medical Professionals
For medical professionals with busy schedules, micro workouts provide an effective way to stay fit and build muscle without sacrificing valuable time. To get started, medical professionals should determine their fitness goals and create a plan that works for them. The program could include bike sprints, kettlebell HIIT, bodyweight HIIT, push-ups, squats, planks, and more.
When creating a routine, it's important to consider timing and frequency based on individual lifestyle needs and preferences. For instance, if you have a few minutes between appointments or during lunch break at work, you can use this time to do quick exercises. Additionally, consistency is critical in micro workouts—even if you only have five minutes each day for exercise, doing something is better than nothing.
Tips for Workaholics
As a workaholic, finding the time to fit in, exercise, and maintain your fitness can be difficult. But no matter how many days a week you work, micro workouts can work for you. If you're a workaholic looking for ways to incorporate micro-workouts into your daily routine, here are some strategies you can use:
- Take brief breaks throughout the day by doing quick exercises like squats or planks.
- Use workout apps or streaming services to access short workouts that you can do at home or on the go.
- Utilize ergonomic products such as standing desks or adjustable chairs that allow you to do simple exercises while working.
- Set timers throughout the day as reminders to take short breaks for exercise.
- Ensure you have all the necessary equipment ready so that when it's time for your workout, you don't have to waste any time getting started.
Making a Micro Workout Plan Work for You
With the right tools and motivation, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to achieve your fitness goals, even with a busy schedule. Micro-workouts are an effective way to get the most out of your limited time, and with the right plan, you can make them work for you. Start by setting realistic goals and creating a plan that works for you.
Consider your available time, fitness level, exercise preferences, and any other factors that could influence your routine. Then, when creating a plan, schedule regular workouts throughout the week and factor in rest days for recovery. With dedication and the right strategy, you can make micro-workouts an effective tool for achieving your fitness goals.