Author: Kerri Dezutter

Edited by: Dr. Peter Rawlek

Published: June 3, 2019

The thought of Physical Activity is different for everyone. For some it means working out at a world-class, high level of intensity, going for the gold every time, type of attitude. If they aren’t going to get that type of result out of the workout, then there’s no point in doing it. This has been made evident in a few of my recent encounters while exercising.

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 I was out for a mountain bike one day and ran into a friend of mine. We were chatting away until I asked where her husband was. She said he was still at home. She wanted to get a quick ride in before they had to go to a meeting. But her husband said that 20 minutes wasn’t good enough, so he wasn’t going. How crazy, I thought, but it’s clear that this is a thought shared by more than a few.

 

Since this conversation, I’ve discovered there are many people out there that have the same philosophy. ‘A little bit isn’t good enough, so why bother.

 

I completely disagree! I think sometimes those quick workouts, like a walk around the block, or mowing the lawn, do us more good than we realize. This is even backed by many recent scientific publications.

 

Short bursts of activity that add up to be of equal length than a longer workout can have the same or even greater benefits. [2]

 

So, why do some have the all or nothing attitude when it comes to activity? I was so grateful the other day for my quick 30 minutes when I was cutting the grass. After the long weekend and the slow drive home. Having that 30 minutes to get my legs moving again was exactly what I needed.

 

As a whole, we have a tendency to overestimate what we do in a day. In fact, a recent study found that participants overestimated their moderate physical activity by an average of 42 minutes per day, and their vigorous physical activity by 39 minutes a day. On top of that, the same study found that participants underestimated their sedentary time by around 122 minutes per day. [1]

 

This means we’re more sedentary than we think, so any extra period of activity that we get will be beneficial, no matter how short it is.

If you’re like me, I end up sitting most of the day, so the 10 minutes of something, not only breaks up the day, but it makes a big difference for me mentally. Thankfully, this benefit isn’t only mental, but physical as well.

 

I know it’s easy to get lost in your work and then feel too tired at the end of the day to do anything. THIS is when we need activity the most. 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes it doesn’t matter. The movement is what matters. I can guarantee you, you’ll feel better, and that sluggishness you were feeling before your burst of activity will be gone.

References:

 

  1. Schaler A, Rudolf K, Dejonghe L, Grieben C, Froboese I. Influencing factors on overreporting of self-reported physical activity: A cross-sectional analysis of low-back-pain patients and healthy control. 2016; 2016:1497123. doi:10.1155/2016/1497123

  2. Rachel Rettner. Short Bursts Activity Get Fit. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/54797-short-bouts-exercise-fit.html Published May, 2016. Accessed May 15, 2019

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