How much exercise is enough?

Dedicating an hour or two of your day to exercise isn’t for everyone. Sometimes things are just too busy, the day is just too short and your motivation too lacking. If this is the case, you don’t need to abandon exercise all together. Any exercise is always better than none – how valuable it is depends on what workouts you choose.

Research shows that exercise for a total of 150 minutes a week will generate health-related benefits. That means you can conveniently and effectively enjoy the benefits of exercise by doing just five short 30-minute workouts a week. The secret is to make sure that the 30 minutes you spend working out is carefully structured. By choosing one of the short workouts available on LES MILLS On Demand you can be confident you’re following a workout that’s scientifically designed to drive maximum results in minimum time.

Slogging it out with hours of exercise isn’t the only way to go. Follow a well-structured workout and in 30 minutes or less you can:

- Build strong, lean muscles

- Improve cardiovascular fitness

- Send fat burn into overdrive

- Build core strength

You can build strength in 30 minutes

When it comes to strength training, 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time to effectively work all the big muscle groups; the legs, the chest and the back. Choose any 30-minute BODYPUMP™ workout and you’ll exhaust these major muscles with light weights and high repetitions. These 30-minute strength sessions will help you build muscular strength and endurance and they also provide strong calorie and fat burning effects. You can also target specific muscle groups – like the upper body, arms or lower body – in even less time.

Building core stability is also key. A weekly 30-minute LES MILLS CORE™ workout will help chisel your core and build functional strength. This will help you train better and improve your performance across all of your other workouts.

You can improve cardiovascular fitness in 30 minutes

Thirty minutes of effective cardio training is all you need to get your heart rate pumping, increase aerobic fitness and put your calorie burn into overdrive. Choose a 30-minute BODYATTACK™, BODYCOMBAT™ or SH’BAM™ workout and you’ll spark up your cardio fitness without any equipment. If you have an indoor cycle you can get a great cardio workout doing 30 minutes of RPM™ or THE TRIP™ and BODYSTEP™ is another great functional cardio training option.

How to get maximum results from short workouts

For those looking to up the ante, high-intensity interval training is the key. A 30-minute HIIT workout, such as LES MILLS GRIT™ or LES MILLS SPRINT™ will burn calories for hours after the workout, maximize aerobic fitness, unleash fast-twitch muscle fibers and grow lean muscle tissue.

“In most cases it’s not the quantity of time spent working out, but the quality of the workout,” says Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research. “When the workout period is short the structure of a workout is critical. All of the exercises need to be carefully balanced and sequenced to ensure optimum effectiveness.”

“When the workout period is short the structure of a workout is critical. All of the exercises need to be carefully balanced and sequenced to ensure optimum effectiveness.” Bryce Hastings.

For best results alternate different types of training across days of the week. An easy and effective way to do this is to try either the Fast Burner or Fast Burner Advanced Challenges. Scientifically designed by Dr. Jinger Gottschall and Les Mills Program Director, Rachael Newsham, both of these six-week challenges feature nothing but 30-minute equipment-free workouts, and they have been carefully curated to help you safely and effectively get results, fast.

Can you get a good workout in just 10 minutes?

Yes! Your exercise efforts all add up, so any physical activity you do is worthwhile. Choose a workout that is just 10-20 minutes and you’ll still tap into the benefits of exercise. In fact, some experts believe that you can even enjoy these benefits in much less time (there is even a scientifically backed formula for a One Minute Workout).

“On those days when you don’t have the motivation or inclination to do a 30-minute workout don’t beat yourself up about it,” says Rachael Newsham. “Just tell yourself you’re just going to do 10 – 15 minutes, maybe just the first two or three tracks of your favorite workout. Chances are, once the music’s blasting and you’ve started the workout you’ll magically find the energy to keep going.”

Anyone looking to maximize results in minimal time can access a variety of short LES MILLS™ workouts any time, anywhere – just log in to LES MILLS™ On Demand.

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