IThe American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults exercise for at least 150 minutes per week to maintain good health. A recent study compared systolic blood pressure from men and women who worked out for 30 minutes to those who did 10 minute bouts over the day. Both groups had lowered their blood pressure, yet the three 10 minute group lowered blood pressure for a full 24-hours.
For those time crunchers, sprinting intervals have the same benefits of jogging for 30 minutes. In addition, reports show that sprinting does not increase the chance of injury compared to long distance running.
Strength training has been used to help prevent osteoporosis and increase metabolism by triggering muscle growth. It has also been concluded that men who regularly life weights may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes (Internal Medicine doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3138). This is good news for those who can't stay with a cardiovascular regiment or are new to working out.
So taking 10 minutes, three times a day does make a difference. You can even make it simple or set up a challenge with a friend. Do one minute bouts of each exercise with 30 second rest in between : squats, lunges, pushups, supermans and hip bridges. Highest reps earns a point. Than finish off with full body burpees.
You can also use workouts to modify behavior. Have a new year resolution? How about cutting smoking. Each time you want to light up, give me 25 pushups before you do. Or did you swear? give me 25!