Can 1 Minute of Exercise Make A Difference? 20 Reason Why it Might.

1 minute of Exercise

Sometimes we have the goal of exercising, but we just don’t seem to have the time. I fell into that category many times as my plans to exercise were pushed back because of other priorities. When we think about all the time it takes to get dressed, travel, exercise, and shower we might feel like skipping exercise, even if we have the time. 

If we want to increase my overall health and fitness, short periods of exercise, even just one minute, can help. These 1 minutes exercise sessions when repeated regularly become a motivator for even more healthy activity in the future. 

The reason to do a one-minute exercise is that it’s helpful in several ways over time. Everything in life tends to have an accumulative effect. Whether it gaining weight or losing it, getting stronger or weaker, and the little efforts I make each day to add to my fitness all make a difference. 

Start Making A Difference Your Own Way

Starting an exercise program is difficult. It requires time and energy. Most people just don’t have the mental and physical energy to do it on a consistent basis. That’s why it’s a good idea to take at least one minute to exercise each day.

If your day is busy and you can’t spare the time, 1 minute of exercise can get you moving in the right direction. At the end of the day when you are mentally and physically tired, you may not feel up to exercising, but one minute doesn’t sound so bad. 

Even if you’re not benefiting much physically from your efforts, you’re putting yourself in the correct mindset. You will be able to keep the commitments you made to yourself when you promised yourself you would exercise each day and start to feel the repeated sessions become a habit after a month or so.

When your mind and body start to get used to thinking and feeling the habit of exercise, then you are feeling good about making having made and kept that commitment each day to creating a healthy body.

As you continue each day, it then becomes important to recognize that value of the habit, not so much the exercise, that you are establishing. Keeping track with a checklist of each day you exercised will help you recognize your accomplishments.  

The other important idea when establishing any healthy habit is to recognize the value of what you are doing and where it will take you. Thinking positively about your efforts is vital when you feel like you may not really accomplishing anything. 

Just remember you are accomplishing a great deal just by repeating a pattern every day because it will become a part of who you are in your daily life. 

All those 1-minute exercises over the span of months will now start to pay off in the mental effort needed to exercise more. You can start adding more minutes and adding additional small exercise periods in your day. 

You’ll be more likely to get more exercise over the course of months because the mental and physical drain is lower as you’ve built up your habit.

The mental rewards can be high if you can get your thinking positively based. Like working a full day and coming home and feeling like you deserve a break, accomplishing your one-minute exercise can give a genuine feeling of accomplishment when framed correctly.

In 1-3 months you should be able to more confidently decide for yourself exactly what you want and need from an exercise program. You will better recognize what your needs are and what your limits should be to help you continue exercising each day, without feeling overwhelmed. 

Each step should be easy enough for you to try each day and hard enough for you to see progress. Then the cumulative effects of exercise will really start to impact your life for each month that you consistently exercise.

Here are 20 ways that exercising for 1 minute will help you accomplish different goals. Each goal needs a starting point, and a 1-minute routine is a great place to start. 

1. It Helps Prepare for an Athletic Event

If it’s January 1st and you are planning to run a 5K run at the beginning of summer, you will need to do some training if you have never run a 5K. The summer is a long way away and you’ll have plenty of time to prepare, but if your like so many people you may put it off until it’s almost too late. 

To help yourself achieve your goal, try exercising for one minute a day. This will prepare you mentally for the training that will need to be done to have a good experience when running, so you will be less likely to get injured or feel defeated after running your 5K. 

You’ll need to start getting into a habit of exercising with the types of exercises that will help you with your event. Each one-minute exercise is a short version of the exercise you’ll need to do when preparing for the event.

In this process, you’re developing a habit that will pull you through the harder training that will come later. 

2. It Helps Develop Mental Stamina

It’s hard to accomplish something that is physically difficult, but people do it all the time. Why? Each has different types of motivation, but most have mental stamina.

Mental stamina is a way of thinking that makes you feel like you can accomplish the goal you set out to do, even though it may be very difficult. 

