Simple fitness that works, from pregnancy to seasoned athlete.

Why Just 15 Minutes of Exercise Is Beneficial

two women exercising with dumbells

The number one reason people give for not exercising is “I don’t have time.” And trust me, as a busy mom of three, I get it. We are notorious for putting our own needs last.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, or 75 to 150 of vigorous intensity activity per week.

When we see numbers like that, we are turned off. “There’s no way I can do that,” we think. And that’s because for many of us, we are starting from ZERO. So let’s tuck those big numbers away for now and focus on what we can do. Let’s create some forward momentum and positive change. You don’t need to go from 0 to 150 overnight!

Here are reasons why getting in 15 minutes of intentional movement a day will make a difference.

Increase calorie burn — In a study from Southern Illinois University, researchers found that participants who did about 11 minutes of strength training three days a week increased their resting metabolic rate and fat burning enough to manage weight gain and prevent obesity.

Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease — According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, participating in 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week can decrease your risk of getting cancer or cardiovascular disease. People who engaged in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity had a 14 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to those who reported no physical activity.

Improve cognition — One study of young adults found that as little as 10 minutes of physical activity resulted in improved memory and cognition.

Release endorphins — Some studies say it takes 30+ minutes to release endorphins, but a survey in the UK found that for most people, it takes just 10 minutes to get that “feel good” feeling from exercise.

Decrease depression risk — Approximately 12 percent of depression cases might have been prevented if the participants had done at least 1 hour of physical exercise per week, according to one study. Another study found that a daily 15-minute run (or a similar equivalent of more moderate exercise) can reduce depression risk by up to 26 percent.

Create momentum — The hardest thing to do is to start. That’s why I often tell myself, “Just do five minutes.” If I can get on my mat or just press play on the video and go for five minutes, I almost always find the energy to keep going. Give it a try! Or try this: tell yourself you just have to walk or jog around the block. Once you lace up your shoes and get moving, you’ll find it’s easier to keep going. It’s the starting that’s the hardest part. Once you get used to doing your 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day, it will be easier for you to up it to that 20 – 30 minute goal.

15-Minute Workouts for Busy Moms

For all these reasons, we have created 15 Minute Endorphins in the Moms Into Fitness Studio. No need to plan ahead, just commit to nurturing yourself for 15 minutes, and I will take care of the rest! Do one workout a day from the list, or pick a few for the week. I switch them out every Friday.