Fitness Articles

Small Bits of Fitness Add Up

Exercise Comes in All Shapes and Sizes


"Where did the day go?"

Is this a common question in your life? Many of us jam-pack so much stuff into our daily routines, seemingly there’s no time to relax for just one minute, let alone exercise. Lack of time is one of the most common excuses for not having a decent fitness regimen. But do you realize that in the time it might take you to go through your e-mail, you could fit in a good workout? We’re not talking about giving up 60 minutes either; all you need is 10.

Just 10?

Forget the "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to exercise. Fitness does not live or die by 60-minute workouts; there is middle ground. Short spurts of exercise, when they accumulate, have been shown to share similar benefits of longer workouts.

Your body will reap numerous benefits just by becoming more active. This approach is perfect for times when you don’t have time for a regular workout, or when you want to start off slowly and build up a routine.

Easier Than You Think

Treat these 10 minutes like you would a regular workout. Take one to two minutes to warm up and get the muscles ready, including stretching. Follow with at least seven minutes of exercise at a medium or high intensity. Then make sure to include a 60-second cool down.

Since it’s brief, it’s important to work at a fairly high intensity to obtain all of the benefits. Work at raising your heart and respiration rates. Just like regular workouts, try to include cardio, strength training and flexibility work in your shortened routine. Either knock out all three during the 10 minutes, or plan a 10-minute segment for each area.

Example: Push out 10 cardio minutes on the stationary bike. For strength, do push-ups, wall sits, or lift dumbbells. For flexibility, it’s helpful to just stretch every day. Work different muscle groups and keep it simple. After 10 minutes, you will feel healthier and be on your way to developing solid fitness habits.

But I Still Don’t Have Time

It only takes 30 minutes a day, broken up into manageable chunks of 10. Start with a quick exercise when you wake up. The second session? A lunch break is possibly the perfect time to re-energize and get the blood flowing again. The last 10-minute blitz could come in the evening, even while you are watching TV. It’s an ideal way to involve the family as well. Go for a power walk after dinner with your spouse or ride bikes with the kids.

It is all about convenience; if you try, you can fit exercise into your schedule no matter where you are. Do it at home or at work, outside or in the living room. Start building exercise spurts into your daily routine and you’ll start feeling better.

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Member Comments

  • I am one of those 35-60 minutes or nothing but I come to rely on those 10-15minutes broken up throughout the day
  • Me too. I can do 10 mins!
  • i can do ten minutes. I WILL do ten minutes!
  • I schedule yoga at home in my down time. YouTube is great. There are so many programs I don't think I'll ever get bored. Weather permitting I'm out on my bike early in the morning. I often walk instead of taking the car. I know it's not enough but I'm sticking with it, so it's good for the time being.
    great recommendations
  • 10 min at a time makes it doable.
  • 10 minutes at a time has taken me to an hour or more per day. Great way to begin loving exercise.
  • Most of my exercises are done in 10 minute spurts since with my disability that is about all I can handle at one time, but I go back and do more a couple more times during the day
  • I try walking at least 10 minutes every hour or get as many steps in as possible. It keeps me going better than nothing
  • When motivation is low doing 10 minutes 3x or more a day is my saving grace.
    I agree...a little at a time.
  • Multiple 10 minutes is about all my arthritic can deal with. After 10 minutes, my hips and knees are very painful and I have to stop anyway.
  • Good morning everyone - up for hours but a little late signing on. The idea of a 10 minute workout goes all the way back to when people got 15 minute breaks in the morning and afternoon. If you do something small - i.e., I walked my dog this morning - 10 minutes over before I knew it. If you take a coffee break and leave the office you can walk to your coffee shop. Don't leave the building? Do 10 minutes of isometrics when you get home. And take a short walk before dinner. If you don't work, chart a 1/3-1/2 mile walk - perhaps around the block. But my favorite since retiring - walking the circumference of the grocery store - but only eye buying not stopping. You pass the healhiest foods (produce, meats, dairy) that way. Then walk up and down every aisle. But no samples :-) I can easily spend 1/2 hour - just doing the eye buying and then I can do my actual shopping quickly. It works. It really does and since I've been wobbly I've also noticed that pushing the cart gives me a little more speed in the first half and then I'm ready to pick things up. I started to do this on rainy or snowy days in Virginia. Then I did it when it was too hot - I was always a multi-tasker and I find doing this I don't even think about it being "exercise" - Cheers
  • I believe in these 10 minute routines.

About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

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