Updated: May 18
One reason people choose to avoid exercise is because it requires commitment. We have to commit time, energy, focus and effort to get our bodies moving in a meaningful way. So in many cases people simply opt out, choosing to avoid exercise and purposeful movement as it is simply too much of a task. But does exercise really require a heavy commitment and can we still benefit from small doses of movement? The answer is Yes we can.
Research has shown that the there are positive benefits to exercise, even if the exercise is minimal. A token workout for those who don't have much time or may be feeling a bit tired, is still a worthwhile workout. Exercise, even in small doses can have positive effects on our health in many areas, such as reduced body fat, maintaining a healthy body, muscular strength and endurance, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and other lifestyle related health issues, as well as promoting a positive state of mind.
A token workout is simply exercise done in such a way that it is quick, basic, doesn't require significant effort and can be done almost anywhere. When you are strapped for time and your energy is low, doing exercise has been shown to be much better than doing nothing. On my busy days, I am often very time poor so I want a quick fix as far as exercise is concerned, these are the days I do a token workout. My token workouts consist of running up to 2km, maybe doing 50 push ups, 30 chin ups, 40 lunges or squats, doing some basic dumbbell exercises or maybe just going for a walk. These workouts generally take less than 15 minutes to complete, they aren't complex or intense, they don't require a big warm up, I don't have to think much and I can squeeze them into my day without too much trouble. Not only is a token workout simple, but it can be convenient. You don't need to drive to the gym or a park, you can simply do a few push ups or squats in your lounge room. How easy is that, and you still reap the benefits of exercise, even for a simple and fast workout. Obviously a more committed routine and exercise will almost certainly result in greater benefits than a brief and simple workout, but that should not discourage you from engaging in a token workout, as something is always better than nothing.