Starting out easy will allow your mental stamina to start to develop. You can see that you did accomplish that goal you set out to do and you will be able to set the bar higher over time. 

As you do 1 minute of exercise one week each day and see your success, the next week you can add more time or more sessions to bring your mental stamina to the next level. 

Stamina Over Time

If you think of it as a natural process, that is not forced, it may help you unblock any inhibitions that are in your way of starting the process of developing mental stamina when exercising. Make your exercise something you enjoy doing, and stamina will likely develop naturally.

When you think about your hair or fingernail growth, you notice that all of a sudden they have gotten quite a bit longer than the last time you took a close look at them. We can’t see them grow because they grow imperceptibly slow.

We can measure our progress better when looking back and seeing that little by little we have made improvements in effort and time set aside to exercise. Our mental stamina has increased when we are willing to do harder exercise each week or month. 

3. It Helps to Combat Diabetes

Your body needs to move each day and circulate your blood properly, along with all the nutrients and waste that need to get to each of your cells. Sitting all day at work is creating a heart that is not effectively able to help the body stay healthy. 

Your heart is not getting stronger but is sedentary, so it will start to have problems in the long term. You’ll not be able to burn calories well and the chemicals in your body that would help you more effectively handle sugars in food may not be being produced or able to work very well. 

Bodies are not supposed to be sitting for long. This is a condition of our modern life. Up until recently, most people needed to move quite a bit during the day, but more and more we have the option of sitting to do our jobs, be entertained, and live our lives without moving as much as in the past.

When we interrupt sitting with a minute of exercise throughout the day we start to break the cycle of a sedentary body and get things moving. Everything just works better as we move and our bodies can generally better handle sugars from food

4. It Helps to Build Healthy Habits

As mention before, we can build a habit by repeating an action each day until it becomes a part of our daily routine. Habits help us able to accomplish tasks that would seem difficult if given to us all at once.

One minute of exercise might seem like it won’t do much to improve our situation, but it will if we use it for habit building. If I just schedule a minute of push-ups each day, at the same time each day, I will start to feel like I need to do it, even if I didn’t really want to do it in the past.

Once I have created a habit, it will help carry me to accomplish even better goals that will impact my health and goals for the future. I recall as a child I was always interested in exploring. I would ride my bike to new places that I hadn’t been to before. 

Before long I was riding longer distances as my endurance grew, so I could explore places that were further away. I had built a habit based on my interest to explore and had pretty much ignored my tired body because I was so focused on going to where I wanted to get to.

We can develop habits that will lead us to where we want to go by repeating patterns, such as one minute of exercise, over and over until we are strong enough to take the next step toward our goal.

5. It Helps to Hedge off Depression

Many people in modern society feel alone. They are surrounded by people but they don’t feel connected to anyone. This leads people to feel sad and for others to start to feel depressed. There are chemical and physical changes that can occur during depression and the loss of loved ones.

Getting moving can take your mind off repetitive negative thoughts and help you focus on something else. While one minute will not likely help with physical or chemical changes, it can help those suffering start to see that at least exercise is possible.

A good way to start is by walking in the sun for 5 minutes. The sun can really help some with enhancing their mode. The sun helps the body make vitamin D and that in turn helps the body to regulate mood.

Getting out in the sun for a couple of days each week could help those who are vitamin D deficient. You don’t need to expose your whole body to the sun, and if you are out longer than five minutes sunning yourself make sure to use sunscreen. You are likely able to get enough vitamin D from foods, and supplements if you are taking them, and some sunlight.

So, getting moving can focus thoughts away from negative repetitive thoughts, and sunlight can help affect overall mood. 

6. It Helps to Reduce Unhealthy Snacking

Exercise can make you very thirsty at times. Many people like to buy a water bottle to carry with them while exercising to quench their thirst and cool down. When doing just one minute of exercise you can start to practice the habit of drinking water before and after you exercise

This, like other habits, is something that might not be natural at first. We tend to drink water only when we feel thirsty, even if our bodies need more water. Determine how much water you need and then you can start working up to drinking that much in a day. 

