I sat there by the window and just stared, it was one of those days I simply felt lazy; I was recovering from a flu which necessitated a break from my routine home workouts. I listened to the birds singing outside; I mused over how they neither sow nor reap but their Maker feeds them! In the distance were the giggles of my kids as they went about their play in the house, my mind simply wandered. Before long, my pondering was interrupted, the giggles were right by my door;
“mum!”, called out Josh and Darlene (my twins), “today is the push-up challenge!” they shouted.
For those of us with young children, you know that promises have to be delivered upon, so I got coerced into compliance, and the challenge kicked off. Now when your kids call you ‘mommy fitness’, it’s the ultimate arm-twisting to get you living up to the title. Long story short, the challenge evolved from push-ups, to mountain-climbers, burpees, high knees squats among other exercises. 10 minutes later, we were all sweaty, energized, laughing, excited and daring to continue. All my feelings of apathy were totally gone and in its place, was excitement plus bonding with the little ones.
Too short but adequate
You must be wondering, 10 minutes only!!! Yes, this is enough time to get your heart rate up and jumpstart you to the fat-burning zone. It’s a duration short enough to be squeezed into a professional’s or a mother’s busy schedule. 3-5 episodes of 10 mins of exercise per day, 4-5 times a week and you cumulatively end up with the recommended 150-300 minutes per week.
The world health organization(WHO), recommends that “aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration”.
Make it fun
Are you bored with your current routine? Become adventurous and try something new; like cycling, swimming, kickboxing, hiking or dancing.
Exercise needs not be mundane to be effective. After all you are likely to sustain what you enjoy. Throw in challenges and determine prizes, loosen up and play with those around you and have fun while at it.
10 minutes gets you thinking…….
You’ve got a schedule so tight that the only break you can get at a time is 10 minutes! You must make it count. This should awaken your mindfulness in eating since it’s far much easier to consume excessive calories than it is to burn them. Often, we overestimate the energy we spend in physical activity or exercise and extremely underestimate our food consumption both volume and calorie wise.
Things to do in 10 minutes to manage your weight
- When you feel hungry, take a glassful of water and wait for 10 minutes. This is enough time to determine whether you were really hungry or thirsty.
- Write down your weekly meal plans and jot down a commensurate grocery shopping list. Remember whenever you don’t plan, by default you plan to fail. Healthy eating requires planning and deliberate execution.
- Clean up your fridge or pantry of any junk. If foodstuffs that are detrimental to your weight loss or weight maintenance goals are readily available in your house, chances are that you will consume them. Steer clear of such temptations.
- Plan out your exercise activities for the week inclusive of a rest day or two.
- Pack you sports attire for the gym/ home workouts beforehand and put them at a vantage point to serve as a reminder.
- To avoid procrastination, change into your sports gear, and in about 10 minutes you should get in the mood of exercising, it’s a trick have used on myself severally whenever I feel lethargic. Once I change, I determine that the attire will only get off after I have broken a good sweat.
- Once you’re done with the first 10 minutes of your workout, try sneak in 10 more, there’s always energy left for more. Challenge yourself because you can do it.
- If you live in a maisonette, take a 10 minutes’ walk up and down the staircase at your fastest pace. Be careful though not to trip when running down the stairs.
- Do not sit still for over 10 minutes, stretch your calves even when sitted by raising up your feet as if tiptoeing up and down for 10 repetitions. This is good to keep the blood flowing back from the feet and goes a long way in preventing deep venous thrombosis. Rising up to your feet and pacing a bit in the office or at home is even better, whenever the circumstances allow.
- Take 10 minutes to write down every success/milestone (small or big) in your fitness journey, celebrate yourself and adjust your targets accordingly.
There you go, 10 minutes can be put into tonnes of use to get the excess fat off your body and keep it at bay! Go ahead and customize to suit your environment, Doctor Fitness is cheering you on.