Benefits of Micro Workouts

by Natalie Meriwether, BSN

Having trouble staying consistent with your fitness routine? Micro workouts may be the solution.

It’s the start of a brand-new week and you’re feeling motivated to start your fitness routine back up. The first few days start out strong, but little by little you find yourself getting to it less and less. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many people struggle to maintain a consistent exercise regimen due to work, family, or simply not enjoying it. Fortunately, there’s a solution that could help you stay active and healthy: micro workouts.   

What are micro workouts? 

As the context may imply, micro workouts are short bursts of exercise that usually last between 1-10 minutes. They are intended to be performed virtually anywhere at any time, preferably several times throughout the day. The idea is to get in your recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week regardless of limited space or time. Micro workouts can consist of many different exercises, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and jumping jacks. The goal of micro workouts is to increase your heart rate and engage your muscles effectively, even if you have a busy schedule. 

Examples of micro workouts  

  • A 3-minute dance video 
  • 5-10 minutes of rotating between 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 20 second rest, and 30 seconds of push-ups 
  • A swift walk around the block or office building every 1-2 hours 
  • Performing squats and sit-ups during tv commercial breaks  
  • Walking or running up and down the stairs 2-5 times every bathroom break 

Are micro workouts effective?  

Studies show that several micro workouts throughout the day can provide similar health benefits as one longer workout.2   Engaging in short bouts of exercise can have a positive impact on your cardiac, respiratory, and metabolic health, especially when compared to remaining sedentary .3 

Bonus benefits 

Time and space: As mentioned, one of the main ideas behind micro workouts is that they can be squeezed into busy days and small spaces. While it may seem impossible to consistently find the time for a full 30-60-minute workout, these short increments of physical activity can be done at nearly any time. If you have a few minutes and a few feet of space, you’re set to get it done.  

All fitness levels: Starting a new fitness routine can feel intimidating and is a common reason people choose not to exercise. Micro workouts are friendly for all fitness levels because they range in levels of intensity and can help you improve your current fitness level. You might start out with a simple walk around the block and a few weeks later crush 10 minutes of high-intensity interval training. 

Cost-effective: Money – another factor that can drive people away from exercising regularly. Whether it’s home gym equipment, a gym membership, or fitness classes, physical activity can be pricey. Most forms of micro workouts require no equipment or instructor, making them free and affordable for everyone.  


Exercise is important for all aspects of health, whether it’s an hour-long session or a few short sessions. Micro workouts are a great way to keep yourself active and reap the benefits of physical activity. When it comes to incorporating healthy habits, some is always better than none. So, whether you’re a beginner or a fitness enthusiast, give micro workouts a try and see how they can support your health and well-being. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  1. Elgaddal N, Kramarow EA, Reuben C. Physical activity among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2020. NCHS Data Brief, no 443. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2022. DOI: 
  1. Kilen A, Hjelvang LB, Dall N, Kruse NL, Nordsborg NB. Adaptations to Short, Frequent Sessions of Endurance and Strength Training Are Similar to Longer, Less Frequent Exercise Sessions When the Total Volume Is the Same. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Nov;29 Suppl 11:S46-51. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001110. PMID: 26506198. 
  1. Islam H, Gibala MJ, Little JP. Exercise Snacks: A Novel Strategy to Improve Cardiometabolic Health. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2022 Jan 1;50(1):31-37. doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000275. PMID: 34669625. 

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