Just Five Minutes of Exercise Makes a Difference

If you think you don’t have time to exercise, you may be surprised to hear that just five minutes of activity can make a big difference in your health.

As a matter of fact, a recent study indicates that short bursts of vigorous activity every day like climbing stairs, toting heavy groceries or even amping up the pace of housework can deliver substantial health benefits.

Around 60% of people in the U.S. aren’t regularly active, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This inactivity increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression and early death.

Experts recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activities like walking or gardening, and 75 to 150 minutes per week of more vigorous activity like running or jogging to stay healthy.

But in recent years, a few small studies have observed the impact of brief bursts of high intensity physical activity on health. One study found that just four one-to-two-minute, high-intensity bursts of activity every day lowered the chance of cardiovascular disease by 49%.

Of course, more bouts of physical activity carried much greater benefits.

For a start, try the following five-minute workout each morning and evening on days you are short on time.

  • 15 pushups
  • 15 situps
  • 20 squats
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 30-second plank

Now, all this isn’t the go-ahead to just work out five minutes a day and forget your workout routine. What this means is simple — even the smallest amount of physical activity is better than nothing.

Find a way to work it in. During a commercial, get up and run around the living room. Park far away from the store and speed walk to the entrance.

If you don’t have time in the morning for a proper walk, even a quick sprint around the block makes a difference. Just get moving.