Why Even a 5-Minute Workout Reaps Major Results

Shannon Farrell
TongRo Images/Getty Images

TongRo Images/Getty Images

For most of us, committing to daily hour-long workouts can be just about impossible to manage. When life (read: work, family, friends) gets in the way, set aside just five minutes of your day to work up a sweat. It may not seem like enough time, but it will produce results.

“Research has shown that you get health benefits from five-minute chunks of exercise,” says Diane Harrison, an AFAA Group Exercise Certified Instructor and founder of RockSweat, a Los Angeles-based workout. “High intensity interval training is the answer. These cardio exercises bring up the heart rate and utilize many large muscle groups, resulting in a full body workout.”

After this brief—but intense!—excursion, excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) occurs, which means that the body continues to burn energy and calories at a faster rate than normal. This means you continue to take in more oxygen to help the body return to its resting state. This can last for hours after your workout, and you can achieve it with just five minutes of exercise. To make the most of your short window, follow one of Harrison’s workouts below, no complicated equipment necessary.

Workout 1
— 1 minute burpees (from standing go into plank, jump feet in, jump to standing)
— 20 second rest
— 1 minute jack planks (in plank position on hands, jump legs out and in)
— 20 second rest
— 1 minute tuck jumps (at standing position, jump up, getting knees high in air)
— 20 second rest
— 1 min alternating lunge jumps (start with one leg forward, jump up, switch legs and land)

Workout 2
— 1 minute high knees (alternating knees up)
— 20 second rest
— 1 minute mountain climbers (plank position on hands, alternate knees in towards chest)
— 20 second rest
— 1 minute skaters (lateral move from one foot to the other, bending at waist)
— 20 second rest
— 1 min fast run

Workout 3
— 1 minute broad jumps (jump forward with both legs together for distance)
— 20 second rest
— 1 minute spiders (plank position on hand alternate knees towards outside of elbow)
— 20 second rest
— 1 minute shuffle (alternate one foot forward, one back)
— 20 second rest
— 1 min frog jumps (squat down to ground and propel into air)

Read more: 10 Weight Loss Motivation Phrases That Will Get You Going in No Time

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