You don’t need an hour—or even half an hour—a day to lose weight or get into great shape. A study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that 15 minutes of strength training was just as effective at boosting participants’ metabolism as 35 minutes. Another study found that women had a better chance of sticking to a plan if they only had to commit to 15-minute sessions.
Here are 5 Benefits of a 15 Minute Workout:
Burn More Calories
The calorie-burning benefits of even short strength-training sessions keep coming long after you have left the gym. In a study from Southern Illinois University, researchers found that when volunteers did just one set of nine exercises, or about 11 minutes of strength training, three days a week, they increased their resting metabolic rate (the calories burned when just hanging out) and fat burning enough to keep unwanted weight at bay.
High-intensity exercise helps you sleep well, which helps you keep pounds at bay. Australian researchers recently reported that men and women who did total-body resistance training for eight weeks enjoyed a 23 per cent improvement in their sleep quality. Even better, they were able to fall asleep faster and slept longer than before they started working out.
Stress Out Less
Survival of the fittest is especially true when it comes to handling stress. A study done at A & M University discovered that the fittest people have significantly lower levels of stress hormones than their couch potato counterparts. Scientists have also found that blood pressure levels return to normal faster after a stressful situation in people with more lean muscle tissue compared to those with less.
Pushups may work as well as Prozac for improving your mood. Researchers recently reported that people who did strength training on a regular basis were far less likely to suffer symptoms of major depression. Short bouts of cardio may be equally powerful.
Strength training is second to none for building bones. A study of 124 men and women published in the journal Osteoporosis reported that high-intensity exercise increased bone density in high-risk spots like the spine, hips, and legs in just 40 weeks. By contrast, those doing low-intensity exercise actually lost bone mineral density over the same time.