If you're looking for a way to fit fitness into your busy life, try what I call the 10-10-10 plan. Forget trying to get to the gym for an hour (plus travel time). Instead, find 10 minutes, three times a day, to exercise at home or outside. That adds up to 30 minutes a day, which is enough to garner you some helpful health benefits. If you want to lose weight too, you'll probably need to ramp up the intensity and/or length of your workouts, and take a look at your eating habits too. Once you have your 10-10-10 plan working smoothly, try to add 5 or 10 minutes to one or more of those workout sessions. Before you know it, you'll be working out for an hour a day without disrupting your schedule.
Exercise at Home in the Morning
Take your first 10-minute chunk as soon as you get up in the morning. If the rest of your household is sleeping, great. Even if needy kids, spouses, or pets are awake, they can wait 10 minutes for whatever it is they desperately want your help with. They may even realize they can find their own glasses or pour their own cereal!
Take a Mid-Day Workout BreakIf you are at home during the day, plan for another 10-minute exercise session around lunchtime. If you work outside your home, shave 10 minutes off your lunch hour for a quick walk or other workout. Bring some healthy snacks to eat at your desk before or after your workout if exercise cuts into your eating time too much.
Exercise at Home in the Evening
Grab your last 10-minute workout session sometime in the evening: while your dinner's in the oven, after the family eats, or even after kids' bedtimes. I know you have a lot going on, with homework, chores, and all the administrative tasks that parenthood entails. But remember, you only need 10 minutes, and you can probably even multi-task.
10 Ways to Exercise at Home (or at Work) in 10 Minutes
- Resistance training with hand weights, rubber bands or tubes, or your own body weight (crunches, push-ups, etc.)
- Yoga or Pilates
- Run or walk (in place, on a treadmill, around the block)
- Jump rope
- Wii Fit (strength training or cardio)
- Elliptical trainer or stationary bike; or take your real bike out for a quick spin
- Climb stairs
- Videos or DVDs (some are designed specifically for short workouts; see if your TV cable provider offers exercise videos on demand)