If You Only Have 10 Minutes to Exercise... Just Do It!

7 years ago

For the first time in my life, with the start of 2010, I actually made a resolution to make fitness a priority. I realize I'm a little late to the party, but what can I say? I'm a late bloomer. And really, really lazy. Nonetheless, with the support and ridicule of four like-minded friends, I'm now firmly ensconced in a challenge to lose ten pounds in ten weeks. (Shameless plug: If you care to follow our journey, all five of us are blogging it over at Five Full Plates.)

Changing my diet has been the easy part, complaints about how much I miss chocolate and other forbidden foods aside. No, the hard part has been sticking with an exercise regime.

For one thing, I sit at a desk all day (read: am sedentary) and never really found a physical leisure activity that I really enjoyed (read: am lazy). For another thing, I work full time, I have two kids and a dog and a husband and a filthy house and it never feels like I have time for, well, anything. When time is such a precious commodity, it can be really difficult to commit to doing something you don't particularly enjoy in the first place. And the grim reality is that some days I consider it a major accomplishment to manage time for a shower, nevermind squeezing in a full workout.

So what's a modern gal to do? Give up?

Never! Even ten minutes is enough time to give your body a little bit of attention and build up your strength and endurance. I mean, yes, on ideal days I work out for thirty consecutive minutes (at least), but some days I only get ten minutes early in the morning and another ten just before the kids get home from school. I'm slowly but surely learning how to maximize whatever time I have.

Things I do when I have just 10 minutes to work out:
1) Take the dog for a brisk walk around the block.
2) Run up and down the stairs while on a conference call.
3) Do stretches while reading.
4) My new favorite fast-n-dirty fitness secret: The 10 Minute Solution DVD series. Many (all?) of them are available via Netflix's live streaming, which means I currently have my Roku loaded up and ready for me to spend ten minutes sweating and grunting at a moment's notice.

The Pilates and the Kickboxing routines are my favorites -- they're challenging, but I can endure ten minutes. Afterward I generally think, "Huh, I wonder if that really does anything," and my question is answered the next day when I find that muscles I never knew I had are now sore.

I went ahead and bought myself a pair of weighted gloves; hand weights would work just as well, I suppose, but as I'm fairly uncoordinated I didn't want to risk dropping one on myself mid-workout. The gloves add a little extra resistance, and they make me feel like I'm maximizing my time.

Now, even on days when I "don't have any time," I make sure I do at least ten minutes of something, and it seems to keep me on track. And really, who doesn't have ten minutes? You can totally do this.

Need more ideas? No problem.

Fitness Magazine has an entire section of 10-minute workouts.

Go Workout Mom shares two different routines for doing 10 minutes of cardio.

If you'd rather see it, SparkPeople has a YouTube video of a 10 minute jump start cardio workout available.

Oh She Glows has a great guest post from fitness expert Marci Lall that includes a 10 minute Bootcamp workout video specifically designed for women.

And of course you're already part of the 10x Club here at BlogHer, right? You can check out the great 10x Club posts, many of which come from my fitness idol, Crabby McSlacker, who also rocks the advice over at Cranky Fitness.

Bottom line: Ten minutes is enough time to work towards better fitness, and maybe even work towards wanting to spend more than ten minutes at it, too. Pinky swear.

BlogHer Contributing Editor Mir also blogs about issues parental and otherwise at Woulda Coulda Shoulda, and about the joys of mindful retail therapy at Want Not.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.
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