Do you find it difficult to carve out enough time in your busy week to hit the gym? Do you frequently travel on business which gets in the way of your regular exercise plan? Or perhaps you’re a procrastinator and simply put off exercising until later, only later never comes? Whatever your reasons are for not exercising on a regular basis, you are only hurting yourself because exercise is an important part of your overall health and wellness.
If you can’t find the time to exercise for at least one hour, 3 days per week, here’s a solution that might work for you. Try doing these fast-paced 10 minute workouts each day. Ten minutes might not sound like much, but this intense workout will have you sweating in no time and you’ll gain some real health benefits.
The best part is that you can do these 10 minute workouts just about anywhere—in your hotel room, outdoors, in your living room…wherever. No special equipment like weights, mats or machines is required. You just need your sneakers and a clock with a timer or a stopwatch. Plus, an added bonus is that you won’t have to spend your time and gas money driving to and from the gym, and you can avoid the headache of getting stuck in traffic.
How to do these 10 minute workouts: For each of the exercises listed below, do as many repetitions of them as you can in 60 seconds. For example, start with the squats and do as many squats as you can in 60 seconds. Then, immediately move on to the next exercise, which is push-ups, and do as many of them as you can in 60 seconds. Continue down the list until you have completed all the exercises.
For the most intense workout and to burn the maximum number of calories, don’t stop to rest in between the 60-second intervals for each exercise. Just go from one exercise into the next, but do the exercises at your own pace. Links to video demonstrations on how to do each exercise are included below.
- Squat Jumps: From a squat to a jump and back down to a squat is considered one repetition.
- Mountain Climbers
- Burpees or Squat Thrusts
As always, you should consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program, including these 10 minute workouts.
The Benefits of Exercise and Why You Should do it Religiously
There are many reasons why people exercise: to tone, tighten and strengthen their bodies; to improve their appearance and sex appeal; to lower their health risk factors for developing heart problems, strokes, diabetes, and other ailments; to lose weight, etc. But did you know that exercising is one of the best things you can do to support your brain functions such as mood, memory, and learning? It’s true, according to Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey, author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. “Even 10 minutes of activity changes your brain.” Here are more benefits of exercise:
- It helps reverse the damaging effects of stress. Exercise helps to release tension by boosting levels of comforting brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Even more impressive is that exercise may work on a cellular level to reverse the damaging effects of stress on the aging process. A study at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2010 found that women who were stressed-out and exercised about 45 minutes over three days had cells that exhibited fewer signs of aging compared to stressed women who did not exercise.
- It helps combat depression. Studies have found that sweating it out and burning 350 calories three times a week can reduce the symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. This may be because exercise stimulates the growth of neurons in areas of the brain that have been damaged by depression.
- It helps improve learning capabilities. Exercise increases “growth factor” brain chemicals, which help produce new brain cells and new connections between them to improve learning. Complex activities, such as dancing or playing tennis, sharpen our attention and concentration skills and provide the biggest brainpower boost. “You’re challenging your brain even more when you have to think about coordination,” says Ratey. “Like muscles, you have to stress your brain cells to get them to grow.”
- It improves self-esteem and body image. It doesn’t take a major overhaul in your body shape to gain a confidence boost from exercising. Studies report that making simple progress in your fitness program, such as being able to run more miles a day or lift more weights, can build self-esteem and improve your body image. And your self-confidence will continue to soar with every pound or inch you lose, or with every dress size you drop.
- It gives you a “natural high.” Intense exercise can give you a “natural high” and feelings of euphoria, and these feelings can carry over throughout the day.
A good exercise regimen is one that you’ll stick to and do religiously, and it doesn’t have to be super time consuming to get super results. All it takes is just 10 minutes a day to do these 10 minute workouts and you’ll be on your way to reaping the many health benefits of exercise.