Use Shorter Workouts to Build Consistency

Most experts recommend that you engage in up to 90 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, emphasizing that you gradually work your way up to that duration. However, a recent study conducted at Boston Sports Clubs found that participants who exercised for 20-30 minutes did so more consistently than those involved in 45-60 minute workout sessions. This study shows that you’re more likely to stick to a shorter duration workout than a longer one. 

Action Sparked
If you’re having trouble staying consistent with exercise (and most of you tell us you are ), try a shorter workout session. Tell yourself that you’ll exercise for 10 or 15 minutes, and follow through with it. Of course 10 minutes of exercise is better than totally skipping a workout. But, once you’ve hit that small goal (whether it’s 5, 10, or 20 minutes), ask yourself if you could keep going. You may find that planning on a short workout is enough to get you to the gym, and once you’re there, you can do a lot more than you thought.

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Member Comments

Thanks for sharing Report
Thank you Coach Nicole for Putting an emphasis on shorter workouts Report
This concept works well for me. Report
very useful tips Report
Good to know. Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
Never taught. Thank you
Report
This approach works! When I got back into exercise I was working and found that taking 10 - 15 min walks during the day got me moving. Report
Like this...another one I pinned. I think I might have missed the first one I wanted to pin Report
I can see how this can work Report
Small changes lead to big changes and big changes lead to results. Report
This is a great article. Thanks so much Coach Nicole. Report
ETHELMERZ
This article makes common sense, no matter if you are health challenged or not! Do whatever exercise your body and health allows, do it more often if you can, but if you can only do 10 min, at least you did that. Quit complaining that the majority of articles are for the average person, just do what you can. Just do it. I ride an exercise bike every day.... Report
I'm gonna write this in caps because it's so important.
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS ARTICLE. SETTING 10 MINUTES OF EXERCISE AS YOUR GOAL IS ACHIEVABLE DAILY, AND IT REMOVES THAT UNPRODUCTIVE GUILTY FEELING YOU USUALLY HAVE WHEN YOU SET YOUR GOALS TOO LOFTY.
When I got back involved with Spark in October, I took this advice. I set my goal for AT LEAST 10 minutes. I almost always did 30, but I knew if I couldn't, I would still be meeting my goals and succeeding. Doing this for the entire month of October changed my life. Really. I have now learned to be CONSISTENT for the first time in my life. Report
Once again, articles are contradictory. This article says short workouts are good, but in the article "Hard Truths About Exercising", it says if you're not working out for at least 60 min. at 60-80% target heart rate, you're not exercising. You can't have it both ways. I do wish Sparkpeople would get their act together and be consistent. What about people who can't exercise for more than 10 minutes? Report


 

About The Author

Nicole Nichols
Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.
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