DOES THE 7 MINUTE WORKOUT WORK?
Does the 7 minute workout work? With this blasted pandemic wearing thin, it’s more vital than ever to find a way to exercise. You may not feel comfortable going back to the gym. Avoiding people on crowded paths is dodgy. (pun intended) The obvious answer is working out at home. What about the 7 minute workout to increase metabolism?
FACT VERSUS FICTION : FOLLOW THE SCIENCE!
I admit to some initial skepticism. I wondered if such a short amount of time garnered any health benefits. So I researched this and –naturally– science has the answer! The short answer is…YES! Working out at home doing the 7 minute workout, works.
Be honest. Who doesn't have 7 minutes to spare? No one!
WORKING OUT AT HOME WITHOUT EQUIPMENT
You need nothing except a little space and enough motivation to last 7 minutes.
Yes, motivation is the hardest part. I hope the evidence in this post will convince you that it’s worth it.
After all, you’ll have 1433 minutes left in your day to do other things!
Okay, technically you need your phone timer. And we’ll break this down into even smaller increments.
So how should we exercise to maximize the health benefits and raise our metabolism?
RAISING OUR METABOLISM: WHAT DOES THAT ACTUALLY MEAN?
One proven way to increase our metabolism is with the 7 minute workout! (Which is why I’m writing about it, obviously!)
WHY DOES THE 7 MINUTE WORKOUT INCREASE OUR METABOLISM?
Let’s get this calorie business out of the way right now. It makes sense that side by side, you will burn more calories with a longer, steady state cardio work out because well, you’re doing it for longer. (cardio workout, not walking the dog.) Check out the chart to the right. Or this link to calculate calories burned for different activities.
But…and this is a big but (not big butt)… once you’re done with the steady state cardio workout, you’re done. The 7 minute workout keeps giving back! WHY?
TWO REASONS: THE AFTERBURN EFFECT AND ANAEROBIC ENERGY PRODUCTION
SO HOW MANY CALORIES ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?
The amount of calories you burn at rest depends on factors such as your muscle mass. Muscle takes more energy to exist–meaning when we’re sitting around– then fat does. So if you HAVE more muscles, you naturally burn more calories, again sitting around.
This is why doing some weight training, twice a week, will also increase your metabolism. (No, not the topic of this post, but I had to share the info.)
ONE LAST IMPORTANT POINT : HEART HEALTH
I know, this part gets annoying. But the sad fact is that you can go gluten-free, do a cleanse, intermittent fast, adapt a keto diet. Take supplements. Walk a few miles with your dog and/or friends! Practice yoga, to increase strength and flexibility and improve your mindset. Pilates! Endurance training. All this is great! Keep at it!
ONE MORE BENEFIT OF HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING
I make a lot of jokes about sugar because I am a sugar addict. If you’re curious about why we like the foods we do, here’s an intriguing post about taste!
If you like eating, too, here’s yet another benefit of the 7 minute workout.
SCARY LIST OF EXCESS GLUCOSE SIDE EFFECTS
Diminished insulin sensitivity means that our bodies don’t efficiently feed our cells.
BUT THE 7 MINUTE WORK OUT WORKS BY IMPROVING OUR ABILITY TO GET GLUCOSE INTO OUR CELLS
HOW DO WE GARNER ALL THESE BENEFITS?
TARGET HEART RATE
We benefit when our heart rates are 77% above resting values.
You know about this formula. Take your age and subtract from 220. Multiply by .77. This number is probably less than you thought! Not so bad!
Take a 40-year old person. The estimate is 220-40 = 180. Multiply by .77 = 138 beats/minute.
Bodybuilding dot com says that the Karvonnen formula is more advanced since it also takes into account your resting heart rate. This is your heart rate at complete rest. To determine this, take your pulse for 60 seconds just before you get out of bed… or take it for 30 seconds and multiply by 2.
Once you have this number, you can plug in your values here.
THE DOWN AND DIRTY 7 MINUTE WORKOUT
How do we do this? With static exercises. What an oxymoron!
I asked a personal trainer, who devised this 7 minute workout for us.
If you touch the ground (with that inside hand) this exercise is much more difficult!
OK…technically this is a prisoner squat hop. Keep your arms down and poof, it’s a squat.
Last but not least…..BURPEES! (My least favorite, so I saved it for the end)
WE'VE PROCRASTINATED ENOUGH HERE. WE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION : "DOES THE 7 MINUTE WORKOUT WORK?"
TIME TO DO THIS!
1. FIND A SPOT IN YOUR HOUSE WITH A LITTLE SPACE. (My house looks nothing like that burpee guy’s, either. In fact, I bet that isn’t even his house. ha!)
2. SET YOUR TIMER FOR 40 SECONDS….GO!
3. TAKE A 20 SECOND BREAK WHILE PACING IN A TIGHT CIRCLE AND TRY NOT TO CURSE AT ME.
4. EXERCISE # 2.
5. YOU’LL BE DONE IN 7 MINUTES! BE PROUD.
And if, by exercise # 4, your 20 seconds of rest has stretched to 30 seconds, don’t beat yourself up.
