Can You Really Get Fit With 10 Minute Workouts?
You have heard all of the miracle health benefit promises. Maybe you have even tried a few supplements or exercise programs which promised to deliver miracle results in a very short period of time, with little or no effort on your part. Generally, those products are nothing but hype in the best case scenario, and potentially dangerous at worst.
That having been said, the 21st century has seen multiple claims by physical trainers and other health professionals that you can get fit working out just 10 minutes a day. Is this possible? What form of exercise delivers significant health benefits in such a short period of time? More importantly, can a 10 minute workout help you reach your personal fitness goals? Let’s take a look.
Changing your body chemistry is simply a matter of changing your routine. If you are pretty healthy, and you start eating nothing but junk food and stop working out, you will become unhealthy in a hurry. The same is true if you adopt regular exercise if you are currently leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Any exercise that you perform, for even the shortest amount
of time, is better than no exercise at all.
So if you are currently not physically active, then squeezing in several 10 minute workouts during your regular weekly schedule is going to produce some serious health benefits.
However, you only burn so many calories when you exercise. You have to destroy 3,500 more calories than you take in before you lose 1 pound of body weight. This means that burning fat, losing weight, building muscle and getting in shape is going to require at least a few extended exercise sessions every week.
At best you can only expect to burn 100 to 150 calories in 10 minutes of exercise. (Most exercises will consume fewer calories than that.) Burning calories through physical activity is what makes your muscles, heart and respiratory system stronger, leading to physical fitness. So to have a 1 pound impact on your body weight (a measurable sign of health and fitness), you would need to enjoy at least 23 to 35 sessions of exercise of 10 minutes each!
This is not to say that short exercise sessions are pointless.
They aren’t. Sprinkling a few 10 minute aerobic or strength training sessions in your regular exercise routine can improve the speed at which you reach your desired goal. Just understand that short workouts are never going to replace the three to five 30 to 45 minute sessions of moderately intense exercise that you should be performing on a weekly basis.
5 Household Items You Can Use for Your Workouts
You don’t have to own a lot of expensive gym equipment to get a great workout. Body weight training, also known as calisthenics, uses the weight of your own body for strength training. Coupled with gravity, your body provides the necessary resistance that results in strong, lean muscles and improved muscle mass.
However, you can quickly hit a plateau if your body weight is all you are working with. So you may consider purchasing free weights. However, before you run off and drop a lot of coin on a heavy, bulky and often times expensive fitness equipment, consider this. The following 5 common household items can be used in the place of fitness equipment to ramp up the effectiveness of your workouts.
#1 – Milk jugs, beverage containers
We are referring to the plastic milk jug which has a built-in handle. Water weighs approximately 8.5 pounds per gallon. Fill 2 gallon sized jugs with water and you can perform bicep curls and other exercises where you would traditionally use a dumbbell. An alternative is a laundry detergent bottle. A 72 ounce container will weigh about 5 pounds with water in it.
#2 – A pair of sturdy chairs
A couple of wooden dining room chairs is perfect for performing tricep dips. You place one chair on either side of your body, with your palms down on the seats of the chairs. Lower yourself down, pulling your feet off the ground and bending your knees.
If your chair is heavy enough, you can also perform dead lifts. There are several other exercises you can perform with a sturdy pair of chairs. A quick web search for “chair exercises” returns millions of relevant results. Search on YouTube for helpful videos which provide visual assistance.
#3 – A basketball
Aside from playing basketball and getting your exercise that way, you can use a basketball when you perform push-ups to improve the effectiveness of your workout. Instead of placing the palms of your hands on the floor, bring them together and hold a basketball on the floor in front of your face. Performing push-ups this way works your core 20% to 25% more effectively.
#4 – Stairs
If you don’t feel like spending $1,000 or more on a stair-master, why not use your own stairs? For a person that weighs 150 pounds, 30 minutes of walking up and down a flight of stairs burns 165 to 185 calories. This provides a nice aerobic workout, and can be performed indoors when the weather outside is nasty.
#5 – Your kitchen or bathroom counter
Stand in front of your kitchen or bathroom counter, with your back to it. Reach behind and place your hands palm down on the counter, with your fingers curled over the ledge. Slowly move your body weight from your feet to your hands by bending your knees.
Lower yourself, and return to the starting position, putting your body weight on your arms and shoulders instead of your legs. You can also stand about 2 feet in front of your counter, lean forward, and place your hands on the counter ledge. Lean forward, performing inclined push-ups.
5 Ideas for Sneaking Exercise Into Your Day
The human race is more overweight and obese that at any other time in recorded history. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States says that 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese. One of the best ways to burn fat and maintain a healthy body weight is through exercise and physical activity.
However, the increasingly sedentary lifestyle most human beings lead is sometimes lacking in spare time. So you may not believe you have the time available for working out and getting in shape. Begin practicing the following tips and you will always be able to work exercise into even the busiest of daily routines.
#1 – Plan Ahead
In any area of your life, planning can help you succeed. The human brain is so designed that it prefers knowing what is going to happen in the next few minutes, the next few hours, tomorrow and all week long. Write down a physical exercise plan at least for at least 30 days in advance and you will find yourself exercising more frequently.
#2 – Try Body Weight Training
Strength training by using the resistance of your own body weight can be performed anywhere, at any time. The power of gravity works with the physical weight of your body to create resistance. Exercises like lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, planks and squats provide muscle building, fat burning benefits. You can easily polish off a couple of sets of body weight exercises any time you have 5 or 10 minutes to spare.
#3 – Keep a Set of Dumbbells at Work
Squeezing exercise into your daily routine is easy if you just keep a set of dumbbells at work. (We are not making a statement about the intelligence level of your coworkers, referring instead to a small set of hand weights.) While you are on a conference call, dictating an email or performing some other mind-numbing work task, you can strength train your arms and upper body with a set of dumbbells.
#4 – Prioritize Exercise
There are things in your life that you prefer to do over other activities. Because of this, you prioritize those enjoyable actions and behaviors. Do the same thing with exercise. Remind yourself of all the wonderful health benefits physical fitness delivers. Focus on exercise, spend your time with other like-minded individuals, and you will see this concentrated focus on physical fitness lead to more frequent workouts, as well as fitness rewards.
#5 – Walk or Bike Instead of Taking the Car
This is a great tip if you live close to your job. It also applies any time you only need to travel a short distance. Whenever you have to go to a location 1 mile from your home or closer, and time is not an issue, jump on your bike or walk instead of climbing into your vehicle.