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I don't have time to exercise and the dog ate my homeworkout…


Perhaps most people’s biggest hurdle to exercise is getting started. Sure, there are lots of other factors in regards to knowing what to do for specific results, how to do specific exercises and signing up for a daunting long term commitment in a gym membership.

Most people know the old adage, ‘something is better than nothing’ – well this applies to exercise more than anything else. Thinking about having to go to the gym for an hour or two a couple of times a week feels very hard to fit into a busy life schedule. As adults we have kids to take care of, jobs to go to, piano practice to drive to and bills to pay – do we really have time for 30-60 minutes of the recommended moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week that Health Canada recommends? Maybe, and maybe not….


What if you could all the benefits of the recommended 150 minutes of exercise in only 3 minutes, would you do it? Would you commit 3 minutes a week of your life to improving your cardiovascular health and extending your life span? When you hear it like that it sounds ridiculous to say no….




Martin Gibala Ph.D out of McMaster University performed the study that demonstrated

‘people who did a minute of all-out exercise three times a week, within a total time commitment of 30 minutes a week, had the same improvement over 3 months as the people who did all the exercise specificied by the public health guidelines.   That is, 150 minutes a week of continuous moderate exercise’

So this is what they did:

–          2 minute warmup

–          20 seconds of all out exercise followed by a rest 1 minute rest

–          20 seconds of all out exercise followed by a rest 1 minute rest

–          20 seconds of all out exercise followed by a rest 1 minute rest

–          2-3 minute cool down

That’s it… easy.

The applicable lessons:

-Intensity always trumps duration – even a 3 minute run has been shown to have tremendous benefits and that only a 6/10 intensity

– The exercise doesn’t matter. It can be an exercise bike like in the studies or it can be squats, jumping jacks, or even…… BURPEES!

– Something is better than nothing – every time. Just get started. You can commit to a 1 minute workout in your basement


Not having enough time to do something is just an excuse,   it’s the adult version of ‘the dog ate my homework’. What it really means is that you haven’t made it priority…. Or …. It means you didn’t know you could exercise for only 1 minute and get all the benefits.

If you know someone who is having trouble getting started on a fitness routine please share this story.

When you’re having trouble getting motivated for your workouts and life is getting busy, just remember: something / anything is better than nothing.


If you have questions, or want to know more about what to do and how to do it email

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