If you’re pushed for time, or simply want more bang for your buck, embrace a few sessions of short, intense workouts.
Why? A 15 minute workout may not sound a lot but according to research in the European Journal of Applied Physiology clocking those few minutes reaps a mega-load of health benefits.
EXCHANGE FAT FOR MUSCLE
Doing basic resistance moves that work every major muscle is enough to see significant improvement – losing fat and gaining muscle – in just 8 weeks. Spend 15 minutes doing squats, chest press, plank and reverse lunges and watch the fat melt away.
BOOST CALORIE BURNING
A short, intense strength workout will continue torching calories long after you’ve left the gym. One study showed that just 11 minutes of strength training, 3 days a week, is enough to increase your calorific after-burn effect to help you keep extra fat at bay.
FIT INTO YOUR CLOTHES
After the age of 20 your body will begin to lose half a pound of muscle a year. Considering muscle burns five times more calories than fat, it’s not surprising weight can creep on over the decades and you suddenly can’t fit into your skinny jeans! So maintain your muscle with 15 minutes of strength training, 3 times a week.
Tough workouts make you sleep better, according to Australian research. Committing to 8 weeks of intense total-body resistance training helped people boost their sleep quality, sleep longer and nod off faster. Sleep may also provide the key to weight loss, so make sure you get your 8 hours a night.
Resistance training and high intensity workouts such as these top 5 exercises for a full body workout or this 5 minute glute workout are excellent for building stronger bones. After the age of 35 women lose 1 percent of bone mass per year, increasing 3-fold after the menopause, so get into that workout habit early!
REDUCE RISK OF STROKE, CANCER AND DIABETES
Your heart benefits from any exercise, and studies show that short sessions of strength training 3 days a week can slash your risk of stroke by a whopping 40 percent. Resistance training has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and burning visceral fat – a precursor to type 2 diabetes, as well as fending off cancer-causing free radicals.
STRESS OUT LESS AND BE HAPPIER
In one study, just 10 minutes of cycling was shown to improve people’s mood, while other research shows that doing strength training regularly, or short bursts of cardio, were able to reduce symptoms of depression. Feeling low? Book a quick gym session now!