Fitness Articles

Give Your Workout a SparkStart

5-10 Minutes to Major Momentum

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Can you relate to any of these scenarios?

Alice is feeling overwhelmed because she has a lot of weight to lose. She doesn’t know where to begin, so that frustration has prevented her from even starting an exercise program.

Sherry exercises for 30 minutes 3 times a week, but doesn’t feel like exercise is part of her daily routine. She’s looking to make it more of a habit.

Bill can’t seem to find the motivation to get started with a program. He doesn’t think exercise is really going to make him feel any different, so what’s the point?

Jane has decided to start an exercise program, so she goes to the gym two hours every day for a week. At the end of the week she is tired, sore and already burned out. She doesn’t make it to the gym again for several weeks.

These scenarios are all very common. Many people have problems developing a consistent exercise routine—whether they just don’t know where to begin, or don’t know how to make exercise as natural as brushing your teeth every morning. Still others just need a boost of motivation and energy now and then.

If finding the motivation to work out seems like a daunting task to you, here’s a great place to start: 5-10 minute "SparkStart" workouts! Although 5-10 minutes will not give you immediate weight loss results, it will help you develop a routine and a foundation to build on. Sometimes all you need is a push in the right direction!

A SparkStart gives Alice a very reasonable starting point. It helps Sherry stay consistent with her exercising throughout the week. Bill will notice he has more energy and feels better after his quick workout. And Jane will begin to change her "all or none" mentality and focus on small steps to develop a habit. So regardless of your current level of activity, a 5-10 minute SparkStart workout can be a great source of motivation and the "spark" you need to move your program into gear!

Here’s what SparkGuy (SparkPeople founder and C.E.O.) had to say about the 5-10 minute workout:

"You won’t immediately see big improvements from this, BUT it will help you turn exercise into a habit so that you don't need to keep going through the frustration of starting over. After doing this consistently for awhile, you'll start noticing small improvements that will motivate you to do even more - and your energy level will slowly start to increase. I've seen people get incredible results using this method."
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist and behavior change specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

Member Comments

  • Is there a way to set up the meal plan for a vegetarian? - 5/23/2016 7:46:17 PM
  • I workout six times a week (and these are challenging workouts!) and have one day rest. As a result I get sent articles on how to start exercising?? - 3/31/2016 9:08:35 AM
  • I found the idea of making exercise a daily habit first, and then increasing your duration and intensity absolutely brilliant. I always did it the other way round, and could never keep up the consistency. I'm definitely going to try this, and see how long an exercise streak I can track. Thank you again for this mind changing idea. - 10/9/2015 3:43:49 PM
  • Some of the workouts are good. I would never jog or do jumping jacks but quick marching in place would substitute. The alarm bells went off however when I saw 25 pushups. That's a bit much for a beginner who may not have done pushups. I can't do that many on a bet, and wouldn't be able to because of problems with my shoulders. Also, why 7 workouts? Doesn't anyone believe in a day of rest anymore? 6 is plenty. - 6/7/2015 6:09:16 PM
    the excuses are me and i really need to get my but moving - 9/23/2014 8:40:04 PM
    Thank you. - 5/18/2014 9:16:28 AM
  • Great tips! - 1/4/2014 8:35:31 AM
  • Thanks - 10/17/2013 6:07:32 AM
  • This is great. Some I am going to do this morning. I saved it. But the jumping jacks and a couple more I have to do later because my knee went from under me on Monday and it's not to good. - 6/6/2013 7:04:45 AM
  • I have been walking alot. My job requires alot of walking and standing. I use the walking to my advantage . I have been able for three weeks to lose 2- 3 lbs a week. I just hope I can keep it off and burn more calories. - 4/23/2013 1:35:50 AM
  • A fellow co-worker and I have decided to do stairs on our lunch break today! I'm going to try to keep it up everyday. - 10/11/2012 8:18:15 AM
    I.m just starting off and a short workout is sooo much less daunting. Good advice! - 9/17/2012 6:02:57 PM
  • I have, at one time, been all of those scenerios!!! I am starting all over again! Gonna do the 10 minute workouts and go on an exercise streak!!! - 8/6/2012 6:36:59 PM
    I believe in this 100%. I started noticing celulite, and lots of it, on my legs.( And trust me, im the most unmotivated person.) so I started running up and down the stairs, at first I could barely do one full song, but now I can do one to two full songs off my iPod. I know it doesn't sound like much. But pushing myself to work out those first 3 days made me not be able to stop. I now do that every day after work. I even started noticing a difference, as I do know that everyone's bodies are different and some migt not see results this quick, it happened for me. I've been doing it for about 6 days now, and I can definitely notice that the cellulite has gone down alot. I am going to keep doing it and eventually keep stepping up the times, it's a challenge to see how many songs you can do, and the further you get the more motivated you are. My goal by the end of this week is to be ableto do 3-4 full songs a day. Start out little guys! Trust me it works!!! - 5/14/2012 11:19:39 PM
  • I just cant seem to get it going! its my birthday, I dont want to let my health deteriorate but cant seem to stop eating bad! I am off for a cheesecake! someone help! - 3/29/2012 9:59:08 PM

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