10 Minutes

I wish I had a sense of how many times I’d done any of the following:

  1. Skipped a workout because I felt like I didn’t have enough time for it;
  2. Skipped a workout because I felt like I’d already “blown it” for the day, or the week;
  3. Skipped a workout because anything less than an hour wouldn’t be “worth it”.

My guess is that having a count of instances of those three occurrences would be overwhelming.  Possibly depressing.  I’ll even go so far as to say that those are probably my top three go-to excuses for skipping a run or a yoga session, or any other form of exercise.  Sadly, none of them are really valid excuses.  At least not in the way I always use them–my way of using them is totally counterproductive.  In all three of those cases, using the excuse results in not doing any sort of workout whatsoever; two of those three situations are based on not having spent enough time working out.  When you look at it rationally, it makes no sense!  “I’m not going to run because it won’t help me hit my mileage goal for the week”?  “I’m not going to run because if I can’t run 6 miles I don’t want to run at all”?  In both those cases, doing something would obviously be preferable to doing nothing.  But the thinking is entirely black or white.  It’s either a hard workout, or no workout at all.  Don’t bother telling me how silly this is, because I already know.

Lately I’ve been wondering if I might be able to change this all-or-nothing attitude by considering a 10-minute workout.  10 minutes can be a long time during which you could accomplish a lot of things; while I may not be able to run 5 miles, I could still do a total body workout with weights, or some intense cardio with a jumprope, circuit training, several sun salutations…the possibilities are endless, and so are the advantages.  To start, there’s the undeniable fact that something is better than nothing.  Add to that the appeal of the variety you’d be able to incorporate into your exercise routine, the idea that ten minutes of exercise could be more rejuvenating than a cup of coffee and undoubtedly more relaxing than a few deep breaths taken while sitting in front of your computer.  On top of all that, if you find yourself in a situation where you have several small windows of time throughout a day, but not a single large one, having some 10-minute exercise ideas to fall back on could enable you to get in a decent workout over the course of a few hours.  Convinced?  I am.

Of course it’s entirely possible that this 10 minutes idea is not the solution to every workout motivation problem ever, but I’m still determined to give it a try.  My yoga practice has fallen by the wayside yet again, and my cross-training and weight training routines are non-existent.  If you ask me, applying the 10 minute rule in those situations could only help, and as hard as it may sometimes be to see it, it beats the 0 minute rule any day of the week.

Do you have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to working out?  Do you think a 10-minute workout could help you break it?

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4 comments

  1. You’re absolutely right, 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes. And I think that would be good for you… Making it a little less all-or-nothing approach.

    I like the Nike Training club app for the 15 minute get focused routines… but truthfully I sometimes wish they were just 10 minutes. For some reason, 10 minutes seems to be my magic number. If I can fit in 10 minutes, I’m pleased. But if it takes longer than that, it feels like more of a workout and like I’m slacking off with just 15 minutes. Don’t know why there is that mental barrier in my brain with that!

  2. I really like the idea of doing 10 minute workouts – any exercise is better than none. Also exercise is not always about pushing yourself and training seriously – a little bit is enough to make me feel energised and improve my mood.

    I used to be in the all-or-nothing minset, but I have been doing shorter workouts recently. They still tend to be around the half hour mark – but after reading this I’ll consider taking 10 minutes out of my day every now and then.

  3. My most common reason for missing a workout is laziness. If I’m really time crunched, I’ll at least do some planks, core work and push-ups. Sun salutations are a great idea too!

  4. I know this entry is a few days old but I wasn’t in front of my computer this past week!

    I definitely have an “all or nothing” attitude when it comes to working out, but mine is more about sweat! I have long, thick hair that is a PAIN to shampoo and then make look presentable. So this is my thought process: If I can’t get a good, LONG workout in, what’s the point of sweating and having to wash my hair? Once I start to sweat, I want to get my money’s worth, so to speak. Also this prevents me from working out in the morning before work because then I need to factor in hair washing and drying time and by that time I would have to get up at like 3am!

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