It has long been known that we should take part in around 45 minutes of exercise every day. However, most of us simply do not have that amount of time available consecutively. Hence, we often fail to get enough exercise. What we don’t realize, however, is that we can also break up those 45 minutes blocks of time that are much easier to manage. Indeed, research has shown that if a woman splits up the time in 10 minute increments, she is far more likely to exercise sufficiently each day, and the weight loss and strength building results are far more impressive.
One recent study completed by the University of Virginia‘s Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D. demonstrated this by asking a group of participants to perform 15 sets of 10 minute exercises each week.
“After just 21 days, the volunteers’ aerobic fitness was equal to that of people 10 to 15 years younger. Their strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years their junior.”
What this demonstrates is that it isn’t a case of all or nothing. Quite the contrary in fact. When you break up your exercise routines so that they fit in a busy day, you will remain motivated and build up your confidence. No more need to feel depressed or guilty, in other words. So how do you fit in five or six sets of 10 minute exercises in your daily routine?
Walk to Work
The first thing you can do is walk to work, or at least drive less.
“Plan an extra 20 minutes (or more if you live further away) and enjoy the scenery. This also gives you a chance to clear your head and mentally prepare for the day before you get to the office.”
A 10-minute walk going to the office and another 10-minute walk back equates to two sets. Plus, you can make things harder for yourself by putting weights around your ankles or wrists, for instance. That way, you are even doing a little bit of strength training.
Use Your Couch
You know those moments at night, after you have had your meal and the kids have gone to bed? Those moments when you sprawl out on your couch and just vegetate until you go to bed? Why not use that time to do some crunches instead?
“Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head with elbows pointing outwards. Support your neck with your hands. Keep your neck in a straight line with your spine.”
This is a great way to combine two fantastic activities: working out and relaxing. You can make your crunches harder by placing something heavy on your abdominal area. Additionally, you can change your crunches by going up for two/three counts, holding and then going down for one count, and then reversing it. Your couch does not have to be the antithesis of all that is fitness related. Instead, it can be a fitness tool. Another thing you an use your couch for, for instance, is by doing leg exercises.
“Do leg exercises and lifts with small weights while you watch The Weather Channel, cooking shows, movies, or the news.”
Work Out While Doing Housework
It is easy to fit in little blocks of 10 minutes if you combine it with something else. While you are ironing, for instance, you can do squats, using your iron as a weight held away from your body. That last detail is hugely important. Not only is it hard to squat with your hands away from your chest holding something heavy, it will also stop you from getting burned.
If you have to hoover up your home, do it with lunges. Every time you push the hoover forward, you can do a lunge. Or, you can do side to side runs with your broomstick, dropping it down to the floor and lifting it back up before sliding to the other side.
Finally, have some fun. Turn the music on loudly and dance like you’ve never danced before. Your mop stick, for instance, can make a fantastic dancing partner that you can swirl and twirl all over the ground.
Fitting in different blocks of 10 minutes each and every day is incredibly easy. Remember to have fun with it and to think outside of the box. Any time that your body is moving, you can turn it into a workout so long as you stop yourself from getting stagnant.