Multiple mini workouts instead of single long ones - personal experience?

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  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
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    There was a large study quite recently which found that short bursts of exercise were as effective for health as longer ones, if they added up to the same amount. Based on this study they are changing the government recommendations which previously were based on the belief that you had to do ten minutes or more before it had a real effect.

    In terms of blood glucose control, studies have found that three ten minute walks following meals were more effective than one thirty minute walk.

    Most posters here are quoting outdated advice. Of course short bursts will not get you running marathons, but that isn't your goal. It's simply incorrect that short bursts accomplish little or nothing, as several people have said here.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
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    There was a large study quite recently which found that short bursts of exercise were as effective for health as longer ones, if they added up to the same amount. Based on this study they are changing the government recommendations which previously were based on the belief that you had to do ten minutes or more before it had a real effect.

    For weight loss. Not for fitness.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
    edited May 2018
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    There was a large study quite recently which found that short bursts of exercise were as effective for health as longer ones, if they added up to the same amount. Based on this study they are changing the government recommendations which previously were based on the belief that you had to do ten minutes or more before it had a real effect.

    In terms of blood glucose control, studies have found that three ten minute walks following meals were more effective than one thirty minute walk.

    Most posters here are quoting outdated advice. Of course short bursts will not get you running marathons, but that isn't your goal. It's simply incorrect that short bursts accomplish little or nothing, as several people have said here.

    @rheddmobile

    Can you post that...I'd be interested. Even when I was just doing a lot of walking I couldn't get my BP down to normal even with meds. I didn't get my BP down to normal until I started cycling regularly. When I was doing a lot of walking, on average it was 135/88 (which wasn't horrible and better than it was sedentary)...my average with regular cycling is 117/78 but still have to take meds.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    yes for fitness, too.
  • CarvedTones
    CarvedTones Posts: 2,340 Member
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    serindipte wrote: »
    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.

    I'm SO glad you said 1 or 2!!!!!! I can push out 5 several times per day, but I have not been able to get a 6th. Pull ups are a no go for me right now, but maybe one day.

    you can put a broom stick across two chairs or tables, lay on the floor and just try to pull your upper body off the ground, then try to get the butt off the floor, Eventually you try to get to full body weight rows, to pull ups w/ assist band, etc.

    That's an easy alternative to my table pull ups with the advantage of something you can close your hand around; I like that idea.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
    edited May 2018
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    just a quick google search and this is what the CDC says:

    "10 minutes at a time is fine
    We know 150 minutes each week sounds like a lot of time, but it's not. That's 2 hours and 30 minutes, about the same amount of time you might spend watching a movie. The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don't have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. It's about what works best for you, as long as you're doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time."

    https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
    edited May 2018
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    here is what Livestrong says:

    Several Short Workouts
    Contrary to what you might think, putting a little time and effort here and there into exercising is enough when you look at the larger picture of health and fitness. The more vigorous your exercise, the more calories you will burn, even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time. Whether you aim for multiple 10-minute sessions or a couple 30-minute workout sessions throughout the day. You can benefit from every moment of exercise. Just remember to accumulate at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Your short workouts should always be, at the very least, segments of 10 minutes. For instance, during your lunch break, by waking up 15 minutes early or even when you are watching television you can perform a short workout with exercises like jump squats, jumping jacks, lunges, pushups and crunches. Also, remember to incorporate both aerobic and resistance training into your weekly physical activity.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
    edited May 2018
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    and the AHA:


    Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. To improve overall cardiovascular health, we suggest at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    From the AHA...
    AHA Recommendation

    For Overall Cardiovascular Health:

    At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150

    OR
    At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

    AND
    Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

    For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
    An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

    Which would go along with my experience treating an existing condition.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,841 Member
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    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    From the AHA...
    AHA Recommendation

    For Overall Cardiovascular Health:

    At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150

    OR
    At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

    AND
    Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.

    For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
    An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

    Which would go along with my experience treating an existing condition.

