A Small Amount Of Intense Exercise Can Have A Huge Impact On Your Life

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Getty Images / Anthony Kwan

If you don't break a sweat, you're not doing it right.

There's enough time for you to get a workout today - really.

Exercise is one of the most important habits you can develop that will transform your life. Working out can make you healthier, happier, and better able to sleep; it boosts your memory and cognitive abilities; and it raises libido. Slate compares it to a "free, safe, magic pill."

And you don't need to spend a lot of time on the treadmill to get serious benefits.
That's why breaking a sweat every day is one of the first habits that Business Insider recommends establishing in our 21-day self-improvement program #BIBetter (haven't checked it out yet? You should!).

Research shows that running at an intense pace - fast - for five to ten minutes a day can add years to your life.

In fact, people who run fewer than six miles a week and only five to 10 minutes a day show similar benefits in terms of cardiovascular health to people who run far more.

And there's nothing magical about running either, it's just an easy way to get a vigorous workout.

The benefits of small amounts of vigorous exercise are backed up by a lot of recent research into interval training. Studies show that short but intense periods of exercise can actually provide results similar to or even better than a longer, lower intensity session. You have to push yourself hard in that short period of time, but it's worth it. So set aside a few minutes this afternoon or tomorrow morning to get a quick run or seven minute workout in. And by all means, do more if you've got the time, but do at least that much every day for the rest of your life.

Your body and mind will thank you.