If you are like the majority of the world’s population, you’re probably not exercising on a regular basis. Between work, errands and picking up the kids, not many of us have the time to squeeze in a 30-45 minute workout at the gym.
This is not OK. There are limitless benefits to regular physical activity, both in the short term and long term. For example, we all know that constant exercise helps you lose weight over time but it can also [source]:
- Strengthen your heart muscles and increase your endurance
- Prevent serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke or diabetes
- Lower blood pressure
- Alleviate stress
- Increase energy
- Promote more restful sleep
The good news -for anyone feeling “time challenged”- is that there are ways to get your daily dose of exercise without having to rearrange your already tight schedule.
Recent studies have shown that even short 10 minute workout sessions three times a day can be as beneficial as a single 30 minute session, if not more so [source].
That’s right, just 10 minutes here and there and you are done. Virtually any downtime – like while you are watching Game of Thrones – can be spent doing quick, simple exercises to stay in shape. We live in a highly optimized world, it only seems right we started optimizing our workouts as well.
Before you begin your first 10 minute session, remember to start off slow and build up your endurance over time by increasing the duration or the intensity of the activity each week. You will know you are doing it right if you feel warmed up and slightly sweaty at the end of each workout.
Here are some fun and easy cardio exercises that you can do anytime and anywhere:
If you can’t manage a brisk 10 minute walk around the block in the morning, or during your lunch break, there are other ways to increase your mileage, like parking further away from the store entrance or taking a couple extra laps around the mall.
For a great cardio workout opt for the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. They offer the double advantage of getting your heart rate up while building leg muscle. If however you don’t have access to endless flights of stairs you can still do step-ups:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and your arms straight.
2. Lift your right foot and place it on an elevated step or chair and pull yourself up, leaving your left leg hanging behind you.
3. Hold the position for 2-5 seconds then lower your body back down on your left leg, bringing your right foot back to the starting position.
Do 10 sets on each side and repeat; speed up the routine to burn more calories.
3. Jumping Jacks
Try doing three, 2 minute intervals of jumping jacks while watching your favourite show or movie – or even while you cook in the kitchen. Just be sure to rest for 30 seconds in between each interval.
4. Steam Engines
Get your blood pumping AND your abs in shape with steam engine exercises, they are super easy and can even be done during your coffee break:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart and place your hands behind your head.
2. Lift your right knee to a 90° angle, then twist and bend your torso so that the left elbow is touching the right knee.
3. Follow the same steps on the other side and repeat for three 2 minute intervals. Increasing your speed will help burn more calories.
If you are not big on walking, running or stairs then dancing is definitely for you. Not only is it a fun way to exercise, but it is also a great way to unwind and de-stress after work. Just put on your favourite dance mix, crank up the music and get down with your bad self. If you are doing it right you should break a light sweat before 10 minutes are up.
For more exercise tips and suggestions check out this site: