Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five or more days a week. But finding an extra 30 minutes a day for exercise in a busy life can be difficult.
Being physically active has many important health benefits. Exercise can strengthen your bones and muscles, reduce your risk of some diseases and cancers, improve your mental health and mood, and more. Any exercise can help you become healthier. Even some exercise is better than none at all. But how can you make time for enough physical activity?
When time is limited, you might try a different way to exercise: Take 10. Getting at least 10 minutes of continuous moderate activity three times a day can give the same health benefits as 30 minutes of nonstop exercise. Here are some activities to help you get the most out of 10 minutes.
10 Minutes of Cardio
Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any movement that increases your heart rate and blood circulation. Any form of cardio burns off calories.
- Use 10 minutes of your lunch hour to go for a brisk walk.
- Walk up and down the stairs at work for 10 minutes.
- Work off some of the stress of the day by exercising to your favorite music for 10 minutes (about three songs).
10 Minutes of Strength Training
You don’t need a gym membership to start getting stronger. There are ways to strength train at home.
- Start your day with 10 minutes of strengthening exercises, such as lunges and bicep curls.
- While watching TV, slowly and carefully lift and lower weights for 10 minutes. Use dumbbells, barbells, or whatever weights you have on hand, such as water bottles or bricks.
- If you’re on a long phone call, do 10 minutes of squats or calf raises to strengthen lower-body muscles.
10 Minutes of Stretching
Whether you drive, stand, or sit at a desk for long periods, aim to change position and stretch for 10 minutes at least once a day. Two times a day is even better to improve overall fitness.
- After a walk, add 10 minutes of your favorite stretches to improve flexibility and balance.
- Download an app that features a 10-minute stretching routine.
- Search YouTube for free stretching workout videos. You’ll find many quick routines for a variety of skill levels, from beginner to advanced.