This will help you feel less hungry and will likely give you more energy. When you keep a consistent schedule you’ll be able to get the most out of drinking water. You might even lose weight if your less hungry over the course of a couple of months and if you have more energy you can get in more exercise when you didn’t feel able to before.

7. It Helps By Giving You a Mental Break

As a former teacher, the students and I would always take a break to stretch, dance, or exercise in fun ways. After 1-5 minutes we would get back to our learning task. It makes a big difference for students when they can get their energy out and take a mental break.

Giving yourself a break is helpful when you as starting to lose focus. If you’re sitting too long your blood is just not circulating effectively, but when you take a minute to exercise, your sending blood to your cells with more efficiency. 

When my student took a break, doing jumping jacks, hops, jumps, and dancing started to wear them out after about 3 minutes and they were able to sit and focus better when they were ready to stop their exercise. 

We can get out some of that nervous energy and help ourselves feel a bit more relaxed yet focused when we do a minute of intense exercise several times throughout the day when we need it. 

8. It Helps When Recovering from Injuries

Whether you’re injured, sitting, or laying in bed too long, this can lead to problems. We have bodies that were meant to move, so if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour it’s time to get your body moving

Injuries can require bed rest, yet doctors will give their patients exercises to perform as soon as possible and sometimes while they are lying in bed. These short exercises can help patients recover from many types of issues over time.  

It is also preventative. You can help prevent varicose veins by moving often and increase the likelihood that your heart will stay healthy.

A sedentary lifestyle leads to heart disease, cancer, and many other problems. The more you move the less likely you are to develop problems and the greater likelihood that you will help solve problems that have already occurred. 

9. It Helps To Fix Your Achy Back

Sitting in a chair or bed can lead to backaches. The position we sit in is usually to blame. Others who do physical labor or who work out may have pulled a muscle or injured a disc in their spine.

While a doctor would need to advise you on a back injury, some backaches will start to go away by strengthening the core. Some people like to do the plank, some sit-ups, and other leg lifts. If you’re properly strengthening your core, your back will have more support, it will be less likely to ache when you are using it. 

You can also injure your back from doing exercises the wrong way, so ask for help when needed. I always make sure my lower back is flush with the ground if I am doing a sit up and I never do repetitions, I just engage my core and hold. I feel like this helps me prevent strain on my back. 

Another exercise I do while lying on my back is lifting my legs toward the ceiling. I can keep my back on the floor and engage my core. If my back feels like it is starting to strain I stop; I don’t need to pull a muscle. 

10. It Help When Challenging Yourself to Beat Your Best Score or Number of Reps

When you’re interested in how many of a type of exercise you can do in one minute, then your not alone. People love to challenge themselves and see if they can beat their best score or see if they can do better than a competitor.

If you’ve seen America Ninja Warrior, you may have been cheering for the different competitors and wondered how far you could get on the course. 

Having a partner you can work with will make it helpful when doing a competition to see how many of a certain exercises you can do in a minute. 

Right now I am challenging myself to see if I can get up to 25 push-ups in a set. Having a friend or someone to help keep you accountable can help to keep working toward your goal when things get hard. 

11. It Helps You Live Longer

Keeping healthy is known to help you live a longer life.  But how can one minute of exercise do anything? Like most types of exercises, there’s an accumulative effect that occurs over time. We start to see the effects months later whether we start or stop doing exercise.

One minute of exercise is just the beginning to help start the journey of exercise. We can start with one minute and expand to do more exercise over time. Maybe for some, this will be 5 minutes of intense exercise each day and for others walking for 30 minutes each day. 

As we continue to exercise and work toward making it a habit, it will help us live longer, healthier lives. The more I sit each day the shorter my life span will be, while the more I get up and move, even for a minute the longer I will live. 

So while a minute of exercise might not seem significant, it can make a difference in our lives if we use it to help us get moving around when we are sitting at work or at home most of the time. We will live a longer life the move minutes we choose to exercise and move.

