Ten minutes is nothing, right? It’s a short increment of time we’re used to measuring in. Ten minutes left before lunch, or, I’ll be ready in ten minutes, or I live ten minutes away. But what if we told you that adding 10 minutes to the end of your workout could literally make you more fit? You probably wouldn’t believe us, but no, really, this short increment of time can make all the difference.
The average American works out at least three times a week for 30 minutes. For fitness buffs, that isn’t a huge chunk of time. While 30 minutes can certainly give you an awesome workout, (think High Intensity Interval Training, or H.I.I.T.) that doesn’t leave much time for strength or stretching. Plus, the federal health guideline calls for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, yet the majority of America is falling short.
Even though people are often checked out by the end of their workout, what if you were told that by adding 10 minutes to each one of your workouts will not only strengthen your mental will-power, but get you to your goals that much quicker. You will learn to push your body harder even though you think you are done. Depending on how much you exercise during the week, adding 10 minutes to your workouts each day can add almost an hour each week. With this small commitment every day, you will better be able to reach all of your fitness goals.
Like all things in life, little things do make a big difference. For example, cutting sugar out of your coffee each day or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Over time these minuscule, yet healthy decisions can impact our lives in so many positive ways. Adding a little bit to your workout follows this same idea.
So, just how exactly will adding a simple 10 minutes to your workout keep you fit? Whether your goal is to lose weight, strengthen your core, improve your endurance or become more flexible, you can easily achieve them by adding a few minutes of something that will increase the likelihood of your goal. For example, you may have come into your workout planning to run for 45 minutes. Instead, run for 47 or 48. Each day, increase your run by a few minutes and by the time you get to 50 or 55, you’ll see that your time and willpower has increased.
Pushing yourself to exercise more at the end of our workouts may be even more beneficial than adding an extra workout. Why? Because we are pushing our bodies harder and faster during a run or after a series of awesome ab exercises. Each minute is more efficient and more effective due to the SAID principle (Specific Action to Imposed Demand). The SAID principle changes your brain and body based on the demand imposed upon it.
Many think that fitness is an all-or-nothing type of thing, yet not every workout has to be a cookie-cutter hour-long workout. Even if you exercise for 30 minutes, devote 10 extra minutes to stretching and doing some ab exercises. Stretching allows us to take a second for ourselves to decompress. Stretching sends oxygen to our brains for a clearer mind and better mood, as well.
Think of adding 10 minutes to each workout as a modification. As we get stronger, we are increasing the amount of work we are doing to get stronger muscles, faster running times or longer distances. If you don’t want to start with 10 minutes, gradually add 1, 2, 3 and so on to inevitably reach all of your fitness goals.
Americans are some of the busiest people on the planet with the tightest schedules, yet increasing the duration of positive activities by even a little bit will allow us to reach our goals and enhance our life in a great way.