Image by: Jonathan Borba
No time to dedicate 30 minutes or an hour to a workout? This time of year, we are pushed and pulled in many directions with brain overload on responsibilities and plans. It is no wonder that slowing down enough to make time for ourselves is non-existent. “It feels selfish to take time out for a long workout when I have so much to do for others”, Lisa says. But a quick workout to keep the heart rate up and the body moving in healthy ways is a no brainer when health and fitness are on the line. If you want to keep helping others, you must help yourself first.
According to Adidas.com, quick workouts DO have health and fitness benefits:
· An increase in cardiometabolic health can be achieved in as little as a 4-minute exercise routine. For those with a sedentary lifestyle it can mean a significant decrease in mortality risk.
· Better control of blood sugar levels have been noted.
· Improved mental focus after just 10 minutes of vigorous exercise. Short workouts are a great option when you need to take a break between 2 mental activities.
Any movement for better heart and body health will yield good results but don’t rely on those short workouts for all your exercise. The goal for short workouts is in HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training. The level of exercise exertion, on a scale of 1-10 should be between 8 and 10 for those 10 minutes.
For best fitness and goal results, use the 10-minute workouts as fillers for the longer, more productive workouts. Aim for spot exercises with those short bursts of energy and continue with the long, more target conscience workouts, either with your trainer or videos. Short, spot exercises can be done while a commercial is on TV or between phone calls.
Here is a good 10-minute workout to try, courtesy of Alexa Tucker from Self Magazine:
Ten Minute Total Body Workout
Do each move for 2 minutes.
Take a 30 second rest after each exercise:
Plank With T-Rotation
Alternating Standing Oblique Crunches
A Beginner Friendly Total Body Workout
Do as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes:
16 Plank Shoulder Taps
20 Jumping Jacks
Rest for 45 seconds in between each round
If you want to make these quick workouts more intense, use weights or water bottles or soup cans. Anything that feels like added healthy weight to increase the intensity and increase your heart rate while exercising.
If you find that a 10-minute exercise is still out of reach, stretch. Stretching is so vitally important to our bodies. According to acefitness.com and healthfitnessrevolution.com, these are the 10 reasons why stretching every day is so important:
Image by: Alora Griffiths
1- Stretching will decrease stress and promote an optimistic outlook
2- Stretching will reduce pain and stiffness and enables flexibility
3- Stretching will improve your overall health and energy levels
4- Stretching will enhance range of motion and fortify posture
5- Stretching will improve muscular function and reduces soreness
6- Stretching will reduce risk of injury
7- Stretching will enhance workout performance as well as performance for house cleaning, playing with the kids/grandkids, etc.
8- Stretching will improve blood flow and circulation
9- Stretching will minimize wear and tear on the joints
10- Stretching will improve quality of life by reducing cholesterol
According to health.harvard.edu, if you don’t know where to start with a stretching routine, consider this:
“Although our bodies are a complex system of muscles, you don’t have to stretch every muscle. The areas critical for mobility are in your lower extremities including calves, hamstrings, hip flexors in the pelvis and quadriceps in the front of the thigh. Stretching your shoulders, neck, and lower back is also beneficial.”
Performing a light 5- 10-minute exercise will warm up the muscles so that proper stretching can take place. Hold a stretch for 30 seconds. Don’t bounce, as that can injure your muscles. There should be some tension felt in the muscles but no pain.
In the end, what we do for our bodies will only benefit us in the short and long run. Aim for the very least amount of time for a quick workout, more concentrated time for a longer workout and always stretch.