Fitness, Workouts

Short and Sweet: The Power of 20-Minute Workouts

Be honest – do you think you need at least an hour or so to workout to make it worth your while?

That 60 minutes gives you time to warm up, train, and cool down. 

While it’s great to take advantage of longer time periods when you’ve got them, exercise is not an all-or-nothing activity that needs to hit that 60-minute mark. 

Even if you’ve got less than half an hour to spare, any movement is better than none! 

Read on to learn more about how short, 20-minute workouts can be effective in helping you reach your fitness goals.

To start, we’re answering the big question:

Can 20minute workouts be effective?

20 minutes can go by in the blink of an eye when you’re watching tv, scrolling through social media, or chatting with friends. 

So, can 20-minute workouts be effective? 

The short answer is yes! 

Getting active doesn’t require as much time as you may think. 

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), “All healthy adults aged 18–65 years should participate in moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days per week, or vigorous intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days per week.” 

What does a 20-minute workout look like? 

Maybe you love playing pick-up basketball or walking around the neighborhood. Or, maybe you enjoy bike rides in the park or weekend yard work. 

Need something indoors? 

A quick HIIT workout on a NordicTrack treadmill or bike is an excellent way to make the most of your short sweat session. 

Any of these activities check the box so long as you’re engaged and moving for at least 20 minutes! 

These bouts of short workouts add up over time, helping you get closer to your fitness goals 20 minutes at a time. 

3 benefits of 20-minute workouts

Though short in duration, these 20-minute workouts can have lasting effects on your mental and physical health and they come with a host of other great benefits! 

Here’s just a few science-backed benefits of what you may experience from exercising 20 minutes per day: 

Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease

Though it may not seem like you have enough time to workout, sparing just 20 minutes every day to exercise can pay dividends in the future. 

Short bursts of exercise may help to ward off heart disease in the future, as Harvard Health notes.

A 2022 study by the European Heart Journal measured the overall activity of almost 72,000 adults for seven years. 

At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that “Doing at least 19 minutes [of vigorous exercise] per week was linked to a 40% lower risk of developing heart disease in that time…”. 

The article mentions that it could be beneficial to engage in several bouts of vigorous activity throughout the day instead of one nonstop sweat session.

Helps Clear Your Mind and Refresh Your Body

Need a mental breather? 

Quick workouts can help reset your mind when you’re feeling stressed on the job or at home. 

After being sedentary all day, it’s easy to begin feeling sluggish, unmotivated, or even stiff, depending on how long it’s been. 

But, on the other hand, when you’re up and moving, muscle activity is increased, helping you feel more awake. 

So the next time you’re feeling that familiar 2 P.M. lull, try to find time to sneak in a 20-minute workout. 

This could be a compilation of a few bodyweight movements, a walk, stretching, or a mix of the three. 

You can even try an iFIT workout that’s right at that 20-minute mark. iFIT offers a massive workout library filled with short workouts that’ll suit your time crunch. Whether you want to spend that time stretching, walking, or running, there’s something for everyone.

Short on time and can’t swing a 20-minute workout all at once? 

Try splitting it up! 

This could look like a short, 10-minute walking workout, followed by 10 minutes of bodyweight exercises. Or, 5 minutes of stretching after a quick yoga workout. The possibilities are endless!

Makes Small Goals Achievable

If you feel that 20-minute workouts are too short to make a difference for your fitness goals, it’s time to change that perspective. 

Although they’re short and sweet, the 20 minutes you’ll spend exercising will be worth it.

20 minutes is well within your control when you have a busy day or simply don’t feel up to a longer workout. 

They’re easier to schedule into the day and offer an opportunity to be intentional. With a defined timeframe, you may find you’re more focused on the workout. 

Plus, mini workouts also allow you to set and hit small goals. 

Say you want to knock out three 20-minute workouts a week. Over time, this goal will feel sustainable and easy to cross off the week’s to-do list, and, soon enough, you’ll be ready to bump it to four or five times a week. 

Planning small-scale goals will help set you up for success for your larger fitness goals. 

And, along the way, you’ll build the confidence, strength, and discipline to get to where you want to be in your fitness journey.

Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.