Misconception: A sports session must last 45 minutes to be effective

Does a sports session have to last 45 minutes to be effective? This is confirmed by an old belief that many athletes still hold on to. However, according to sports coach Lucile Woodward, this is not the case… “It’s an idea that was quite popular in the ’80s and ’90s when doctors prescribed endurance workouts of at least 45 minutes to tap into the fat,” she explains. † But in the end it seems that any sporting activity, no matter how short, is good to undertake. “It allows you to build muscle anyway, to keep the heart, lungs and all organs involved in physical activity working. Good news for the less sporty and the busiest among us!

Small sessions of ten minutes a day have beneficial effects and will gradually strengthen the muscles. Practicing physical activity for even a few minutes also benefits your lifestyle in general. “It has been proven that exercising, even if it is 10 minutes or 15 minutes a day, will subconsciously move the body towards a slightly more balanced diet or at least richer in vitamins, minerals and fiber,” launches Lucile Woodward.

The arrival of short sessions

Are short sports sessions the ideal solution for people who have little time or simply don’t like exercise? The answer seems obvious. “Every sports session is good to take 15 minutes of muscle building, 15 minutes of stretching, yoga. It’s always super good, even a twenty minute run is great too, it’s almost 2:15 at the end of the week. It’s huge,” continues the professional. The perfect example of a short and effective sports session? The Tabata method developed by a Japanese sports physiology researcher. It consists of four minutes of ultra-intense exercise: one minute of effort followed by thirty seconds of recovery and so on until you reach four minutes. “It is a technique that is more intended for very high level athletes. It requires a very substantial warm-up, but it has produced fantastic results,” says Lucile Woodward.

The second example? The ‘seven-minute’ method, a well-known training program in the United States that even gave its name to a mobile application. She suggests exercising for seven minutes every day. Lucile Woodward, for her part, also offers a program to train for ten minutes a day. “It produces really interesting results,” she promises. Be careful though: short sessions require persistence, but also a certain intensity. “Actually, it’s better to do 5 20/30 minute sessions a day than one hour a week. Regularity is really the keyword again,” adds the sports coach.

Adjust your training to your goal

Finally, to get results even with short sessions, don’t forget to adapt the sessions to your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, it is better to go to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which is intensive and consumes maximum energy. Lucile Woodward specifies the same, however: “It still requires a good level of sport at the base to be able to make quick movements with a few jumps. If you prefer to tone up, you can do 15 to 20 minutes of muscle building. “That’s two and a half hours in a week. And building muscle for 2 hours a week, that really counts. So to stay healthy, we don’t hesitate to set aside 20 minutes a day to move our bodies. The little extra? Any kind of sport is useful: dancing, muscle building, cardio, walking or even climbing stairs… You just have to choose!