Are Multiple Short Bursts of Activity as Beneficial as One Long Workout?

by Chris Centeno, MD /

Receive a Regenexx® Patient Info Packet by email and learn why it's a superior regenerative solution.

short bursts of activity

How should you work out? Does it have to take a long time to be effective? After all, who doesn’t usually have something better to do? Research may begin to answer that question.

What Most Holds You Back from Exercise?

New Year’s has long since come and gone. Now, many months into 2018, it’s time to take an inventory of how well you’re doing with your resolutions. Particularly those that relate to your exercise and health. Are you a steam engine, chugging full speed ahead along the rails of activity and good health, or has your activity pace become more sloth-like and your diet taken a turn for the worse? Like many, you may be somewhere in the middle, trying but lacking and desperately seeking the motivation to get back on track.

So what’s holding you back? Is it the thought of leaving work after a long eight-, nine-, or ten-hour day and hitting the gym for another hour? Is it you just want to get home and relax and even thirty straight minutes of exercise is just more than you can face? The good news is, there may be another way. A new study suggests that multiple short bursts of activity may benefit you just as much as one long workout session. Let’s take a look.

Multiple Short Bursts of Activity vs. a Long Workout: Your Health Benefits the Same

The new study consisted of 4,840 participants aged 40 and older. Participants wore accelerometers that measured physical activity throughout each day for seven days and specifically focused on moderate-to-vigorous levels of activity. Participants were followed after the study for over six years.

The results? Those who had greater total levels of moderate-to-vigorous activity had lower mortality (death) risk regardless of the time spent at each activity session. So researchers concluded that even physical activity (at a moderate-to-vigorous level) performed in multiple bouts has a similar beneficial effect on health as longer single sessions of exercise. In other words, 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity (the recommended minimum) at six 5-minutes sessions or three 10-minute sessions five days a week can be just as effective as one 30-minute session five days a week.

So what is moderate to vigorous physical activity? The two columns on the right represent what you need to do:

You Can Also Recharge Your Brain with a 10-Minute Burst of Exercise

The health benefits of short bursts of activity aren’t just seen in lowered mortality risks. A few months ago, I covered a study that found that a quick 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity also recharged the brain. So when that afternoon slump sets in, a couple of brisk laps around your office building or running up and down the stairs for 10 minutes not only wakes up your brain but can also benefit your health in general.

The upshot? I’m personally excited about this one. Why? The fact that bounding up the stairs in our office or taking a brisk walk on days when I can’t muster the energy to get a workout in can all add up to activity that will reduce mortality is great news!

Category: Latest News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
View Profile

Get Blog Updates by Email

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Regenerative procedures are commonly used to treat musculoskelatal trauma, overuse injuries, and degenerative issues, including failed surgeries.
Select Your Problem Area
Shoulder

Shoulder

Many Shoulder and Rotator Cuff injuries are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering shoulder arthroscopy or shoulder replacement, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.

  • Rotator Cuff Tears and Tendinitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • SLAP Tear / Labral Tears
  • Shoulder Arthritis
  • Other Degenerative Conditions & Overuse Injuries
Learn More
Cervical Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Knee

Knees

Knees are the target of many common sports injuries. Sadly, they are also the target of a number of surgeries that research has frequently shown to be ineffective or minimally effective. Knee arthritis can also be a common cause for aging athletes to abandon the sports and activities they love. Regenerative procedures can be used to treat a wide range of knee injuries and conditions. They can even be used to reduce pain and delay knee replacement for more severe arthritis.

  • Knee Meniscus Tears
  • Knee ACL Tears
  • Knee Instability
  • Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Other Knee Ligaments / Tendons & Overuse Injuries
  • And more
Learn More
Lower Spine

Spine

Many spine injuries and degenerative conditions are good candidates for regenerative treatments and there are a number of studies showing promising results in treating a wide range of spine problems. Spine surgery should be a last resort for anyone, due to the cascade of negative effects it can have on the areas surrounding the surgery. And epidural steroid injections are problematic due to their long-term negative impact on bone density.

  • Herniated, Bulging, Protruding Discs
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • SI Joint Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Pinched Nerves and General Back Pain
  • And more
Learn More
Hand & Wrist

Hand & Wrist

Hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and conditions relating to overuse of the thumb, are good candidates for regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Hand and Wrist Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger
  • Thumb Arthritis (Basal Joint, CMC, Gamer’s Thumb, Texting Thumb)
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More
Elbow

Elbow

Most injuries of the elbow’s tendons and ligaments, as well as arthritis, can be treated non-surgically with regenerative procedures.

  • Golfer’s elbow & Tennis elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Ulnar collateral ligament wear (common in baseball pitchers)
  • And more
Learn More
Hip

Hip

Hip injuries and degenerative conditions become more common with age. Do to the nature of the joint, it’s not quite as easy to injure as a knee, but it can take a beating and pain often develops over time. Whether a hip condition is acute or degenerative, regenerative procedures can help reduce pain and may help heal injured tissue, without the complications of invasive surgical hip procedures.

  • Labral Tear
  • Hip Arthritis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Hip Sprain, Tendonitis or Inflammation
  • Hip Instability
Learn More
Foot & Ankle

Foot & Ankle

Foot and ankle injuries are common in athletes. These injuries can often benefit from non-surgical regenerative treatments. Before considering surgery, consider an evaluation of your condition with a regenerative treatment specialist.
  • Ankle Arthritis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Other conditions that cause pain
Learn More

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet

REGENEXX WEBINARS

Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar

RECEIVE BLOG ARTICLES BY EMAIL

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog

FOLLOW US

Copyright © Regenexx 2019. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.