12. It Helps To Modify Your Happiness Level

Happiness is elusive for some. For others, it seems to come naturally. There is truth to the notion that we are born with traits and raised to acquire traits for different levels of happiness in our life. We can also change our levels of happiness by the actions we take.

Our genes can determine the levels of chemicals that are released into our bodies. We may naturally feel one way or another. Then our upbringing and environment play a role in helping mold the epigenetic expression of our genes. This can help us feel happier or less happy. Last, we can change our gene expression ourselves through diet, exercise, and behavior. 

While the evidence of these ideas may not be completely back up by science in human studies, there is enough evidence from science to show that each time I exercise, I am changing how my body is functioning.

The more I exercise on a consistent basis, the more likely I will change my levels of chemical levels and happiness. If I can exercise even for one minute, little by little changes occur over time to benefit my overall happiness, even if the changes are imperceptible at first. 

13. It Helps You Relax

Whether you are going to bed for the night or need to take a minute away from the stress of work, or upsetting situations, exercising for a minute can give you the relief you need to help you relax.

Sometimes I find it helpful to do some push-ups when I can seem to sleep. It takes about a minute to do push-ups until I can’t anymore. I take it slow and try not to get my heart rate up too high, then when I get into bed I relax my body and find that about half the time I fall asleep better.

During stressful situations, it can be helpful to get out your energy by doing some exercises to relieve your stress. Similar to deep breathing, exercise gives your body to chance to let out your stress in a constructive way. 

If you exercise vigorously for a minute, you’ll likely be able to relax better and deal with the situation at hand. 

14. It Helps Increase Your Flexibility

When we stretch we are helping our muscles stay loose enough to exercise with less chance of injury. Light stretching for a minute can help you relieve some muscle tightness and strain that may have occurred from sitting improperly.

As you do some stretching you will be enabling your full range of motion. You will be less likely to have strains from tight muscles and when you are using your muscles to accomplish tasks at home or work, you be better able to perform tasks if your muscles aren’t tight. 

Remember not to stretch too far and to do some type of warm-up on the muscles you are stretching, so you pull a muscle. Sometimes stretching can cause more problems if done improperly, so take it easy. 

A good rule of thumb is to feel a gentle pull and not to feel pain. If you are smoothly and gently stretching, you may feel slight discomfort, but no pain. Make sure your muscles are warm before the stretch and take your time.   

15. It Helps To Decrease Your Appetite

Sometimes I feel so hungry. I want to eat until I can’t eat anymore. When I exercise I still feel hungry, but I am less likely to want to eat more than I should. 

If you exercise right before breakfast. lunch, or dinner, you may find that your appetite is not as strong as it would normally be. 

You are likely to feel fuller after exercise and studies suggest that exercise will help keep the hormones that make you feel hungry under control. 

Each person is different, and it is likely that exercise and diet will influence your overall hunger throughout the day. Your body is giving you signals that aren’t necessarily always helpful, like, “I’m still hungry,” when you’ve already had plenty to eat.

This could be a signal you need more water, vitamins, or other nutrients, but If you’re like me, sugar is one of the reasons that my body signals me to eat. Sugar may make you feel better but it’s not supplying anything healthy, in fact, the opposite. 

So we need to ask ourselves what our body really needs, not what it wants. If you find that a little exercise helps, try increasing the number of sessions each day to help your body feel more in balance throughout the day.

16. It Helps You Try Something New

There are so many great exercises that you can do and tons that can be done in a minute. Some exercises require weights and equipment, but a wide variety of exercises need no equipment at all. 

If you do a little research I’m sure you see many new exercises to try out and soon you’ll find ones that are your new favorites. Here are two web pages to check out, ( and (

Cross fit has seen a great deal of enthusiasm for many people in the past few years because of its variety and use of many types of equipment. I think a lot of people including myself get bored of the same types of challenges and want to try a different activity that is challenging

If you find one new exercise you can try it out for a week one minute at a time and see how it works for you. You may begin to enjoy it more than other types of exercise once you get used to it.

