Long Life and Health
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Aging Fitness

Micro-Workouts Make a Huge Impact!

A new study has discovered the benefits of so-called “micro-workouts” for older adults.

Let’s face it, as we get older, for many of us, it just becomes difficult to be as active as we once were in our younger days. We know intuitively the health benefits of exercise, but oftentimes, “the mind may be willing, but the body is weak.” 

Will You Succeed or Fail at Health and Fitness as You Get Older?

However, take heart; a new study has found that even very small amounts of movement can be good for seniors. If you have just five minutes, you can benefit from a “micro-workout.” 

Although a traditional workout is designed to last about 20-30 minutes, recent research shows that high-intensity exercise lasting even as little as 1-2 minutes can have cardiovascular and insulin resistance benefits. 

In one study, a 10-minute “micro-workout” three times per week increased endurance by nearly 20 percent, and participants had increased insulin resistance at the end of the study.

A large study linked longer life spans with running as little as 5 minutes a day! The overarching theme of all of these studies seems to be that some movement is better than no movement and that every little movement bit counts.

Here are some good examples of “micro-workouts.”

  • Squatting for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds, and repeating this 5 times at 3 different times throughout the day.
  • Doing 30 jumping jacks followed by 30 squats, resting for 10 seconds, and repeating this 3 times.
  • If limited mobility, weakness, or pain limits the exercise you can do, try out some of these moves specifically for older adults:

The researchers say the key to benefiting from micro-workouts is to realize that anything that gets your heart rate up, even for a little bit, is good for you.

Set an alarm on your phone or smartwatch, add a reminder to your calendar to stand up and move at least once every hour, or download an app that will automatically remind you.

These behaviors may initially seem overwhelming – but over time, these habits will become second nature as you integrate daily movement into your lifestyle.

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