It goes without question: college students are busy. We run from class to class, filling in gaps in our schedules with every activity under the sun. We go from sports practice to dance rehearsal to several club meetings, volunteering, or work. Throw in several hours of daily homework and time for a normal social life, and it’s a wonder there are any hours left in the day at all.
In the midst of our busy schedules, priorities get rearranged. For many young adults, daily exercise is not number one on the list of priorities. Sure, it’s good for us, as every magazine and scientific journal provides reasons why. And yes, it would be nice to enjoy going out to dinner with a little less guilt knowing that you burned over 600 calories on the elliptical today. Realistically though, making time for exercise can be a stress and a pain, and after staying up till 2:00 a.m. finishing that lab report, getting up early to squeeze in a run before class is like trying to drag the Cookie Monster out of the Toll House factory.
It turns out that busy adults may no longer need to stress about carving out hours a day to spend at the gym. According to a recent article from the New York Times, the latest research from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, shows that a few minutes of intense training mimics the biological effects of several hours of cardio.
Your first thought–if you’re like me–is probably that this sounds way too good to be true. How could someone who spends a mere minutes at the gym possibly reach the same level of physical fitness as the guru who runs over 50 miles a week?
More research is necessary before scientists can reveal exactly how comparable the two types of exercise are. But it is important that people understand that the “seven-minute workout” is not as easy as it sounds. Those seven minutes, though short, are packed with high intensity activities such as jumping jacks, lunges and push-ups.
The seven-minute workout might be just another workout fad, but according to the research, it’s at least better than nothing. So next time you’re crunched for time or can’t get to the gym, try the seven-minute workout. Several versions of the basic plan can be found through a simple Google search, and the workout requires no more equipment than a standard chair.
It’s only seven minutes. How bad could it be?