    Of course that is ideal, but not everyone can do that (nor needs to do that). if you continue reading that page, it says 10-15 minute sessions a few times a day is also beneficial
  • serindipte
    serindipte Posts: 1,557 Member
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    Is it any wonder I love this community? Thanks everyone! You've been great. :smiley:
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
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    Mini workouts AKA grease the groove(GTG) are great for exercise where strength is a minor component. Pushups/pullups are a great example. If you can do 1 or 2, doing 1 or 2 every hour or half hour is a great bridge activity and allows you to increase capacity without over stressing CNS, because the individual load of each session is low and recoverable. It would work for other strength based exercises as well.
    YES!!! Thanks for mentioning this.

    This is a great distinction. The goal with these mini-workouts isn't to burn the same number of calories as a single longer workout. Rather, it's training the CNS without overstressing it or the required muscles. It's why I try to do multiple small sets of pull-ups over the course of a day.
  • NewChapterInMyLife
    NewChapterInMyLife Posts: 757 Member
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    I think it is great what you are doing. Don't let anyone tell you that you won't get results. You are being creative and very smart by incorporating muscle building into everyday tasks. I guarantee you'll get results. I'm sure your aim is not to get to bodybuilder status. You just want to lose weight and get some toning definition. But the more you keep doing this, the better you will feel and eventually, just naturally, will want to take on more. You know what's right for you and what works for you. All of us here on mfp are on different paths w different goals, if you are like me, it's better to start slow and build up so you won't get burnt out or overwhelmed. For others, they may say go hard or go home. But YOU do YOU and i think it sounds fantastic.
  • rileyes
    rileyes Posts: 1,406 Member
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    spartan_d wrote: »
    Five- to fifteen-minute circuits can certainly help somewhat with stamina. That pretty much requires going all out for those periods though, and one will tend to reach the point of diminishing returns fairly quickly.

    For endurance training, there is really no substitute for long periods of hard exercise.

    Also, while the two words are often used interchangeably, stamina generally refers to the ability to use one's muscles (including the heart) at maximum capacity, whereas endurance refers to the ability to exert one's self over longer periods of time. https://www.livestrong.com/article/370329-the-differences-between-stamina-strength-endurance/

    Thanks —the link gave a bit of clarity to different ways of programming. I followed the link into “muscular endurance” which I believe was described as heavy sets of 10-25 reps. When you reach max, increase weights for the sets and work up to more reps. I usually do 4x10-15 push/pull, core, step-up or lunge variations in my short circuits. It helps with my “stamina” for short sprints and quick rebounds in tennis.

    OP: You may want to consider a beginner program. I began with Strong Curves. I learned about programming and variety of exercises. My focus was mainly physique. Then I ran the faster more linear StrongLifts 5x5 program and realized the power missing from my life. A linear strength-training program like Strong Lifts or Starting Strength can help develop that super-hero “power” that has you slamming a ball cross-court or flinging a door open with a brush of a pinky finger. Any of these programs can all help with strength and definition. Compound lifts are the staple of the programs. Strong Curves adds more variety.


  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
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    It is a fine way to get started. Do what works for you now. When you need s change, you will know it. Minis can be a stepping stone to more extensive workouts.
    The challenge is this: you won’t build significant cardio or muscular endurance in shorts bursts because you need longer workouts to build endurance. Strength gains will be minimal long term because you will always be working from a cold state. You need warmed up muscles for progressive gains.

    Nonetheless it’s a great way to get yourself started
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,522 Member
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    I got significantly stronger by doing 15-30 minute workouts with body weight and resistance bands.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    edited May 2018
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    There was a large study quite recently which found that short bursts of exercise were as effective for health as longer ones, if they added up to the same amount. Based on this study they are changing the government recommendations which previously were based on the belief that you had to do ten minutes or more before it had a real effect.

    For weight loss. Not for fitness.

    Incorrect. The study examined all-cause mortality. It's brand new, literally just published. This is the AHA, not some fly-by-night study. The CDC is reconsidering its recommendations as we speak in light of this study.

    @cwolfman13 - here ya go.

    http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/7/6/e007678
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
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    Mortality and fitness (or lack thereof) are not the same thing.