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Here’s What Happens to Your Body if You Exercise for 15 Minutes Every Day

Woman exercising outdoors

Marathon season reaches its peak mid-fall. If you watched from your couch this year, wondering how anyone could ever run for that long, experts want you to know you don’t have to spend hours running a 26.2-mile race to reap the benefits of physical activity.

“Too often, people feel they don’t have time to exercise because they think they have to go to the gym for an hour to reap the health benefits, but they don’t,” says Katie Lawton, MEd., an exercise physiologist with Cleveland Clinic Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy.

But what if you only have 15 minutes? Is it worth it?

“I always say that 15 minutes is better than 0 minutes,” says Stan Kravchenko, personal trainer, founder and leader trainer at OneFit.

Why is that, and how do you know if you’re working out enough or too much? Experts share what happens to your body when you log 15 minutes of exercise daily. 

Related: What Happens to Your Body If You Run Every Day 

What Happens to Your Body if You Exercise for 15 Minutes Daily

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Lawton echoes these recommendations, but what does vigorous or moderate-intensity actually mean?

“Vigorous-intensity exercise can be thought of as an intensity where you are not able to hold a conversation,” Lawton says. “Moderate-intensity exercise can be described as you can hold a conversation, but raising your voice would be a challenge.”

Fifteen minutes per day, seven days per week equals 105 minutes per day—that’s between 75 and 150 minutes. Where should you fall on the intensity scale, then?

It depends. “For those who’ve been active and have the experience exercising, I suggest starting with vigorous

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