10 Ten-Minute Workout Ideas


By: , – Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer
  :  31 comments   :  87,344 Views

I know you are busy (that's the number one excuse I hear from people who aren't exercising regularly), but everyone's got at least 10 minutes to spare at some point during the day! And, even if you are managing several longer workouts each week, adding in 10-minute bouts of activity can help combat the dangerous effects of sitting for too long during the remaining hours of your day.
Print, "pin" or post this list somewhere you'll see it every day, and next time you find yourself with 10 extra minutes, fit in a little extra fitness—your body (and mind!) will thank you.
10-Minute Workout Ideas
  1. Do some cardio shopping. Each time you head to the grocery store or mall, spend 10 minutes power walking around the perimeter of the store before grabbing a cart. You can scope out items that are on sale, or decide which tempting treats to stay away from before starting to shop.
  1. Dance like no one is watching. Turn up your favorite playlist and dance your heart out for three full songs. Since most popular songs are about 3 1/2 minutes long, you won't need a timer. (This is definitely one of my favorite—and most fun—ways to ramp up my energy and burn a few extra calories!)
  1. Challenge the kids to a skipping contest. Skipping is great cardio exercise and an excellent lower body toner! See who can skip (forward and backwards) for a full 10 minutes around the yard.
  1. Stretch it out. Take a 10-minute timeout and find a quiet place to stretch. Start at the top of your body and work your way all the way down with some of your favorite, feel-good stretches while focusing on taking deep, relaxing breaths the entire time. (Try spending a minute with each one of these 10 stretches).
  1. Take a walking break during your workday. Walk or jog (or both) as far as you can for five minutes, and then turn around and head back. Weather not cooperating? Lap your home or office indoors if necessary. The view isn't what is important; instead, focus on standing tall, pumping your arms and getting your blood flowing.
  1. Squeeze in a "strength shot" before hitting the shower. Set a timer, and do one minute of each of the following: 1) squats, 2) push-ups, 3) lunges ,4) crunches, and 5) back extensions, twice through, for a 10-minute, do-anywhere strength routine that will pump you up and boost your energy.
  1. Heading upstairs? Try this "stair master: routine: Walk up one flight of stairs, and at the top, do 10 squats. Walk down the flight of stairs and do 10 jumping jacks. Repeat as many times as you can for 10 minutes.
  1. On the phone? Take your conversation laterally. Walk the length of the room you are in laterally (sideways), and then change arms/ears with the phone before heading back. (Make it harder by holding a squat position as you walk side to side).
  1. Jump to it! Grab a jump rope and practice different footwork with it for 10 minutes. Now 10-minutes of consecutive jumping is tough, so you may need to build up to it (especially if you haven't jumped rope in awhile). Alternate skipping rope with marching in place as often as needed. Don't have a rope at home? Just pretend. It's just as effective! Try this 10-Minute Jump Rope Workout from Coach Nicole for various footwork ideas mixed with recovery intervals.
  1.  Clean up—and shape up—with this CrossFit-inspired cleaning WOD (workout of the day). Most household chores double as a great total body exercises! Do as many "reps" as you can in 10 minutes of any of these activities: pick up and put away objects around the house, wash dishes, vacuum, sweep or mop floors, dust furniture, make beds, or fold laundry.
Tell me, what are some of YOUR favorite ways to squeeze in a little extra activity during your busy day?
About the Author
As someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, and now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit jessicasmithtv.com/shop to learn more about her fun, results driven programs for all levels of exercisers.

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    Great ideas! - 11/16/2017   2:55:49 PM
    I like the squats at the top of the stairs! - 9/26/2017   5:59:07 AM
  • 29
    Excellent info ! - 9/2/2017   12:34:52 AM
  • 28
    Excellent info ! - 9/2/2017   12:34:51 AM
  • 27
    Great info - 7/3/2017   9:48:11 AM
  • 26
    Great ideas! - 12/27/2016   10:21:32 AM
  • 25
    I have a standing desk but I often forget to use it standing. I'll use the "phone" as a trigger. Whenever I'm on the phone, I'll raise my desk. - 1/18/2016   6:44:24 AM
  • 24
    I have a setting job that requires I think things though. I told my boss I thought best walking. She said "there are the stairs, there is the hall and there is the common area." That is when I found out she is trying to lose 100 and her boss has lost 50. - 10/12/2015   9:07:48 AM
    Jessica Smith has great workouts on YouTube. yesterday I did 35 minutes of some and others were too hard but at 73. I did my best.

