In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for physical activity can be a challenge. However, incorporating micro workouts into your daily routine can be a game-changer. Micro-workouts are short bursts of physical activity that can have a big impact on your overall fitness level and well-being.
Whether you have busy schedules, lack of time, or simply want to add more exercise to your daily routine, micro-workouts can be the solution.
In this blog, we will explore what micro-workouts are, how they work, the science behind them, and how to fit them into a busy schedule.
What are micro workouts and how do they work?
Micro workouts are short bursts of physical activity that can be as short as a few seconds or as long as a few minutes. They involve exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, squats, and other bodyweight exercises. The idea behind micro-workouts is to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, regardless of how busy you are. Instead of setting aside specific training sessions or workout routines, micro-workouts allow you to perform quick exercises throughout the day.
Whether you’re aiming for weight loss, muscle strength, or cardiovascular benefits, micro-workouts can help you reach your goals. They provide an opportunity to elevate your heart rate, work different muscle groups, and improve your overall fitness.
The Science Behind Micro workouts
Recent research has shed light on the science behind micro-workouts and their benefits. It has been found that even short bursts of physical activity can have a positive impact on overall health. Micro-workouts can contribute to weight loss, muscle strength, and cardiovascular health.
Micro workouts use the same base as HIIT workouts. A 2017 study published in the Cell Metabolism journal indicated that 12 weeks of High Intensity Interval Training could reverse ageing on a cellular level. It also boosts insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, and cardiovascular health.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, and micro-workouts offer an efficient way to meet this recommendation.
The Advantages of Micro workouts
Now that we understand what micro workouts are and how they work, let’s explore the advantages they offer.
According to a 2020 study, the cumulative effect of repeated micro workouts can improve your cardiovascular health by up to 43% compared to sedentary behavior.
One of the greatest advantages of micro-workouts is the time factor. In today’s busy world, finding time for longer workouts can be challenging.
Micro workouts, as the name implies, are exceedingly short, lasting between 2 and 6 minutes. This means you can do a micro workout while brewing your morning coffee or waiting for a work update. One of the most significant benefits of micro workouts is their brief duration.
When workouts are short, you can fit in 2-3 micro workouts every day. Lack of time for a workout is a significant barrier to getting enough exercise. Micro workouts eliminate this excuse by forcing you to make the most of your limited time each day.
Micro-workouts also emphasize intensity, which can lead to greater fitness gains. These short bursts of physical activity focus on quick, high-intensity exercises.
Micro workouts follow the same premise as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
This means you’ll be working yourself quite hard for brief periods of activity. In previous blogs we discussed the benefits of HIIT in great detail.
Short, intense bursts of exercise have been shown to improve cardiovascular and respiratory health more effectively than lengthier, low-intensity workouts.
The intensity of micro-workouts can be adjusted to match your fitness level. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, you can tailor the intensity of micro-workouts to suit your needs.
The metabolic effects of HIIT exercise are long-lasting, increasing your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your session. The intensity of micro workouts compresses the benefits of interval training into a shorter duration.
In addition to time and intensity, micro-workouts offer variety, helping you stay engaged in your fitness routine.
Another benefit of keeping your workouts short and sweet is that you can experiment with a variety of exercises.
- You could do bodyweight workouts such as push-ups, planks, and squats. You could also perform some barbell exercises, such as deadlifts, weighted squats, or bench presses.
- You can target different muscle groups by incorporating various bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups.
- You can include cardio moves like sprints, jumping jacks, or burpees to elevate your heart rate and improve endurance.
By mixing up the exercises in your micro-workouts, you can challenge your body in different ways, preventing boredom and promoting overall fitness.
Some Sample Micro workouts You Can Do
Ready to give micro-workouts a try? Here are some sample exercises you can incorporate into your routine.
- Pushups-Squats X3 – Perform three sets of 15-20 pushups and 10-15 squats consecutively or until failure.
- Burpees-Lunges X3. Three sets of 12-15 burpees and 12-15 lunges will give your hamstrings and calves a serious workout.
- Plank for a minute and thirty seconds. A minute and a half plank will improve your core while also working up a good sweat.
Apart from this you can also follow:
- Perform bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups in short bursts. Aim for a certain number of reps in each set, and gradually increase the reps over time.
- Try quick cardio sessions with exercises like sprinting in place, jumping jacks, or high knees. Perform these exercises for a set period of time, such as 30 seconds, and alternate with periods of rest.
- Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises into your micro-workouts. This involves short bursts of vigorous exercise followed by short periods of rest. For example, alternate between burpees, mountain climbers, and jump squats.
Creating a Micro-Workout Plan for You Busy Schedule
To make the most out of micro-workouts, it’s important to create a plan that aligns with your fitness goals. Here are a few sample micro-workout plans:
1. The 7-Minute Workout:
This workout is designed to be done in 7 minutes, with 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest for each exercise. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
- Jumping jacks
- Wall squats
- Push-ups (modified if needed)
- Abdominal crunches
- Step-ups (right leg)
- Step-ups (left leg)
2. The 10-Minute Cardio Blast:
This workout is designed to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. Do each exercise for 1 minute, with 30 seconds of rest in between. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
- High knees
- Butt kicks
- Jumping jacks
- Mountain climbers
- Burpees (modified if needed)
- Jumping rope
3. The 5-Minute Strength Workout:
This workout is designed to build muscle and strength. Do each exercise for 10-12 repetitions, with 30 seconds of rest in between. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
- Push-ups (modified if needed)
- Rows (using water bottles or cans)
- Tricep dips (using a chair or bench)
How effective are micro workouts?
Micro workouts can have a significant impact on fitness and overall health. Short bursts of physical activity, even just a few minutes, can yield positive results. Incorporating micro workouts into your daily routine is convenient and can be tailored to your goals and commitment level.
Let’s Sum Up
In conclusion, micro-workouts are a game-changer for those leading busy lives. Incorporating short bursts of physical activity throughout the day provides numerous benefits, including increased energy levels, improved mood, and enhanced overall fitness.
By finding pockets of time in your schedule, whether it’s during work breaks or while waiting for appointments, you can easily squeeze in a quick workout. The key is to focus on intensity and variety to maximize the effectiveness of these short workouts.
So, start incorporating micro-workouts into your daily routine and experience the big impact they can have on your life.