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Short Duration Exercise Programs -
Do They Work?
Part 1 of 1
By: Jackie Wright

There are some short duration exercise programs that may be effective. Seek out programs that promise realistic outcomes and results and use your common sense when purchasing those programs. No one program or piece of equipment does it all. And, there are some programs and equipment that simply do not do what is promised, so do your homework.

As always consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program and follow the guidelines below when making exercise program purchases whether it is from a personal trainer, a fitness facility or featured on an infomercial.

  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so avoid spending your hard earned income on that program. Remember, you cannot spot reduce. So avoid purchasing programs that promise fat burning from any specific part of the body. If you are purchasing an abdominal/core training program, specifically to strengthen the underlying muscle that is fine. But if your goal is to lose body fat, unless it includes cardio/aerobic training and a nutritional component, it will not burn fat from the abdomen, so save your money.
  • Short duration cardiovascular exercise programs, which usually feature weight loss as one of the key outcomes, in general, may need to be performed at higher levels of intensity due to the short duration. This may not be the intensity level of choice for you if you are currently unfit, sedentary or have physical limitations that would prohibit intense cardio/aerobic exercise. For someone who is fit and does not have any physical limitations prohibiting intense cardio/aerobic exercise, a short duration program may work just fine.
  • Also, short duration cardio/aerobic programs may need to be performed more frequently to see sought after results such as weight loss. More frequently may be just fine for you, but do thoroughly check out the program details prior to purchasing.
  • Use short duration exercise programs to supplement your regimented programs. Popping in a 30-minute lower body strengthening DVD a couple of times per week when you do not have time to go to the fitness studio, may work great. Or, dropping in for a 30-minute group indoor cycling class that really offers 30 solid minutes of cycling, might be just what you need to round out your cardio/aerobic workouts for the week.
  • The question that always pops into my head about short duration exercise programs is where is the warm-up and the cool-down stretch? So, that is a good question to ask because you need to warm-up and cool-down properly regardless how long the program lasts. Therefore, that will need to be built into the time frame as well.

The bottom line is that the lack of time is an issue for just about all of us. So, it is great to seek out shorter duration exercise programs as long as your expectations are realistic. Make wise choices, avoid consumer pitfalls by doing your homework before purchasing or performing or attending programs that offer quick-fixes, and utilize these programs in conjunction with your consistently performed, regular exercise program.

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