    Today I did 20 minutes of her workout. I am pleased I did try. So my heart is good. When some I could not do. I did side steps and jogged. I also days before have walked. I live in the country so roads are not the greatest seeing we had a hard winter so road crew have not been taking care of them. So now is raining so found her tape on Youtube. So great. - 6/13/2015   9:59:14 AM
  • 22
    I went from a job standing all day to a sit down job. Not good for the body! We are trying to fight this by doing laps around the cubicle farm, doing push ups on the window sills, wall squats and we spend out lunches walking outdoors when we can or climbing the 7 floors of stairs if the weather is bad. We also always use the stairs instead of elevators and of course park as far from the building as possible. - 1/1/2015   11:11:18 AM
  • 21
    Jessica Smith has great workouts on YouTube. The are simple to follow and you really feel it the next day. - 5/3/2014   9:30:30 PM
  • 20
    I get off the bus a stop earlier that's 10 minutes of walking to add to my tracker - 2/11/2014   3:44:35 AM
  • 19
    I workout while watching TV. Good form of multi-tasking! - 11/3/2012   5:56:17 PM
  • 18
    A Quick Dance Is Fun And Gets My Body Pumping. I Also Like To Do Jumping Jacks In The Bathroom Or A Quick Jump On The Mini Tramp. Great Ideas! - 10/29/2012   12:26:22 AM
    Squeeze and release your buns frequently either when standing or sitting at your desk. I figure it can't hurt and can be done anywhere! - 10/27/2012   9:02:54 AM
  • 16
    I like the idea of the strength shot before the shower. Is it okay to do that in the morning when you've just rolled out of bed without warming up at all? - 10/26/2012   10:48:27 AM
    Why is this for women? What, guys aren't busy, too? - 10/26/2012   2:54:43 AM
  • 14
    Great stuff! Thanks so much!! - 10/25/2012   3:37:35 PM
  • 13
    when I am at work, I have a couple things I need to do in different buildings. It involves going down 4 floors, outside, down 2 more flights of stairs, and up 3 or 4 floors. Then back. Sometimes more than once. If I skip the elevators (and I do!) I can certainly work up a bit of a sweat. - 10/25/2012   9:19:54 AM
  • 12
    We all have a favorite tv show or news program we watch. I say do one of these 10 minute challenges while watching your program. Tenminutes goes fast...and guess what we all multi task so you might as wellmake fitness part of the program!...thanks for the new ideas!!! - 10/25/2012   9:08:12 AM
  • 11
    Great fitness ideas! - 10/25/2012   9:00:01 AM
  • 10
    OK, some of these are great ideas even for me but now can we have some similar alternative ideas for those of us who cannot do squats, push ups, lunges, crunches and jump rope because of medical conditions please? That would be really helpful. Thanks. - 10/25/2012   5:56:49 AM
  • 9
    all very good ideas.. specially the cleaning... or at my age... thinning out the stuff as if you were having a yard sale.. - 10/25/2012   3:22:12 AM
  • 8
    great Ideals ty - 10/25/2012   2:58:48 AM
  • 7
    I totally love the strength shots to shower!!!!
    - 10/24/2012   10:19:33 PM
  • 6
    i just danced this morning to fun songs. im trying to get back into the shape i was when i belly danced so ive been belly dancing all the time and re learning the moves. my problem is i didnt have any good belly dance songs. i finally found a belly dance genre on pandora and ive been dancing all morning. just by itself and while i do the dishes and laundry. im not a super busy person i can get a full workout in everyday but i hate working out lol. - 10/24/2012   1:35:02 PM
    Number 1 is a great idea. Going to incorporate that into my shopping trips. - 10/24/2012   1:03:29 PM
    Thank you! Very inspiring ideas. - 10/24/2012   10:37:09 AM
  • 3
    I love the idea of dancing to 3 songs! I'm going to start doing that a couple times a week and get my daughters to join in with me! - 10/24/2012   9:21:24 AM
  • 2
    Cleaning certainly is a workout. No one else at my house wants to do it, so it must NOT be fun. - 10/24/2012   9:12:42 AM
  • 1
    #3 brings the kid out ... skipping!
    I've started taking a mini walk during the work day. It helps to reset the mind as well as the body. - 10/24/2012   6:21:12 AM

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