25 Simple Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Workout
45 minutes to an hour is the ideal length of time for weight loss and fitness according to many health experts. However, not all people have the leisure time of 30 t0 60 minutes for workouts due to the current society’s fast-paced work-centric environment.
Most people have the misconception that short bursts of physical activities do not provide any health benefits to the body at all. Think again. A research shows that women who split their workouts into short 10-minute increments were more likely to exercise regularly. It also shows that these women were able to shed off more weight after five months compared to those who spend at least 20 to 40 minutes a day to exercise.
In a landmark study conducted by exercise physiologist Glenn Gaesser of the University of Virginia, he asked a group of men and women to do a set of 15 exercise routines each week. Each exercise routine has a duration of 10 minutes. After 21 days, the participants’ aerobic fitness can be likened to people who are 10 to 15 years their junior. Their flexibility, muscle endurance, and strength are on the same level as those who 20 years younger. According to Gaesser, it would be helpful if people get rid of the mindset that unless they exercise for 30 minutes or more, they are wasting their time.
Breaking your workout into smaller increments during your hectic work days can help keep maintain your confidence as skipping your workout altogether can make you feel tired and guilty. Bear in mind, though, that short 10-minute workouts are not meant to replace your current workout routine. It can only serve as a supplementary workout.
Here are some of the easy and practical ways to integrate exercise into your daily routine even when you are short on time:
When at Home
1. When you go out in the morning to pick up the newspaper, take a brisk power walk for about 5 minutes. Do this by walking up the street in one direction and back.
2. If you happen to take care of a sick child or elderly rendering you homebound, hop on a treadmill or exercise bike while your ailing loved one rests.
3. Doing jumping jacks for 5 to 10 minutes can make a huge difference. For a 10-minute jumping jack session, a 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories.
4. You can also do some minor workouts while cooking dinner. While you are waiting for a pot to boil, you can do some standing push-ups on the kitchen counter. Do this by standing about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and slowly push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to improve your arms and shoulders.
5. After dinner, spend some time with your kids by playing basketball or a game of tag.
6. According to the owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and the Palms, exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, you can do some dumbbell exercises while giving yourself a facial at night. Cluff, herself, keeps a set of free weights handy on her bathroom sink.
7. While waiting for your child taking a music lesson, brisk walk around the block for several times. As soon as you see some changes on your fitness level, integrate 1-minute bursts of jogging to your brisk walks.
8. If you happen to wait for a doctor’s appointment, walk around the medical buildings. According to Cluff, it is best to ask the receptionist how long you have to wait. Most receptionists are usually very willing to tell you. This will give you an idea if you have time to do some walking.
9. Walk around the soccer field while kids play a game of soccer.
10. A trip to a park can also serve as a mini-workout for you. Run for fly balls or throw a ball back and forth.
11. If possible, try walking to work. A professor of physiology at the University of California named Mary Dallman spent several months of her professional career walking for 1 ½ miles each way. She was able to see desirable results in no time.
12. You can also turn your lunch hour into a small workout session. When walking to a restaurant, choose the route that takes you a bit out of your way.
13. Try to leave 5 or 10 minutes earlier if you are heading to another building for a meeting.
14. While on break, you can climb the stairs for 5 to 10 minutes.
15. If you are running out of time and you need to take the elevator, you can do some ab exercises to strengthen your core. You can do this by standing with your feet parallel and your knees should be relaxed. Contract the muscles around your belly. Follow it up by elevating the upper part of your torso, and gradually release it. The last step would be contracting your buttocks area for a few seconds.
16. Stretch your back from time to time. Do this by standing with both of your feet astride. Stand still like your whole body is encased in a plaster cast. Slowly tilt your pelvis area backward. Gently contract the muscles in your abdomen. Then slowly tilt your pelvis area back forward.
When Watching TV
17. Ditch the remote and change channels just like most people did in the past. Stand up and walk in front of the TV set to switch channels.
18. Switch your TV to a music program or MTV and dance like you’re back to your teenage years. Peg Jordan, the renowned author of the best-selling The Fitness Instinct believes that everyone needs to start dancing like crazy for better health.
19. If the commercials are on, you can jog in place while waiting for your favorite show to be back on screen. In 5 minutes, a 150-pound woman can shed off the extra 45 calories. You can also try the Couch-Potato Workout for better results.
20. You can also do some leg exercises using small weights while watching your favorite movies, cooking shows, The Weather Channel, or the news.
21. When traveling, make sure to bring your favorite sneakers and fitness DVD. You can check with the hotel if your room has a DVD player. This way, you can still do some exercises while you are inside your hotel room.
22. If you intend to travel by car, make two short stops twice a day. This will allow you to rest and stretch.
23. Another suggestion by Cluff is to not use the moving carpets during the layovers at airports. If possible, you can walk around the concourse in between flights.
24. When booking a hotel room, choose the one that is situated between the fifth and eighth floors. Do not use the elevators and take the stairs to go from one floor to the other. You may need to check with the hotel first before you do that as there are hotels that do not allow their guests to use the stairs not unless for emergency purposes.
25. Stretch your calves if you ever use the elevator.