What if someone told you that you could get all the benefits of exercising 30 minutes a day 5 days a week in 10 minutes instead?
I know, it’s hard to believe, right?
Well, good news! There seems to be overwhelming evidence that exercising in 10-minute intervals can have a huge effect on your fitness level including increasing your metabolism for weight loss.
Have You Got 10 Minutes?
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We all know the benefits of regular exercise, however, let’s remind ourselves all of what we have to gain by exercising.
- Weight Loss
- Stronger Bones and Muscles
- Brain Health
- Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
- Reduced Risk of Metabolic disorders
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol Levels
- Some cancer prevention
- Increased energy levels and elevated mood
We all know exercise is good for our hearts, but the things on the list that are jumping out at me now are brain health and increased energy levels.
It’s an age thing, I know.
I can honestly say until now, I have NEVER thought about brain health and what I can do to stay sharp.
10 Minutes of Exercise,
What we are hearing the experts say is that you don’t need to exercise for 30-60 minutes every day to reap the benefits of exercise.
For most of us, knowing you can exercise for 10 minutes to get the health benefits of a longer workout is really big news!
Research on 10-Minutes of Exercise
Believe me, there is a lot of science to back up this claim.
For example, William E. Kraus, M.D., of the Duke University School of Medicine and research from the National Cancer Institute agree that workouts don’t have to be long in duration in order to be effective.
They found exercising for shorter periods of time at moderate intensity absolutely had positive effects.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention also suggest several short workouts during the day can have the same health benefits as one long workout session.
This is really good news for people who really are too busy with work or family responsibilities to exercise for 60 minutes at a time.
If you are like me, setting a goal of exercising for ten minutes three times a day is very doable.
For sure, keep in mind that more exercise will always be better.
The CDC still recommends 150-300 minutes of physical activity a week, but now how that happens can look different, giving people many more options.
All Physical Activity Counts and is Considered Cumulative
Another conclusion from the Duke University study was that there may be benefits from all physical activity extended throughout the day.
This means that every time you take the stairs, park your car far away, stand up and work rather than sitting, you are deliberately moving and that is considered “physical activity”.
Some are calling sitting the new smoking as far as being a danger to your health. Hearing that should be enough to get you moving more.
Technology & Measuring Fitness
According to Brad Cardinal, a kinesiology professor at Oregon State University, it has been very difficult to measure the fitness results of short bursts of physical activity because it was too hard for people to keep track of 5 minutes of brisk walking or the intensity of climbing stairs.
But along came Fitness Trackers, allowing researchers to more accurately measure people’s daily activities. Now short burst of activity can be measured during the day and you get credit for vacuuming, visiting a co-worker, mowing the lawn, and taking the stairs. They are all good for you.
If you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a fitness tracker to help monitor your progress.
Fitbit’s Charge 3 is an upgraded, swim-proof fitness tracker, with a larger touchscreen display.
You choose from 15+ exercise modes including swimming and circuit training. When you set goals you can monitor your gains.
Better measure calorie burn and resting heart rate. Still monitors deep sleep and can even diagnose breathing disturbances while sleeping.
Personally, I decided the Apple Watch was what I needed. I like the idea of texting or calling for help if I would need it, plus all the other fitness bells and whistles it has to offer.
But there are so many fitness trackers to choose from, and I am not an expert.
Do a little research on features like counting steps, flights of stairs, calories burned, hours of sleep, pulse rate, price, etc to find the tracker best for you.
Make Your Own 10-Minute Plan To Exercise
It is really important to set your own priorities and make a plan.
The self-talk of “I’ll start tomorrow” can be really powerful and stop you from implementing your new exercise plan.
Be determined and change that message to, “Today is the Day”.
You know full well, it won’t happen if you just say, “That sounds like a good idea, I should try that”.
Include Aerobic Exercise, Muscle Strengthening & Flexibility
As we both know as we get older, we start to lose muscle and get a little stiffer, right? That is just a fact, but we can have some control over how much this happens to us.
