Having trouble making it to the gym for an hour a day? Maybe you don’t need to go. A new field of science called Metabolmics as looking at what happens inside your body during cellular metabolism. And they have found that just 10 minutes of exercise can go a long way.

After we exercise, our heart rate usually settles back down to normal in 10 minutes or so. But some of the positive changes inside our cells continue for an hour or more! A group of researchers measured the biochemical changes in the blood of 70 people while they were exercising on a treadmill.

The researchers identified over 20 different metabolites that changed during 10 minutes of exercise. Metabolites involved with burning fat and controlling blood sugar increased, while others involved with cellular stress decreased. The changes lasted for at least an hour after the exercise ended. This indicates that even short periods of exercise can have lasting positive effects.

The study also looked at the metabolic profile of elite marathon athletes. They found that compared to average healthy people the marathoners had up to 10x the number of some metabolites that help in the burning of fat for energy.

Other research has revealed that diabetic lab animals have lower numbers of some metabolites responsible for managing blood sugar. They are currently testing different supplements that may help the animals to better control blood sugar and improve their overall health.

The fact that 10 minutes of exercise can trigger long term positive changes might be enough cause for you to rethink your exercise strategy. Maybe you can’t get to the gym for an hour every day, but everyone can find 10 minutes. And if you can manage to exercise for 10 minutes 3x a day you could see your metabolic profile getting 3 hours of positive benefit.

Just like it’s never too late to start exercising, it looks like almost any amount of exercise is a lot better than no exercise at all.