10 Minute Bouts

Posted: Jul 02 in Activity Recommendations by


Does the idea of exercising to augment weight loss efforts seem overwhelming?  So many of us are working outside the home, inside the home, juggling kid’s activity schedules while at the same time trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It can seem just too much to try to fit exercise into the whole mix. 

Some advice that may be helpful is to think in “10 minute bouts.”  Think about it:  who has one hour, let alone thirty minutes, to carve out of the day to elevate that heart rate?  Sometimes it is more manageable to think about ten minutes at a time.  Try getting to work just ten minutes earlier and walking around your building or doing the stairs.  Repeat this during lunch or when you can escape for ten minutes during the day.  Just one more time before driving home in the evening can do wonders to get that blood flowing and energize that body that has been behind a desk or computer for eight to ten hours straight.  Do the math:  you have exercised for thirty minutes!

This takes some pre-planning, setting the alarm a few minutes earlier.  Your health is worth ten minutes.  When you start off the day with a little bit of movement, it can change your mindset for the whole day.  You are living a healthy active lifestyle.  You are making your health a priority.  Believe me, I have heard every excuse (and made even more myself).  The bottom line is we can do this incrementally. 

Another helpful adjunct is wearing a pedometer.  This can visually show us how much more we are moving throughout the day.  Our goal is 10,000 steps a day.  Some creative ways of getting closer are to not use the office phone to call coworkers.  Walk to their office instead.  Try not to use the restroom on your floor.  Use the stairs instead of the elevator.  Again, start by going down the flights.  Gradually work your way up to walking up the stairs as well.  Many patients have reported such a sense of accomplishment that they can climb the stairs eventually without huffing and puffing at the top. This is one of those encouraging markers of improved overall fitness.

Notice that none of these tips involves going to the gym?  Obviously there are additional health benefits that can be achieved by longer more intense forms of exercise, but the all or nothing approach certainly leaves many of us “under-exercised.”  “10 minute bouts,” wearing a pedometer, stairs when possible and using a different floor bathroom can and do make a difference.  Using this approach as a starting point can certainly get us in the right direction.  Try implementing some of these suggestions and see if you don’t feel more energized.  These are lifestyle changes and they stick to make a permanent impact on our health.

-Heather Thomas

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