What I’m saying here is, your new 10-minute exercise plan needs to have a balance of aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening, and flexibility exercises.
Aerobics exercise is what gets your heart pumping and results in all those benefits we listed earlier. I know you already know that, but just in case you need some new ideas, here you go.
The list of exercises you can do in 10-minutes to get your heart rate up is endless, but here is shortlist for you to choose from:
- Running ( or running in place)
- Jumping jacks
- Jump roping
Choose from your list and pick two or 3 that you can alternate to keep things interesting.
I do a lot of work on my computer at my desk, so I bought this Cubbi Elipital machine and I love it!
I use it when I am working, watching TV, or on the phone!
Ready, Set, Go… As they say “Do it Now”
Plan one 10 minutes session for tomorrow ( you may want to start with 5-minute sessions) no matter where you are in your health and fitness goals,
Keep track of what you do with this Exercise Planner.
Record what you do each day, and plan for the next day.
If you haven’t exercised for a while, in the beginning, it would be best if you gave yourself a couple of days to acclimate before pushing yourself too hard and getting discouraged.
Maybe you just want someone to give you a plan to get started and then you can make adjustments? Sometimes you at least need so good suggestions, so here you go:
Ben Greenfield, fitness and triathlon expert, recommends completing these moves three times:
50 jumping jacks
15 bodyweight squats
15 push-ups (on your knees is fine)
12 reverse lunges per side
20 triceps dips (using a chair or bench)
Choose two or 3 intense movements and alternate them.
As an example, do jumping jacks or run in place for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat 10 or 15 times.
Brad Cardinal, a kinesiology professor at Oregon State University suggests that people may be more likely to stick with a physical activity routine that involves short bursts of exercise.
For example, six 5-minute bouts of activity throughout the day may sound less intimidating to some people than a 30-minute workout done all at once.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t do some strength training or extra stretching exercises. However, I am not an exercise expert, but I really recommend using resistant exercise bands to build strength. I will admit, I love these and use them.
The bands come in different strengths and you really don’t need to be lifting heavy weights to build strength. If you work from home or are just home, keep them close to you, and come with a manual to help you get started.
When you need a break, pick these up and work a muscle group for 1 minute.
Stretching muscles regularly can help you prevent injuries, back pain, and balance problems.
With this in mind, there is nothing wrong with taking another 10 minutes to stretch your muscles after exercising. Not only does it feel really good, but is an important part of being healthy.
The benefits of regular stretching include:
- Preventing injury
- Improving range-of-motion, making everyday activities so much easier
- Help prevent back pain and relieve muscle stiffness
- Improve Your Circulation
The type of stretching I am talking about here is sometimes called Static Stretching.
To begin, slowly stretch your muscle to a point of feeling a mild pulling sensation. Next, hold each stretch for about 30 seconds.
By the way, NEVER bounce or jerk your muscles.
Wait until you have completed your 10-minute workout before stretching because your muscles will be warmed up and get a better stretch.
Whatever age you right now gives you and you alone control on being the healthiest you can be going forward.
All Physical Activity Can Make a Difference.
Have Spare Minute or Two?
- During commercials, while watching TV
- Cooking – waiting for water to boil
- The time it takes for the Keurig make your morning coffee
- Replace driving with walking or biking whenever possible
- Just walk a little faster
- Take the stairs instead of an elevator
- Clean house or garden (I didn’t say it would all be fun stuff)
- Anytime you find your self just sitting or standing while you wait.
Tip: For 1 week keep a list of ALL the things that you do to be active.
Include grocery shopping, cleaning house, climbing stairs, mowing the lawn, gardening, chasing kids, walking to lunch etc.
Lastly, drop a note in the comments and share what you are doing in your 10-minutes with the rest of us!
We talk about food here, but you may like How To Be In Control of Your Diet.