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Getting Fit In Ten Minutes (or Less)

Each January millions of people make New Years Resolutions to eat better, lose weight or exercise more. A staggering 8% of people actually achieve their goals, although your goal of cutting out all carbs or running every day may seem like a fantastic idea, you must ask yourself how sustainable this is.

You need to set your self realistic milestones and goals, your end goal may be to run 10kms but first aim to run for 5 minutes each day. The way to sustain a new healthy lifestyle is easing your way into creating habits, you should focus on becoming 1 per cent better at something each day.

The 5-minute run

Running has huge benefits on your health, studies show that even running a few minutes a day can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and help you lose weight. Runners of all fitness levels have shown that they have a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke.

As your fitness levels improve you will need to increase the time and pace of your run to maintain the benefits, if you are time poor a great alternative is interval training.

Interval training is a form of exercise that involves short periods of high-intensity exercises designed to get the same benefits in a shortened time period. The benefits of high-intensity training include improved endurance, lowered blood pressure and blood cholesterol.

Researchers have created an approach known as 10-20-30 training, essentially you jog for 30 seconds at a comfortable speed, then you pick up the pace for 20 seconds, then for the last 10 seconds you sprint as fast as you can. You then repeat this circuit five times without a break, rest for 2 minutes, then repeat the cycles again. The whole thing will last 12 minutes, not including warm up or cool down.

Create an at-home circuit

We understand that sometimes you don’t have the time or budget to attend a gym, creating an at-home circuit allows you to workout with convenience. The ideal fitness regime will consist of a warm-up, cardiovascular workout, resistance training, flexibility exercises and a cool down.

There are a number of exercises you can complete using the furniture around your house. The at-home circuit should be strenuous and completed as quickly as you can, the good thing is that you are finished within 10 minutes.

Your at home circuit should include star jumps, push-ups, step-ups, squats, planks, tricep dips, wall-sits, lunges, push-ups, and side planks. You need to do each exercise for 30 seconds, going as hard as you can and only taking a 10 second rest between exercises.

The 12 minute Yoga Routine

Yoga improves flexibility, muscle strength and creates healthier bones. A 2016 study by Loren Fishmen discovered that a 12 minutes yoga routine is all you need to improve your general health and help prevent osteoporosis.

To stimulate osteocytes it is recommended that you hold each pose for 12 to 72 seconds and focus on your form. Your pelvis should always be level and your standing leg should be facing forward. It is essential that you can feel your muscles tensing as you need to build muscle to build bone. Using Fishmen’s technique there are a number of beneficial poses to complete including, tree pose, extended triangle, warrior, extended side angle, locust, bridge, reclining, and the corpse pose, hold each pose for 30 seconds on each side.

The nine-minute weight training session

Strength training is a great way to improve your flexibility, reduce injury risk, build muscle and maintain an overall healthy body. You don’t need to join a gym or dedicate hours of time to do weight training, all you need is a set of dumbbells and a timer. You should aim to find a square or hexagon ended dumbbell at a comfortable weight, try the 2kgs and if they’re too easy get a heavier weight.

A report in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism investigated whether short strength training sessions with different lift techniques could improve strength. The investigation found a program of nine, 60-90 second exercises achieved significant strength gain. The report indicates that you don’t need to spend 5 days a week at the gym for 2 hours at a time, in the study even the individuals that spent the least amount of time at the gym still made gains.

To complete the 9 minute training session, select weights that are heavy for you but still give you the ability to complete eight to 12 repetitions. When doing your exercise try and target all areas of your body by including lunges, squats and chest press. Complete a set of three exercises for 60 seconds without a break, then take a 60 second break and continue onto the second set of exercises, repeat for the third set. For best results try and repeat these exercises at least three times a week. As your strength gains remember to upgrade your dumbbells to a heavier weight.

The 2-minute walk

If you don’t have time to complete a 30 minute walk a day, have you ever considered a 2 minute walk every hour? A report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that you don’t necessarily need to exercise for a long time as long as it’s consistent. Finding time for a 30 minute walk each day can seem daunting but getting up every hour for a 2 minute walk is a great way to get your daily exercise and also avoid the issues associated with constant sitting.

The best way to try the activity is to set your timer for 2 minutes every hour, go for a quick walk wherever you are, then repeat 15 times daily.

Mindfulness for 10 minutes

Improving your physical appearance can be more difficult if your mind isn’t in the right place. There are currently a number of anecdotal evidence and recent research that suggests mindfulness can impact a persons ability to maintain or improve their physical wellbeing. Mindfulness has the ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety, enhance cognitive functioning and may even improve a person's immune response.

Author of Ten to Zen, Owen O’kane says that taking 10 minutes a day of mindful thought will create the right headspace to set you up for the rest of the day.

To participate in the activity lie down and be completely still. During this time begin with checking in on your emotions, assure your self that all emotions you are feeling are normal. Now find your own calm space, place your arms across your chest and start alternatively tapping with each hand 20 times. Once you have found your calm place, spend 2 minutes concentrating on your breathing and focus on mindful thoughts. Once the exercise is complete think about how you feel and try to introduce this exercise into your daily routine.

If you are experiencing trouble with weight loss, there could be an alternative. At the Dr Phil Lockie Surgery we offer a free, no-obligation consultation with our Perioperative Nurse, Shirley Lockie, to answer your questions and discuss your options with obesity surgery.

*Dr Phil Lockie Surgery advises that all people should seek advice from their General practitioner before engaging in physical activity.

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