As a coach I have heard all of the excuses as to why people can’t commit to a training program. I understand that everyone is overbooked and has very hectic lives but when it comes to our health we need to find the time. Here are some of the more common responses I hear from people as to why they are unable to start a program and improve their health and fitness.
- I don’t belong to a gym.
- At the end of the day the last thing I feel like doing is exercising.
- It costs too much to eat healthy.
- I use to be in good shape back in high school but now I don’t really have any reason to exercise.
- I have kids and I just can’t find the time to exercise.
- I am too old.
- I don’t want to get big and bulky so why should I lift weights.
Blah, blah, blah!!!! Now that you are done making these excuses I am going to share with you 10 ways that you can improve your health in less than 10 minutes a day by implementing some of these ideas into your routine. Now, these tips are not going to get you in shape to do an Ironman, however, they will get you headed down the path towards feeling better and hopefully convince you that you do not need to spend hours upon hours exercising to see gains in your overall health.
Are you ready? Here we go.
1. Have a Morning Ritual
When you pop out of bed tomorrow instead of reaching for your cell phone to “update your status” take ten minutes for yourself. By simply taking 10 minutes it can have a big impact on how your day goes. Instead of reaching for your phone that will most likely stress you out and raise your cortisol levels, here is what you can do:
- Get a big glass of water with lemon (good for digestion)
- Walk outside barefoot and get some sunlight (it helps set your circadian rhythm which is critical to your sleep cycle)
- Meditate for 5 minutes and take some deep diaphragmatic breaths.
2. Go for a Walk Without Your Cell Phone
Walking is so good for you. It can improve your mobility, posture as well as strengthen your heart. However, when I see someone walking with their cell phone I can’t help but think that they are not moving efficiently. Unless it’s an emergency put the phone down and WALK. Move your arms with a purpose. Don’t just “simply fall forward”. Pick up your feet, move your arms and clear your head for 10 minutes and watch what happens to your attitude as well as your energy.
3. Do 10 Minutes of Pull Ups
Pull-ups are so good for you. They can improve your posture as well as your grip strength. They can develop a strong back and improve your speed when you run. Here is how you can do it: Find a pull-up bar and set a timer. Do as many as you can in ten minutes. If you can’t do any then use a resistance band (buy them here). Rest whenever you need to rest. Record your number and do this for eight (8) weeks and see how much you improve from week to week.
4. Run Hill Sprints
Hill sprints are great way to build strength and endurance. Plus, it’s a safe way to run when it comes to hamstring pulls and other soft tissue injuries. Find a hill that takes anywhere from 10-30 seconds to run up. Walk back down and repeat.
5. Bear Crawl
If you want one exercise that can improve mobility, stability, flexibility, strength, gait as well as your endurance then head out to a park or field and do some bear crawls. Simply get down on all fours and crawl. I would recommend that you crawl for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Do this 10 for a great workout.
6. Resistance Band Training
If you don’t belong to a gym, resistance band training is the perfect option for you. Simply purchase a set of bands (red, black or purple) and head to a park or your own backyard. Set the timer and try these 3 exercises.
- Band chest press: 10 reps
- Band rows: 10 reps
- Band resistance runs: 15 seconds
Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
I have only done yoga a handful of times, however, I always feel better at the end of the session than I did at the beginning. A great way to add this to your routine is to take a class with an instructor and implement some of the movements into your own routine. Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, as well as improve mobility. Men, especially, can really benefit from adding yoga to their routine.
8. Walk Barefoot on the Grass
Over the past couple of years the topic of “earthing” has become more and more popular. A simple way to “ground” yourself is to walk barefoot on the grass either first thing in the morning (wet grass is best) or any time of day. It can help with jetlag, sleep disturbances, recovery as well as muscle aches and pains. Give it a shot. All of you have to do is walk or sit on the grass or sand (the beach is a great place to do this. Think about it, don’t you always feel better on the beach?)
9. Play with Your Dog
When it comes to having a dog there are so many benefits. One of the best things that you can do for both your dog and yourself is to play in the backyard or park. Dogs love to run short sprints and then relax (sounds like the perfect interval to me). Get outside, run with the dog and then relax. Do this for 10 minutes and you will have worked on your speed, mobility, and agility.
10. Walk with a Loved One
I don’t think I need to explain this but I will. All of us are so busy (myself included) and we need to stop and spend time with our loved ones. A simple 10 minute walk can have tremendous health benefits for you. Put the cell phone away, hold hands (you will get some great hormone benefits by holding hands by releasing Oxytocin) and walk and talk.
Well, there you have it. Ten ways in 10 minutes to improve your health. Nowhere on this list do you see anything about a gym membership or boot camp instructors screaming at you. Get outside today and implement these tips and watch your health improve.
Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.