Myth or Fact: The 10-Minute Workout

The 10-Minute Workout. Really?

Too busy for exercise? Read on… this post is for you.

When most people are asked why they don’t work out, you’ll likely hear a variety of responses.  But one of the most common is, “I simply don’t have time”.  With greater demands on our time from work, family, and friends, just to name a few — it does seem harder and harder to find time to do anything, forget getting to the gym for an hour or more.  With this in mind, a team of researchers at Arizona State University recently set out to determine whether breaking up exercise into small, manageable segments performed throughout the day would work as well as one longer, continuous bout.

Dr. Glenn Gaesser and colleagues asked study volunteers to walk briskly at an intensity equaling about 75 percent of each volunteer’s maximum heart rate for 10 minutes three times during the day. On a separate day, the volunteers completed one 30-minute supervised session of brisk walking in mid-afternoon, while on a final day, they did not exercise at all. All of them wore cuffs that monitored blood pressure continuously for 24 hours at a time.

The results were encouraging: all exercise was helpful in controlling blood pressure, but breaking up the workout into three short sessions was significantly more effective than the single half-hour session. The fractionized exercise led to lower average 24-hour blood pressure readings.

Although the study did not measure weight loss or weight maintainance, anyone reading this who is “too busy” for regular exercise should take note. Finding 10 minutes, just three times a day is something that nearly everyone can do. And, if you’re tempted to dismiss a mere 10 minutes of walking as too little to be meaningful, you’re wrong.  At least for blood pressure control, fractionized exercise may be more effective than a single 30-minute bout.

So have you got 10 minutes? Get moving!

– Katherine


  1. justsomeguy says:

    At the age of 53, with numerous soft tissue injuries in recent years as well as chronic joint issues (even though I have always exercised and am not overweight), it takes at least 10 minutes of warming up before I would consider starting any activity that would get me to 75% of maximum heart rate – even brisk walking.

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