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Can you microdose exercise?
Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io, a nonprofit leader in longevity science journalism and advocacy, to bring you the latest research on aging and rejuvenation. Learn more about our partnership below.
If there’s a friend or loved one you’ve been trying to convince to join you for some exercise, you’ve probably heard the excuses:
“It’s too much hassle to get to the gym.”
“There’s just not enough time in the day.”
“I can’t do all those moves!”
But there’s new evidence that a little exercise can do a lot – making a lack of willpower, resources or time a whole lot less of a hurdle to doing something good for your (or your friend’s) health.
Short bursts, big difference
Researchers tracked short bursts of activity in thousands of people who did not regularly exercise.
These bursts were everyday activities many of us wouldn’t even count as exercise – for instance, climbing the stairs or running for a bus.
Would you swap your elevator ride for the stairs if you knew it was making a difference?
Yet the study found that even three 1-minute bursts of activity a day led to a 39 percent decrease in all-cause mortality for non-exercisers. And the more short bursts of movement people fit into their day, the better it was for their heart health and longevity.
Of course, nothing beats regular exercise – and the more you do, the more benefits you’ll experience. Yet this shows us that even tiny amounts of movement can have a huge impact on your well-being.
Not running up a flight of stairs or carrying heavy bags home from the grocery store every day? That’s okay, we have three classic foundational exercises that can be easily squeezed into any daily routine.
Set a timer and try microdosing these exercises for 1 minute each.
Targets: chest, back, triceps, shoulders, core
How to do it: Start in a plank position – on your toes (or your knees to reduce the difficulty) and with your palms on the floor just wider than your shoulders. Engage your core and glutes, then push away from the floor until your arms are fully extended. In the top position, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Lower yourself back down with control, stopping just before your chest touches the floor.
Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, calves
How to do it: Stand with your feet at shoulder width, chest proud and your core switched on. With your weight in your heels, sit back and down into a squat aiming to get your quads parallel to the ground. Push back up to standing.
Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, core
How to do it: Step one leg out in front of your body, with your eyes fixed on a point directly in front of you for balance. Place your hand on your hips, engage your core and drop your back knee toward the floor (only as low as you feel comfortable), making sure your front knee does not extend over your toes. With your weight on your front foot, drive back up to standing.
Disclaimer: This Centr content is adapted with permission from an article written by Lifespan.io. The content herein represents Centr’s interpretation of the original source material.
Want to learn more about how fitness impacts longevity?
Centr x Lifespan.io
Centr has partnered with Lifespan.io to bring you the latest in longevity research. Lifespan.io is the leading source of industry news and a nonprofit advocacy foundation whose mission is to accelerate progress toward overcoming age-related diseases. Since 2014, the organization has focused on responsible journalism, high-impact advocacy, and media initiatives that make longevity research and education more accessible to all.
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