It’s OK, we’re just starting out. You’ll improve.
ONE LAST HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE FACT
WORKING OUT AT HOME WITHOUT EQUIPMENT
I admit that the 7 Minute Workout isn’t fun, but I love having done it! Don’t take my word for it — it doesn’t take long to try it out yourself. Only 7 minutes!
Truthfully, we could all squeeze a 7 minute activity into our day. Would I prefer to check out the boots online at Nordstroms for seven minutes? Yes, I would. But I always show an amazing amount of restraint.
If you’re interested about whether or not social media affects your habits, I have a post here that you’ll like!
IS THERE AN APP FOR A 7 MINUTE WORKOUT?
Of course! There are apps which will walk you through this if you prefer. Complete with timers. This one has cute little robot helpers. It won an award in the Google Fit Developer challenge!
Whether you try the workout above or get this fun app, you’ll have all these good things happening to you, raised metabolism, efficient cardiovascular system, lowered risk of diabetes, to name a few.
Which is your least favorite of these exercises? (You know the one I dislike.)
Most favorite? I actually like planks. And yoga. But yoga isn’t helping me burn calories at rest.
All right, procrastinating time over. Get your 7 minutes knocked down, so you can do your fun stuff, too!
For example, subscribing to my blog is fun!
A very good article, educational AND funny!
Thank you so much, Marian!
I wish I was able to do high intensity workouts, even a short one like a 7 minute session, due to my low exercise tolerance caused by my reactive hypoglycaemia. Trying to fit in daily short sessions of yoga instead
Darn it about your health issues. We do what we can! Yoga is my absolute favorite! It’s great for muscle tone, flexibility, and especially mental health! I’m happy that you’re practicing. Do you follow anyone in particular?
I just use an app as the notifications help me to remember
I have come to rely on notifications, too! Thanks.
Great article and a good reminder for me. I was doing a 7-min workout via an app. As you say, who doesn’t have 7 minutes. I’ve gotten away from it but on those days I don’t play pickleball, I could reestablish it. Thanks for sharing.
How great that you’re already incorporating this workout into your weekly routine! It is easy to let things like this slide, I agree. I’m happy that you’re planning to get back to it. Thanks so much!
Great job explaining the health benefits! My wife and I have been using the 7 Minute HIIT Home Workout Trainer you mentioned here. And with being stuck at home, and no access to a gym, it has really helped us stay fit and keep our health. Thanks for the article 🙂
I agree, the app I mentioned is solid. I was using my phone timer but the app timer is more convenient. I find that I prefer the little robot guy to buff humans, too! An app also keeps boredom at bay, which means a better chance of success. Thanks so much!
Motivation is the thing that stops me doing regular (or let’s be honest here, ANY) proper exercise. I just hate it and no matter what I try or look at, I still hate it. We were doing Joe Wicks at the start of the first lockdown and that just about finished me off. 7 minutes though. May have to try this one, thank you, Sue!
Motivation is my nemesis, too! I tell myself that I love having done
You probably won’t like this, either, but it’s only 40 seconds at time! Check back in and let me know how your first session went! Thanks, Lisa.
Oh a 7 minute work out is something I could definitely handle! I will have to try it out. Thanks so much for sharing all about it!
I hope you give it a go! Thanks!
I’m doing some exercise everyday from a great video on YouTube (not high-intensity as I’m not there yet) and I see the benefits so I can see how this 7 minute workout will make some impact. Thanks for sharing!
How great that you workout daily and you’re seeing benefits. It’s not instantaneous, which makes motivation tougher. (at least for me!) Kudos! And thanks.
Great advice for people who hate to exercise or don’t have much time.
It goes fast once you get going! Thanks.
I couldn’t agree anymore with this article, exercise is essential to a healthy active lifestyle. My form of exercise is going out for walks and doing cycling, I’ll be glad to get back to the gym soon 😁
Nothing beats going outside to exercise! I hope your gyms open soon. Thanks!
Great post with a very happy conclusion ! I definitely have 7 minutes….. but I may skip the burpees 🙂
I see I’m not alone in my burpee distain. Substitute with the lunges? I’m sure you’ve got a set of barbells lying around! ha Thanks!
That’s great to know it works. I think it would be easy to build motivation for the 7 minute workout until everything gets back to normal. Thank you for sharing!
I was excited to see that conclusion, too. 7 minutes goes by quickly, even with burpees! Thanks.
I love the idea of a quick and effective workout, makes it seem much more manageable, especially for beginners. Great post!
Anika | chaptersofmay.com
7 minutes does go quickly! Getting started is the hardest part. Thank you!
This is such an interesting post. I personally love shorter workouts. I can slot them into my day so easily and find that I stick to them.
I’ve come to the same conclusion! Short and sweet gets the job done. Thanks!
I am inspired to try this! Thanks for the great research. I wouldn’t have believed seven minutes could be so productive!
I didn’t believe it, either! (Which is why I researched. ha) I hope do try it. Thanks.
