Science Says a 10-Minute Exercise ‘Snack’ is Enough

Here’s how to make it count

Photo: Marko Geber/Getty Images

“Rather than blow off your workout because you don’t have the time or motivation for a 45- or 60-minute session, know there is good scientific evidence validating the efficacy of short workouts.”

Whereas continuous, moderate-intensity exercise has those fuel gauges going down slowly over time, says Gibala, “what we’re learning is that you can also turn on those metabolic pathways with short, hard bursts of exercise that cause a sudden drop in fuel available.”

Americans spent 77% of their waking hours sitting or being otherwise inactive before a global pandemic.

If you do want fitness benefits, Holder recommends a minimum 10-minute workout. Here’s what he suggests that looks like: Warm up for two to three minutes (jog in place, do some dynamic exercises like knee hugs, leg swings, or side lunges with rotations); then do an upper body exercise, lower body exercise, cardio exercise, and core exercise for 30 seconds each; take a quick break after a set, then repeat that set of four exercises four times; cooldown for two minutes, and get back to your day.

Ashley Mateo has over a decade’s worth of experience covering fitness and health for publications including the WSJ, Men’s Journal, SELF, and more. @ashleymateo

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