Why a 15-Minute Workout Is Better Than Nothing

No one messes with your perfect 72-minute routine that allows just enough time for cardio, strength training, stretching, and a quick shower, so when you can't carve out that chunk of time, forgoing exercise seems like a no-brainer. But short workouts have their place too, so even if you only have 15 minutes to spare, here are three reasons to slip on your sneaks and go for it.

  1. There are still calories to be burned: Focus on fast-paced movement like jumping rope, walking up and down stairs, or bike riding for 15 minutes, and you'll burn between 120 and 165 calories. Can't say that for sitting on your tush. And those calories add up! Burning 135 calories on a 15-minute run might not seem like much, but if you squeeze it in five times a week, that's 675 calories more burned than if you decided to skip out.
  2. You'll reap the health benefits: Before you get so tense at the office that you want to hurl your computer, why not take a 15-minute break? Aside from reducing stress and boosting your mood, getting your blood flowing also gives you energy, can prevent depression and relieve headaches, can help you sleep better, and clears your mind. It doesn't take much time for those endorphins to start flowing, and even a miniworkout will have you feeling better. Plus, studies show that 15 minutes a day can add three years to your life.
  3. It keeps you on the right path: I'm sure you've heard the saying, "One healthy choice leads to another." When you get in the habit of exercising every single day, no matter how much time you can devote, you're more likely to stick with it and do longer workouts when you do have the time. Likewise, if you get in the habit of skipping, it's even harder to get the motivation to slip on that sports bra. Your mind and body will appreciate the consistency, not the excuses, so whether you have 15 or 50 minutes, it's all worth it.

If you're not sure what to do for your short workout, do a few of these five-minute workouts. Or follow one of these 10-minute cardio workout videos and finish with five minutes of stretching.