Such a useful post. I’m glad that 7 minute are effective ways of working out as they are some of my favourite things to do as I know I don’t have to commit to hours. I try and do 2-3 in a row targeting different areas and it’s still only 20 mins of exercise!
Tash – A Girl with a View
20 minutes of exercise is fantastic, good for you. I used to think that if a workout didn’t take an hour, it was useless. I was wrong! Thanks so much!
This is such a helpful post! 7 minutes is perfect because it easily fits into your day and is so short I might be able to motivate myself for all of it! x
Exactly! I’m sure you can do this. Thanks so much!
This is a very informative post. With the current quarantine situation it is very easy to fall into our easy lazy ways, and the idea of sparing 7 minutes a day to improve our health is really amazing.
It’s a little mind boggling that we can improve our heart health (and more), but the science backs this up. I’m guilty of lazy ways, too. I’ve started this routine and it’s over before I can blink. I hope you try it. Thanks.
Motivation is definitely my biggest problem – I intermittently go through phrases of training more intensely, but I just don’t enjoy home work outs. I typically run at least once every other day (but I get knee problems), which is something, and used to be able to swim. I need gyms to re-open because that forces me to get up and go really… knowing it’s really just seven minutes should encourage me to keep going though, thanks for sharing!
I’m a class girl too, so the limited options have been a challenge for me as well. Maybe this workout could fill in a few gaps for you on your opposite run days? I hope your knees hold up! Thanks so much!
It is great that you can still do a workout within 7 minutes. It is still better than no workout at all! Love the different workouts you can do in 7 mins. I used to do HIIT a lot, and they’re great for getting your heart pumping!
Nancy ✨ mdrnminimalists.com
How great that you used to do HIIT! I agree, nothing beats high intensity for heart exercise. Thanks!
Oo, I love a good workout and this one incorporates many exercises I am familiar with along with some I am not so I look forward to trying this out. It is important to exercise; not only does it improve overall health it also helps build my confidence. 🙂
Building confidence! I didn’t touch on the psychology of exercise but you are spot on! Thanks for bringing that up.
You bet! Thank YOU for sharing this in-depth piece of writing. 🙂
If I knew how to put one of those blush emoticons in here, I would! Thanks!
Great post with a lot of information and research! I love doing shorter workouts where I kick my own butt with HIIT and strength training combined than longer ones.
I prefer strength training to steady state cardio, so a quick work out like this is in my wheelhouse, too. I’m glad you found my post informative! And that you’re kicking your own butt with HITT! Thanks so much!
I absolutely loved reading this! You’re so right, who doesn’t have 7 minutes to spare! I’ll definitely have to challenge myself to do this workout this week. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
I’d love to hear what you think after you try it! Thanks so much.
Great post! I should really try this workout, 7 minutes is so easy to fit in at any time of the day.
So true! I’m glad you liked my post, thanks.
You’ve definitely inspired me to give this a go! I’ve done 7 minute work outs in the past and then lacked the motivation to stick with it! Thanks for sharing!
Hurrah for you giving this a go! I hope you do. Check back and let me know what you think. Thanks!
Excellent post with very practical information on the home workout. I will give it a try and let you know. Thanks again for all the time and work you put in. Mike
You’re so welcome! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. Thanks!
Burpees, ugh! Also my least favorite! But intervals are totally the way to go…since I started doing them I can really tell the difference. I’ve exercised for years, doing nice long slow runs or other aerobic stuff but never getting too uncomfortable. I HATED intervals when I started. But they get more tolerable…
What a great testament to HITT! Thank you so much for sharing your success story!
Great post, very inspiring! My husband & I have been incorporating some of these exercises already and have just been trying to increase the number and duration of exercises we can do. We are just starting out so the 7 minute workout would be a wonderful routine to incorporate! We also got a pull-up bar that fits in a doorway & folds away when not in use. Our other primary exercise is walking and hiking. I also love yoga, but some days I do nothing. Now I can add the 7 minute workout on those days to feel better!
A pull up bar? I’m impressed. I’m also happy that you found the post inspiring! And more excited that you’re incorporating the 7 minute workout! I’ve been doing this 3 times a week, with a 10-15-minute warm up with some yoga /light weights/ a little core beforehand. I feel much better after only 3 weeks. Check back in and let me know how it’s going. (Between your hikes and walks!)
That’s a good 7 mins workout plan but for a starter some of those the burpees especially even looks difficult! Can you post something for starters too Plz. Tht would be great. I enjoyed the humour in the content. Cheers
Top 10s Only
Thanks so much! I love top 10 lists. Let’s talk about this. Thanks for reaching out.
I need to start moving my lazy ass as soon as possible 😀
I mean, every person CAN find 7 minutes in a day… or every second day and if we are talking about our health, than 7 minutes can’t be a big problem. The only problem is motivation, BUT with that we can all work! Thanks for this post! Very interesting!
Motivation is the issue, I agree! Plus, 7 minutes is pretty painless. I set this workout as a calendar reminder! It’s helped me. Maybe that little trick will work for you? Check back and let me know! Thanks.
Thank you for sharing such helpful and interesting content, Susan!
You’re quite welcome. I hope you try a 7-minute workout! And thanks.