Working out during residency isn’t easy. It’s hard to find time to workout, study, sleep, do life things like laundry, and still be a functioning person. I’ve found some success doing short 10 minute HIIT workouts when I’m pressed for time. I also fall back on short 20-30 minute runs around my neighborhood when I need to relieve some stress and get moving.
But the other week while I was running, I listened to a Jillian Michael’s podcast and she said that working out for less than 20 minutes is basically worthless. WHAT!?!?
Darn you Jillian!! Why must you ruin my idea that 10 minutes is better than nothing?
I have confessed before that I’m not a workout fanatic and I often default to sitting on the couch feeling too lazy or tired to workout. So whenever I can convince myself to move around, I think it’s a good thing! Even if it’s for 5 or 10 minutes.
Sometimes I think I should be more rigorous about my workouts, but in general I think that stressing out about “not working out enough” is defeating the purpose- working out is supposed to be stress relieving. So I just do whatever I want.
Sometimes that’s a sweaty treadmill workout for 30-45 minutes:
Sometimes that’s a walk around the lake with family or friends (here’s my momma walking with me!)
When Jillian said that anything less than 20 minutes isn’t worth it since you haven’t given your body enough time to generate any of the benefits from exercise (endorphins, hormones, etc.), I decided to look up the official recommendations.
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
- Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
- People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.
In this recommendation, a shorter session os “at least 10 minutes” is considered satisfactory.
So there Jillian!!
Last weekend I made it to the gym on Friday and Saturday even though I was on call. I just kept my pager by my side and decided to risk it.
I even hit the gym 3 days during the work week last week- each for about 45 minutes- so I got my time in for sure!
I tried a new elliptical/stair stepper combo machine a did a 30 minute interval workout. My bootie was sore!
Basically, I am not a fan of fitness rules and I think that as long as you’re moving as much and as often as you can, you are doing your body and your mind a favor. I might not always workout as much as I should or as much as the ACSM recommends, but I think 10 minutes of getting my heart pumping is better than nothing!
What do you think? Do you have any exercise rules?