I have lately been inspired by Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer. It reminds me of a couple of cliches — first that there is a lid for every pot and second that there are many roads that lead to the same destination. While Tony’s P90X has daily routines ranging from about 40 minutes to that grueling 92 minute yoga video, the 10 Minute Trainer is just that. 10 minutes each day of what Tony calls “stacking.” This means he combines strength training exercises in a way that keep your heart-rate elevated throughout, so you are burning calories while sculpting your body.
Clearly we all know that we need 30-60 minutes of cardio for our heart, lungs and general health. Research does, however, support that we can accumulate short bursts of activity over the course of the day and reap similar benefits. So for some of us who work full-time and have limited extended periods of time to workout, perhaps the 10 Minute Trainer (or something just like it) is exactly what will work for us! I am thinking 3-6 10 minute “bursts” a day could be very doable. Putting together a “menu” of 10 minute routines and then picking from them as you would from a menu.
10 minutes of brisk walking
10 minutes of working large muscles (push-ups, pull-ups and squats or lunges)
10 minutes on a treadmill, elliptical or similar machine
10 minutes of challenging yoga or Pilates moves
10 minutes of laps in the pool
10 minutes of dancing one’s ass off! (literally)
10 minutes of punching and kicking
10 minutes of rope jumping, hoola hooping, hopping, jumping, skipping
10 minutes of bike riding
10 minutes of gardening
10 minutes of heavy housework
10 minutes of stretching
I could continue the list, but it’s time for you to think of how you can incorporate 10 minute intervals into your life. Even though I exercise enough at work, I am trying to add 10 minutes a day of things I don’t get to do during my own work day. Yesterday I did 10 minutes of Pilates on the reformer. Today I will make sure that 10 minutes of my walk with Blaze is brisk and non-stop. What I can’t wait much longer for is 10 minutes in the pool. 10 minutes of laps for me is a huge challenge at the beginning of each summer. It always reminds me of how important it is to cross train, as I am breathless after just a few laps.
Even if you have a particularly busy day, 1 or 2 bursts of intensity are certainly better than none. Perhaps all you can get in is a 10 minute walk and 10 minutes of stretching. Though that won’t turn you into Atlas or Madonna, it will certainly give you stress reduction benefits and 20 minutes of exercise that particular day is better than none.
Those of us committed to our lengthy workout routines can’t really wrap our arms around how 10 minutes of exercise could possibly work. Take a minute to think about all the people you know that don’t exercise at all. I know a lot of people who just don’t exercise because they claim to not have the time. The 10 Minute Trainer, or just thinking in 10 minute bursts, gives them NO EXCUSE anymore.
If you know someone who could benefit from “taking 10” please pass this blog on to them. Their bodies, minds and souls will thank you.
Tonight last season’s Biggest Loser winner, Danny, returns to inspire the remaining contestants. The make-over episode MUST be coming soon!!! I can’t wait. I can hear Meridith, Matt and Al interviewing Melissa on the Today Show, right now. Looking over my shoulder I have to say this…she looks pretty awesome in her very tight fitting red wrap-dress. I’m glad she is out of the competition, but I have to give credit where it’s due. Judging from her personality, she is a tough one who can probably do anything she sets her mind to! More Biggest Loser chat tomorrow.
Till then, have a perfectly 10 day!