Is 15 Minutes of Exercise a Day Enough?
With everyone always feeling so busy, physical activity often gets pushed down the to-do list in favor of work, family, and personal responsibilities. But, that’s no excuse for not exercising–and that’s why more and more people are doing everything they can to squeeze just a few minutes of cardio into their routine.
Anything is better than nothing, but is 15 minutes of cardio really enough to see results? The answer: Yes! Even with just 15 minutes a day, you are going to see results–so long as you choose the right workout routine.
Cardio is able to get your heart rate up and pumping in no time, which immediately translates to increased calorie burn. Cardio is also known as the best fat burner. And, at 15 minutes a day, you’ll be getting in about 105 minutes of exercise per week–or more than 420 every month! If you’re doing an acidity like jump rope, which can burn up to 920 calories an hour, you could be burning over 6,440 calories each month, which adds up to nearly 2 pounds of fat loss.
Here’s another way to put it: at 15 minutes a day, you’ll be working out for about 7 hours each month, which is a major step in the right direction. While you won’t be getting incredible “overnight” results from adding 15 minutes of exercise to your routine each day, you will certainly see a difference if you keep it up. And, if you pair this exercise with other healthy changes–like healthy eating–you will be well on your way to weight loss in no time at all.
So, even if you just have 15 minutes a day to spare, it’s easy to see how even the little things can add up to big differences in the way you look and feel.
Does 15 Minutes of Cardio Have Any Impact?
If you are looking to get healthy, you’ll surely feel inspired to incorporate more cardio into your routine, but with so many of us pressed for time, it can be tough to fit in a 30, 45 or 60 minute workout. In fact, most novices couldn’t imagine even pushing through a workout that long–so is 15 minutes enough to even see a difference? The answer: absolutely!
While 15 minutes of cardio won’t help you win any competitions, it can certainly help you cut extra fat and tone up your entire body. The right cardio workout could have you burning as many as a few hundred calories in that amount of time, which should be enough to undo a light lunch if you’re eating the right foods. With that, you should have no issues keeping your calories in check even if you’re only working out for 15 minutes a day.
However, if you do want to see big results with only 15 minutes, you need to remember two things: commitment and effort. You need to commit to putting in all the effort you can for that entire 15 minute period in order to make the most of your time. You also need to commit to a eating cleaner and watching what you eat, because 15 minutes is not enough to undo unhealthy eating habits or overeating.
If you are looking for some exercises to do within your 15 minute workout timeframe, there are many you can choose that burn a good amount of calories. However, you’ll want to switch things up to ensure you don’t get bored or overwork any certain muscle group. Luckily for you, you can pickup any of the following workouts to enjoy a high calorie burn:
● Jumping rope burns up to 990 calories an hour
● Running up hills or stairs burns up to 946 calories an hour
● Kickboxing burns up to 864 calories an hour
● Cycling burns up to 841 calories an hour
● Running burns up to 839 calories an hour
● Stationary bikes burn up to 738 calories an hour
Also, remember that it’s not all about how many calories you burn–cardio also has other key advantages. For instance, cardio will help you build endurance overtime and it will also give your muscles a good workout. Plus, cardio can also help you increase your speed or strength.
15 Minute Workouts Checklist:
With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommending 150 minutes of moderate exercising per week, that breaks down into five 30-minute sessions. So can half of that daily recommendation be possibly enough? The answer is yes, but you must trade intensity for time. Let’s look at some of the benefits of a HIIT routine.
• Get the same results as a longer workout, but in half the time.
• Burn more calories.
• Increase longevity.
• Manage weight.
• Slow down cellular aging.
• Good for the brain.
And these benefits happen to be the same ones most people want from their exercise program.
☐ Ways to Maximize Your Workouts :
As mentioned before, the trade-off with shorter workouts is increasing the intensity. The term for this workout strategy is High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. Almost any workout can be adapted into a HIIT-style workout by taking a steady-state exercise and modifying it into an intense work/rest cycle. For example, instead of walking at a steady rate of 3 mph for 30-minutes, sprint for 30 seconds as fast as you can, rest for one minute by walking slowly, then sprint again. Keep up this work/rest cycle for 15 minutes. You’ll get at least as much benefit as doing steady state of not more in half the time.
☐ 15-Minute Workout Plans :
A sample workout would be two to three days of high intensity strength training and two to three days of high-intensity cardio per week. Just ensure the same muscles are not worked two consecutive days in a row. With the high intensity factor, you can get by exercising 4 days per week.
☐ Warming Up & Cooling Down:
Two steps in a workout that many new to exercising and even some seasoned professionals skip is both warming up and cooling down. Both steps are important and should not be taken likely or skipped. By not doing either, you are increasing your risk for an injury or putting undue stress on your heart.
☐ Warming Up:
Warming up should happen right before starting your actual workout. Usually warming up involves doing some light steady-state cardio that works the large muscle groups, such as walking or biking at a brisk pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Swimming, rowing or jogging are also good alternative warm-up activities.
☐ Cooling Down:
Cooling down is in most cases the same as warming up. It can either be the same activities for the same amount of time as the warm-up or it can be dynamic or static stretching of the muscles worked. While cooling down has not been proven to prevent or reduce muscle soreness, it has been proven to increase joint flexibility by allowing the joint to move through its full range of motion.