The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Super short workouts can be surprisingly effective

By Christie Aschwanden

07 May 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Finding it hard to make the time to exercise? This article explains how even setting aside 10 minutes can produce real and meaningful results across all fitness types.

It sounds like one of those outrageous infomercial claims — get fitter and healthier from as little as one minute of exercise. But In this case, the assertion isn’t too good to be true. There’s now a strong body of research showing that even workouts of 10 minutes or less can produce real and meaningful results, says Jenna Gillen, an exercise physiologist at the University of Toronto. Gillen’s work has shown that even a one-minute bout of exercise, done right, can improve your fitness and health.

Of course there’s a caveat: to get results from such short workouts, you have to be willing to push yourself hard, Gillen says. Numerous studies have shown that intense interval training protocols can get results from relatively short workouts. Gillen and her colleagues at McMaster University wanted to know just how short that workout can be.

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