Can I lose weight if I split my workouts throughout the day?

Any Amount of Exercise is Good For You

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Sometimes it is impossible to fit a full hour workout routine into your busy day. Schedules are tight and you will have days when there is simply no time left to exercise! If you have 10 minutes to spare, you can get a quick workout that helps meet your weight loss goals.

Studies Prove Short Workouts are Effective

Many studies have found that short bouts of exercise throughout the day have the same benefits as continuous workouts.

In one study, experts compared different groups of exercisers:

  • Non-exercisers
  • Exercisers doing two 15-minute workouts
  • Exercisers doing one 30-minute workout, and
  • Exercisers doing three 10-minute workouts

The conclusion? All the exercisers lost weight and increased endurance regardless of which group they were in. The only group who did not see any changes was the non-exercising group.

Split Your Workout Routine into Short Bouts

If you are short on time and it works better for you to split your routine into several short workouts throughout the day, do it! Any exercise is better than none.

Don't worry that you won't burn as many calories or get good results. The key is to find a regular schedule that works for you.

If you can fit 10 minutes in before your morning shower, take a brisk walk on your lunch break, then another 10-minute routine before dinner, that's 30-40 minutes of exercise in your day.

Save the long workouts for the weekend or the weeknights when your schedule is less hectic.

When Workout Length Is Important

The only time to worry about continuous exercise versus short bouts is if you're training for a specific competition or sport. This includes preparing your body for marathons and other races as well as a soccer match or basketball game that requires endurance.

Plan a Quick and Effective Workout

You can also be strategic about your short exercise routines.

  • Maybe you want to focus on strength on Tuesday and your lower body on Wednesday.
  • Perhaps an all-around body workout is good to wake you up in the morning and strength is your focus for the evening workout.

Short exercise routines can also be a good way to keep yourself interested and motivated in your fitness goals. By staggering different routines when you have time, you will not get bored or feel overwhelmed by 'having' to do a long workout. You don't have to workout, you get to workout!

If you need some ideas, check out these short workouts for quick, effective ways to work your body in less time:

  • 10-Minute Body Weight Workout - You don't need equipment to pull off this quick routine, just a chair, bench or step will do.
  • 10-Minute Express Circuit Workout - Discover a Cardio Strength Challenge that will burn calories and work your entire body.
  • Travel Workout - Don't let your vacation or business travel get in the way of your goals. Toss a resistance band in your luggage and get a great workout no matter where you are.
  • 10-Minute Strength - Learn how a quick routine of squats and lunges can improve your strength, no matter if you have a few minutes or half an hour.
  • Total Body Timesaver Challenge - Don't let that fitness equipment go to waste just because you think you don't have time. Get a complete workout in 15 minutes.
  • Quick Lower Body - Give your lower body a quick and efficient workout with this easy, 6-step routine.

Resources

Jakicic JM, Wing RR, Butler BA, Robertson RJ. Prescribing exercise in multiple short bouts versus one continuous bout: effects on adherence, cardiorespiratory fitness, and weight loss in overweight women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1995 Dec;19(12):893-901.

Schmidt WD, Biwer CJ, Kalscheuer LK. Effects of long versus short bout exercise on fitness and weight loss in overweight females. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Oct;20(5):494-501.

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