Holiday Exercise to Stay Motivated and Healthy

Don't have time or motivation to exercise during the holiday season? Then break up your routing into one or two ten minute sessions a day. You might be wondering... why?

There are a couple reasons why this approach works so well. First of all, studies show it basically takes 21 days to make an action a habit. Secondly, a big excuse to not exercise it that “I don't have time.” Thirdly, when we are fatigued or stressed, we might just want to eat or relax. Looking forward to spending the next 30 – 40 minutes exercising just doesn't sound good right now. (“I'll start tomorrow,” is often the thought that accompanies this thought pattern.)

Exercising in 10 minute intervals can take the stress out. First of all, spending 10 minutes daily to do something should be easy. Compare certain things you do 10 minutes each day – like watching television commercials during regular programming. I know one thing I used to spend that kind of time doing was looking in my cupboard trying to figure out a snack.

As far as not having time – you do. You can fit in 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes during a lunch break, or 10 minutes before dinner. Ten minutes is a lot easier to fit in than thirty; at least mentally.

And that last statement also covers the third way of thinking; just not looking forward to it. Just think instead; if you start now, you will be done in 15 minutes from now!

Personally, I go through periods of not wanting to work out. I remember I started cardiovascular exercise by doing a “step” program. I could not find time (mentally) to do a 40 minute routine – so I figured 10 minutes was better than nothing. So I started with 10 minutes before work.

Eventually I started enjoying it and this 10 minutes easily turned into 20 minutes. Then it became 20 minutes before work and 10 after because I realized I felt so much happier when I exercised. So this became my habit of exercise.

Of course I do still have times when I may go for a few weeks without exercising, such as last year after I hurt myself skiing. I had to stop for a while, making going back to exercising really difficult (I got lazy). I was more easily able to start again because I remembered – 10 minutes is better than nothing.

What kind of exercise can you do in 10 minutes? Some ideas are walking, interval walking, rebounding, jogging, bicycling in place, treadmill or short exercise dvd's.

I now have my Turbo Jam DVD that actually has a 20 minute workout for when we are short on time. I use that one when I'm short on motivation.

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