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Short Bursts of Cardio Exercise Can Be Very Beneficial

Short Bursts of Exercise Make a Difference

Despite what Time magazine says, exercise is good for weight loss, whether you're a marathoner or stair-climber. Though we tend to think of cardio in 30-minute increments, short bursts of exercise, like taking the stairs or walking home from dinner, are also highly beneficial. In fact, doing very frequent activities throughout the day may even be better for your body.

Our ancient ancestors didn't save all their movement for one daily workout, and neither should you. It can overtax your muscles to go from sedentary to sprinting through a 30-minute gym session. Better yet, mini exercise sessions throughout the day make a major impact. Your body begins using energy and burning calories after about two minutes of activity; first you'll usually burn up carbs, followed by fat and protein.

According to the exercise guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, we should be getting 30 minutes of accumulated moderate exercise daily. There's nothing wrong with spreading that 30 minutes out throughout the day; just make sure you're working hard enough to feel warm and slightly winded. Longer workouts offer a deeper burn, but short sessions aren't a waste of time.

Are you into quick bursts of cardio, or do you save it for your workout sessions?

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Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I do a "real" workout where I'm sweating for a solid hour, but then I also try to incorporate short bursts into my day as well, like running to my car after work or jumping rope for a few minutes a day. Sometimes I do that if I'm always gets the blood circulating!
jenniferjane jenniferjane 7 years
I work in a cafe and I always volunteer to do the most aerobic/strenuous work. I carry dozens of boxes of recycling up from the basement and bring it out to the curb, I do all the restock of food and drinks from the basement, and I put up all the chairs at night and always volunteer to sweep and mop. My co workers love me and I love the workout hahaha!
juliefischer juliefischer 7 years
The Time magazine article was pure crap. I really hope no one believes that information. After working out, yes you're hungry, you just expended all that energy and your body needs to "refuel!"
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I use the stairs a lot, but otherwise I'd rather just save up my cardio for a workout. I do it regularly enough that it works fine on its own.
MariahGem MariahGem 7 years
All these different articles are confusing! Some say do workout, and hard! (Jillian Michaels' book says 1 hour a day, which I had been doing), Time Magazine says any working out is stupid (0 hours?? No way!) and some people say 30 mins is all you need, but you can break it into little bits all day, and it still counts (Really? No specialized time on a machine?) and still others say this is bunk too, and that your 30 mins should be all at once! I don't know what to believe!! What will really work? And what will work for me? Is every body different? Help!
michlny michlny 7 years
I do both - long workouts and squeezing in stairs, walks, etc. I recently started doing bursts of jump roping whenever I can -- it's a great way to get the heart rate up...
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I work on the 4th floor of my building, so i take the steps anytime I need to get to a different floor or coming/going in the building.
arianamarie arianamarie 7 years
ive finally convinced myself to take the stairs instead of standing on the's a great butt workout, and i would have used the stairs if there weren't escalators anyway
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