When most people plan out their exercise for the week, they schedule in their trips to the gym and stop there. But what if, instead of doing nothing the other days, you vowed to squeeze in at least 10 minutes of dedicated movement? And yes, we’re talking every single day. No exceptions.
“Knowing you have to do something holds you accountable, creates a routine, and forces you to let go of excuses,” says Tracee Badway, an instructor at Studio Three in Chicago. In other words, realizing that you need to get it done forces you to look for the opportunity to get your session in—even on days you can’t fit in one of your longer gym routines, or would much rather hit the snooze button than wake up early. “Everyone has 10 minutes,” Badway says. “Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth and you’re 20 percent done!”
So what counts? Anything that helps get your heart rate up or works your muscles. “Do crunches during commercial breaks, grab the stairs two-at-a-time on your way to work, or do jumping jacks while waiting for the laundry to finish,” says Badway. “And when all else fails, get some fresh air by going for a speedy walk!”
Prefer to follow a routine? Try one of these 10-minute routines Badway created.
HIIT Morning Wakeup
Do one minute of each exercise, then repeat the entire circuit again for a quick and challenging burn.
Squat jumps: Do the standard squat, but as you push up to standing, add in a jump.
When you’re on the road, you need a routine you can do anywhere. Perform one minute of each move, then repeat the entire circuit again.
Walking Lunges: Step forward with right leg and lower your left knee down until it taps on the floor, making sure right knee doesn’t go past your toes. Push up and step forward with left leg, lowering down to tap your right knee on the ground. Keep going this way.
Mountain Climbers: Start in a push-up position, then bring one knee into your chest, then the other. Keep alternating knees.
Elevator Plank: Get in a plank position on your forearms. Push up onto your right hand, then your left hand, then go back down to your right forearm, then your left forearm. Keep repeating, alternating which hand you start with.
Triceps Push-Ups: Similar to a normal push-up, this is done with your hands much closer together (your thumbs and pointer fingers should touch and make a diamond shape). And don’t worry, doing these on your knees is fine!
Wall Sit: Stand with your back leaning against a wall, then slide down until your knees bend at a 90-degree angle and hold.
Do two minutes of each for a routine that will get your blood moving but shouldn’t keep you up.
Downward Dogs to Planks: Get in a downward dog position, and as you inhale, flow forward into a plank. As you exhale, push your hips back up into the downward dog. Continue this way, keeping your movements in sync with your breath.
Reverse Table Top to Seated Twists: Sit on the ground with legs straight and hands on the ground by your hips. Push your hips off the ground while pushing down with your hands until your body is in a straight line and hands are under your shoulders. Pause there, then lower back down and twist your torso to one side (you can use your elbow and knee to help). Keep flowing between the two movements, alternating which side you twist to.
Easy Twist in a Low Lunge to a Side Plank: Step forward with your left foot into a low lunge and place your right hand on the ground next to your left foot. Twist to the left, putting your left arm straight above you. From there, put your left hand on the ground and step back into a plank. Rotate the left hand back up to perform a side plank. Return to the plank, then low lunge, and then stand. Repeat on the other side, and continue going back and forth.
Child’s Pose to Upward Dog: Get in a child’s pose with knees wide. Then flow into an upward dog by lying on the ground on your stomach and pushing through your hands to lift your head and chest while keeping legs straight and heels together. Flow back and forth between these two movements.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.