THE PULSE

02Jun

Is Working Out For 20 Minutes Enough?

You look at your schedule and realize you’ll only have 20 minutes to work out at the club today. Should you even bother going? The short answer is yes—if only to keep your workout routine going strong. But we have even better news: 20 minutes a day of exercise will actually do your body a lot of good.

For one thing, it’s good for the brain:

A study by the Boston University School of Medicine found that just 20 minutes of light exercise each day can improve cognitive function. Moving your body can also ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve your mental health, even by doing something as simple as stretching.

And it’s good for your heart:

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise a week for heart health, which calculates out to about 20 minutes a day. And for older adults, a new study shows 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day in early older age (70-75 years) may help ward off heart disease and heart failure later in life.

But will it get you into shape?

With focus and a little planning, you can get in a surprisingly effective workout in 20 minutes. HIIT workouts, for example, are known for getting your heart rate up in a short amount of time. (If you happen to have 30 minutes to spare, you can even take one of our HIIT classes at the club!) But HIIT workouts put serious stress on your body, so we don’t suggest you do these every day, even if you only have 20 minutes of exercise time.

The important thing is the intensity you bring to your 20-minute workouts. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 20 minutes of high intensity activity (leaving you breathless and sweating) is as good as 40-45 minutes at a less strenuous pace. Plan ahead so you don’t waste any time figuring out what you want to do, whether that’s a HIIT workout, running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or working on your flexibility with some yoga poses.

We’re here to help you reach your fitness goals, and we know you can get there—even if you do it 20 minutes at a time!

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