We’ve all heard it time and time again. You need 20-30 minutes of exercise at least three times per week. It’s a great formula for a healthy lifestyle, but is it completely necessary? With people getting busier and busier they’re looking for faster ways to bolster their health. The good news is that the 10-minute workout can be beneficial for you! However, it’s not as clear cut as you’d hope. Walking around the block for 10-minutes a day isn’t going to accomplish weight-loss goals. But when you swap out the walking for running, now you’re on to something. As Tamilee Webb, the creator of Buns & Abs of Steel, states, “The key isn’t really how long the duration…it’s the intensity and the consistency”. Vigorous workouts in short bursts can be just as effective if not more so than longer, less intense workouts. Think running and calisthenics rather than walking or casual biking.
However, it isn’t enough to just think you can go all-out for 10 minutes each day. Although this is helpful, you really should break up workouts into multiple, 10 minute intervals. This is great news for people who can’t seem to find the time to work out. It is certainly easier to find 2 or 3, 10-minute blocks during your day to exercise as opposed to 30 or more minutes at a time. The trend of breaking up workouts has inspired a countless number of DVDs and short workout clips on the internet. You may remember seeing titles such as “8-minute Abs” or “Best Belly Fat-Blasters”. Although many view these as scams to get their money, the idea behind them is valid. People just can’t seem to find the time to exercise or are intimidated by long workouts. Regardless of the effectiveness of DVDs like these, the idea of working out in short, intense bursts is effective. Naturally, not every trainer is sold on the idea. Popular TV star and personal trainer Jillian Michaels isn’t buying it. “Ten minutes?” she said. “Forget it. What are you going to burn? A hundred calories. A pound is 3,500 calories. I’m so tired of sending Americans a false message. ‘Hey, just take the stairs.’” She does make a good point. In some cases, 10-minutes will never be enough. But you can decide to make those 10 minute workouts count by making sure they are as intense as you can handle and by repeating them at least twice daily. This will be just as beneficial and much less daunting than longer, more intimidating exercise regimens. The key takeaway here is to do what you can. If 10 minutes is all you have or all you want to commit to, that’s fine. Any exercise is better than no exercise. So start small and work your way up. The journey to your healthiest self starts with baby steps. Get up and get active and as you workout more you will be able to raise the intensity as well as the duration!