Another example of how less becomes more

 

A recent New York Times article, The 10-Minute Workout, Times Three, discusses current research showing the health benefits of 10-minute workouts, three times a day.

In the early years of studying cardio-vascular exercises, endurance exercises and even strengthening exercises, time periods of about half an hour of activity were most often used.  Periods even longer than that were often considered when studying athletes.  But when it came to medical health effects of exercise on the average person, taking lifestyle factors into consideration, half an hour of physical activity became the benchmark. The recommendation for consistent, continual exercise for 30 minutes or more joined "eat less red meat and more vegetables" as a good idea for healthy living.

But, I know with the exercises I give to my students and clients, they benefit more and are more compliant about really doing their exercises if it is given in tasty, small morsels of time. Ten minutes, three times a day is more natural in terms of the evolutionary design of the human body than doing a half hour of jogging and then stopping activity for the day.

One, two or all three 10-minute periods of time could also build into higher intensity than some people could withstand during a full half hour.  Also, you could work a little harder during one or two of your three 10-minute burst.  Of course, you also have the choice of making one or more of your bursts 12 or even 15 minutes long.  The farther apart our exercise bursts might occur, the less sluggish our system becomes.

What I am suggesting has been revealed to me to be a truth by hundreds of students all over the world, that is if you want to increase compliance and decrease resistance to an activity, give yourself full permission to do less and you'll be more likely to do more.

For those who feel too fatigued to get started with an exercise routine, feel no shame to start with a fast 10-minute walk or going down to lay on the floor and returning to standing several times for 10 minutes.  You'll feel better because you'll be doing something smarter.

The benefits of short bursts of exercise is why I tried to keep my Change Your Age lessons brief and varied.  Check out some of the sample lessons from the Change Your Age program for 10-minute movement inspirations.