In recent years, micro workouts have quickly become one of my favorite daily activities to do. This fantastic breakthrough fitness concept consists of explosive fits of strength that are both efficient and easy to perform and allows me to hit the #1 goal of being more active in daily life.
Shout out to my friend Steve Rader, my inspiration for implementing the super challenging hover lunge and drinking bird exercises to my morning routine (which can be seen in my YouTube video, as well as a recent Instagram post in which I demonstrate these movements). Steve has been talking about the benefits of micro workouts for a long time, and has written a wonderful article, The Definitive Guide to Micro Workouts that also shares some good study links if you’re interested in reading more.
Here are the top 5 benefits I’ve noticed from adding micro workouts to my daily routine:
1. They’re less strenuous. The truth is, a workout regimen really makes minimal to zero contribution towards fat reduction goals, because strenuous workouts stimulate your appetite, which prompts you to consume more calories and also (consciously and subconsciously) seek out ways to be lazier/less active for the rest of the day. Micro workouts are a great way of getting in some beneficial, metabolism-boosting activity into your day without doing anything that is overly stressful to your system. Listen to my podcast episode about The Truth About Overtraining and the Stress Response for more info.
2. You’ll spend less time sitting. Did you hear that sitting is the new smoking? It sounds scary, but it’s true: merely 20 minutes of sitting delivers a measurable reduction in glucose tolerance and an increase in glucose resistance, plus a decrease in cognitive performance! Incorporating micro workouts throughout your day is the perfect method of counteracting the consequences that come from sitting too much, as they boost both your metabolism and your cognitive function.
3. It’s a zero-stress activity. Maybe you’re one of those people who loves to hit the gym, but part of what puts most people off when it comes to working out is simply carving out the time – not just for the actual workout, but allowing for time to arrive at your destination, to find parking. etc. Obviously one consequence of the pandemic is a decrease in popularity for group workout classes and going to the gym (although this is still doable — remember that Dr. Ron Sinha said in a previous episode about beating “Covesity” that exercising with your mask on is almost like doing altitude training!). But working out at home can still seem daunting and hard to manage for many. It can be challenging mentally, because it’s easy to get down on yourself when you’re at home and watching the hours pass as you’re working and going about your day, and you’re feeling guilty that you haven’t taken the time (or maybe even had the time!) to do a workout. Micro workouts eradicate this problem by taking both the time commitment part and the stress surrounding it away. Now, you can simply do a quick workout whenever you feel like it ― no traffic, no parking issues, no feelings of embarrassment or inadequacy over performing in front of your peers, and no pressure. Look at it as a way of breaking up your work day that gives both your mind and body a much needed boost.
4. It takes less time. If you’re regularly weaving in micro workouts throughout your day, you’re able to spend less time going hard in the gym as your fitness goals will be supported by these smaller and consistent daily efforts. You’re also freeing up that time that you would’ve spent exercising to do something else entirely. You’re getting all the awesome health benefits, but in a shorter amount of time. Who wouldn’t want that deal?
5. It contributes to overall health. Another reason why micro workouts are awesome? The fact that doing just a little bit here and there actually makes a huge difference in your health. Sure, it may seem small at first, and you may wonder if these modest efforts will ever amount to anything tangible. But as you will see for yourself, your efforts really do add up over time, and studies have shown that short exercise bursts actually produce “striking” effects on metabolic health.
For additional related information, listen to past podcast episodes like The Incredible Micro-Workout And Other Time-Efficient Fitness Tips and How To Get Started With Micro Workouts. Now Is The Time! And if you want some inspiration plus helpful instructions for efficient movements and how to make it work at home, then check out my YouTube video, Micro Workouts | Examples for the Home Office.