Health (things to know)

Every Minute Counts

I often hear from others that they can’t won’t exercise unless they have at least an hour in their day to do so. They say things like, “I don’t feel like I’m doing anything if I workout for less time,” or “It’s not worth it.” Well I’m here to tell you that you are and it is.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity per week. This time recommendation decreases to 75 minutes per week if aerobic activity is more intense. Strength exercises are also suggested at least twice per week, and health benefits will increase should you choose to do more.

But wedged between these recommendations is a highlighted purple box. It states: 10 Minutes at a time is fine. This means you still benefit from 10 minute workouts over the course of the week, and that it’s not necessary to carve out a whole hour and dump the workout all together if you can’t manage that time.

One study done at the University of New Hampshire in 2006 compared adults who exercised 30 minutes per day, 4 times per week for 12 weeks (continuous) with those who exercised 15 minutes twice per day, 4 times per week for 12 weeks (intermittent). While the two groups had relatively comparable overall health benefits, the interval group actually had a greater improvement in cholesterol levels. Equivalent benefits were also seen when comparing similar groups of children; both children who exercised in larger time chunks and those who exercised sporadically had improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease (smaller waistline, better cholesterol, and improved blood pressure).

Another study performed at the University of Arizona showed that intermittent intervals of 10 minute exercise periods throughout the week yielded significantly improved blood pressure among individuals when compared to no exercise at all. Extensive additional research supports these findings.

So now we have to deal with the other issue: wanting exercise to provide benefits you can see and feel (i.e- weight loss, toning, smaller waistline, feeling sore). Well, you’re in luck! These things stick around even when you break up your exercise routines. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve done just a 10 minute video and been SO sore the next day! Standing Abs and ballet legs are 2 of my most notable workouts for this.

What does this mean? That there is no reason to NOT fit in at least 10 minutes each day. If you kick up your intensity and pick it up to 11 minutes each day, you’ve already reached the CDC recommendations. Crazy, huh? I guarantee you will feel better doing something than nothing. Because doing nothing is the worst!

Keep this in mind through the next couple of weeks. I know it’s a busy time of year, but we can always make room for exercise.

On an unrelated note, my next post will be my 100th post! It’s very exciting for me, and I’m so happy with how this blog has turned out. It’s been a great venue for me and hopefully a worthwhile resource for all of you. If you have a chance, send me an email or drop a comment with good/funny/motivational fitness stories and I’ll see what I can do about compiling them for my 100th post celebration. Happy Thursday!


9 thoughts on “Every Minute Counts

  1. Hey Tori! I am relatively new to your site! I used to work out a lot and ran almost every single day, and I want to get back into the swing of things. I was wondering where would be the place to start with your videos. I am looking more to tone my abs, love handles, and hamstrings. I enjoy your videos so much I just do not know where to begin!! Please HELP! 🙂

    • Hi Casey,
      It’s good you’re trying to get back into the swing of things!! I’m happy to help you with where to start, but wanted to know a bit more first. Is your goal right now weight loss or toning or both? What type of schedule do you think will work for you? 10 minutes a day? 20 every other day? an hour a few times a week? Let me know a bit more about where you are and what you’d like to do and I’m happy to help!

      • I am wanting to do both! I want to tone and lose weight in my stomach love handles and hamstring regions! I have at least 1 hour every day to do any workout. I live in an apartment so jumping isn’t a great idea! But I am open to almost any kind of workout though!!!

      • Ok, great! A lot of my cardio videos involve jumping (all the plyometrics ones do). If you like coordinated movements, then my kickboxing videos are a good fun way to start that don’t have jumping. If you don’t like kickboxing, I’d suggest running- you can also click my “cardio” link to the right in the word cloud on the home page.

        The most important thing for weight loss is a combination of cardio and diet. (Diet probably being key!). But I like to do about 20-30 minutes of cardio with 30-40 minutes of toning to take up a whole hour.

        In terms of toning, particularly abs, I’d say start with my “abs challenge series.” Try level one, and do that until you can perfect it- then you can move to 2,3,or 4. For legs, I really like the “ballet legs” workout, but you can also try things with the resistance band which is good for hips/hamstrings. It’s up to you whether you want to do abs one day, legs another, etc OR 10 minutes abs, 10 minutes legs, etc each day.

        Any kind of target area you want- just click on the word in the word cloud and a list of videos will pop up. Doesn’t really matter where you start as long as you’re getting variation! Good luck and let me know if you need more info!

  2. Pingback: The Happy Hundred: 50 Fitness Tidbits for my hundredth Fitness Post « Tori Teaches Fitness

  3. Tori, thank you so much for making these posts available. I am a busy mom of three little ones. I find making my way to a gym often impossible. Working out at home with your tips has been great. I love the ” stand up ab workout”, it is a great quick ab wake up. Thanks again! Mandy

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