Startlingly, a new British study, as reported by the BBC, suggests that just five minutes of outdoor exercise provides a measurable health benefit:
UK researchers looked at evidence from 1,250 people in 10 studies and found fast improvements in mood and self-esteem. . . .
The research looked at many different outdoor activities including walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and farming in locations such as a park, garden or nature trail.
The biggest effect was seen within just five minutes.
With longer periods of time exercising in a green environment, the positive effects were clearly apparent but were of a smaller magnitude, the study found.
Looking at men and women of different ages, the researchers found the health changes – physical and mental – were particularly strong in the young and the mentally-ill.
And Physorg.com, a science website, reports that cardiovascular fitness can be improved, and the risk of diabetes reduced, by brief, high intensity workouts:
A regular high-intensity, three-minute workout has a significant effect on the body’s ability to process sugars. Research published in the open access journal BMC Endocrine Disorders shows that a brief but intense exercise session every couple of days may be the best way to cut the risk of diabetes.
According to the article:
The subjects in this trial used exercise bikes to perform a quick sprint at their highest possible intensity.
Hmm. Five minutes of outdoor walking combined with three minutes of sprinting.
No more excuses not to exercise?