Finding time for longer workouts isn’t always easy. Between work, family, and social commitments, exercise can sometimes take a back seat. And carving out 60 minutes a day can be much easier said than done. But when we’re struggling for time, there may be a deceivingly simple solution: micro workouts.

A micro workout is pretty much what you’d expect it to be – a very short bout of exercise which can be performed in a matter of minutes.

For many of us the idea of a super short workout may seem counter-intuitive. The general understanding is that longer is better. And whilst micro workouts probably shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for more prolonged and disciplined forms of exercise, there may be a valid place for them in our daily schedules.

Micro workouts explained

For a more in-depth understanding of what micro workouts actually are, and how you might benefit from them, take a look at this excellent video from the Mark’s Daily Apple YouTube channel:

Micro workouts in studies

There’s mounting research-based evidence to suggest that micro workouts can be good for us. One interesting study took a group of inactive people and asked them to pedal as hard as they could on a stationary bike for 20 seconds, 3 times a day (each round was separated by 4-5 hours of inactivity). After six weeks, the group’s CRF (cardiorespiratory fitness) improved by 9%, compared to a 13% improvement in a similar group who were asked to do the same 3 x 20 second bike sprints but in a 10-minute session, separated by 3-minute rest periods.

Another study found that just 1 minute of intense exercise within a 10-minute session (carried out 3 times per week over the course of 12 weeks) was just as effective in improving indices of cardiometabolic health in sedentary men as 50 minutes of continuous exercise per session.

 Get (micro) working out!

If you fancy trying micro workouts out for yourself, then take a look at these 7 excellent micro workout routines from Bustle Alternatively, if you prefer following a video, then why not try one of these 21 morning workouts that take 10 minutes or less.