17. It Helps You Refine Your Form

I have had many experiences of exercising when my form was not correct. Sometimes I just wanted to get through the exercise with the number of repetitions I had already told myself I was going to work on. I would finish the set but my form was off

One of the reasons to refine your form is to prevent injury. You may be putting undue pressure on joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles when using the wrong form. Over time injuries can occur and it may not even be noticeable to you when you’re doing the exercise.

That’s when a phone or another person can come in helpful. Record yourself as you exercise or ask the other person to watch your form. Soon you can recognize what you did wrong and start to fix it.

If you go slowly you can feel your muscles engaging and will be less likely to cause injury. While if you go fast or have jerky motions, you may cause injury or have incorrect form. 

18. It Helps Jump Start Your New Exercise Program

A commitment to do an exercise program that you’re not used to can take a lot of mental and physical effort. Whatever your goal is, making sure you are able to follow through is one of the best ways to get what you want. 

If you want to get a sense of what you’re in for when starting a new exercise program, try doing a minute of exercise for each type of exercise you plan on doing during your workout. Try this each day you plan on exercising in the future. 

So if you want to go to the gym three days a week, you can plan to exercise one minute for each of the exercises you will do at the gym. Try the same types of exercises on the same days that you would be going to the gym.

You can then determine after a week or two if you need to modify anything so you can make your goals a reality. Sometimes jumping into something headlong is tough and we just don’t have the momentum to continue. But with planning and being realistic about your goal bases on watching your own behavior, you can end up obtaining your goals easier.

19. It Helps You Connect With a Friend

We all need a friend to help us out, especially when things get tough. When you have a friend that likes to get out and do something, suggest exercise. It doesn’t mean going to the gym, I mean going for a walk or playing soccer.

There are lots of fun things to do outside that can get you and your friend into a better mood. Try surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, climbing rocks, tennis, and anything else that gets your heart beating a bit more. 

Soon you’ll be having fun and forgetting about any worries. It only takes a few minutes to get lost in a fun activity and to pump your blood through your body with more effort. You’ll be glad you got out instead of sat at home and watched TV. 

When you can connect with others and get in some exercise at the same time, you’ve doubled your chances of having a positive experience.

20. It can Help You Finish a 7-Minute App Routine

If you have ever used a 7-minute app to help you exercise, you may have noticed that the exercises last for 30 seconds each and then proceed to the next exercise. This brings variety and helps the exercises go by quickly. 

You can take two exercises from the routine and use them in a minute of exercise. When you are ready, you can add more to help you reach your goal of completing the entire 7-minute exercise routine. 

If you’re working on exercising more each day, you can use a 7-minute app on your phone or a video on YouTube to add a little more time to your routine. 

You can decide when it’s time to add more or different types of exercises to your routine until you find the right mix of exercises and best time periods for you to add more minutes to your routine.

When you keep up a realistic routine, you’ll have used one minute of exercise periods to help you get through all 7 minutes and will have finally completed the entire 7-minute routine. 


As you make and keep commitments to yourself to exercise, you will begin to add value to your physical and mental health. One minute of exercise is a great starting point that is like a gentle hand pulling you in the right direction.

You can use one minute of exercise in various ways to benefit yourself and to help you work toward goals that you’ve set. You’ll get a lot more out of trying than not, and that’s why one minute of exercise is so valuable; it’s easy to do it every day and can motivate you to take the next step. 

Thanks for visiting

Additional Questions

Which exercise is the most effective for the whole body?

This question may not have a definitive answer, but my opinion is that swimming is the best at engaging the whole body when exercising. On land, you could say a combination of moves like in a burpee is also fairly effective.

What’s the best exercise program for beginners?

Most beginners need support. Finding a supportive, positive exercise group or personal trainer will make a big difference. For those starting on their own, an exercise program that is thoroughly planned out and starts easy, and slowly helps them make noticeable progress will likely be effective.


I enjoy many types of outdoor activities including running, hiking, and walking. I was a former elementary school teacher for 17 years and now enjoy writing and sharing my love of the outdoors.

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