Fitness, Personal Training, & Exercise Science

10-minute Workouts Can Improve Your Physical Health

Elevator or stairs? Stairs, of course. In a split second, you decide you need to burn those calories that you consumed over lunch, but just two floors and you are already panting. Next time, you decide, you will take the elevator.

Walking long distances, and climbing stairs is something that we all resist most of the time; sometimes because we are in a hurry and sometimes because we are just lazy. After all, we have the escalators and elevators at our disposal. However, our shortness of time has also left us short of breath. We are so engrossed in our daily lives that we often don’t realize what we are doing with our health. Lack of physical activity increases the chances of contracting ailments such as stroke and diabetes. It is also a factor behind causing Alzheimer’s at an early age.

It is understandable that you cannot take out a lot of time during the week for training. However, the good news is that you can achieve your goal in a short amount of time as well. As per research, short intervals of intense workout produce the same results as longer workouts.

Here are 10-minute high-intensity workouts that you can do to improve your physical health:

1. Tabata drills

Tabata is one of the most famous high-intensity interval trainings. It was first developed in the 1990s by Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata to train Olympic speed skaters. The philosophy behind Tabata is simple: you do 20 seconds of high-intensity workout, followed by 10 seconds of rest and then repeat the cycle. The 10-second break allows your body to recover from the previous set so that you can keep going.

The best part about this exercise is that you don’t need any special equipment; you can easily do it at home. Also, Tabata helps improve your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

According to Japanese research, four minutes of intense Tabata four times a week improves your anaerobic capacity by 28 percent. Some classic Tabata moves include Kettlebell swing, burpees, and reverse lunges.



2. Ab-sculpting pilates workout

Kristen Mcgee, a health trainer, has designed this effective 10-minute workout which is perfect for both pros as well as beginners who want to strengthen their core. According to Kristen, the workout will target your abs, especially the transverse abdominal muscles that help us in maintaining our posture and keep our spine in good health.

To start with this exercise, you need to keep your shoulders soft and pull your torso inside as if you are wearing a wetsuit. The workout includes different sets of moves that are not quite hard to perform. In one such move, you need to lie down on your back, pull in your abdomen, raise your legs and then tap your one foot on the mat, lift and then tap the other foot on the mat.

During the workout, Kristen also gives you small tips and tricks to manage the moves in case they are hard for you to perform.


3. Total body workout

Australian trainer Emily Skye taught SELF-staff a 10-minute high intensity workout that is perfect for beginners and can be completed anywhere. The workout consists of different moves that you have to perform for 30 seconds with as many reps as you can manage. The moves include squats, which help strengthen your leg muscles and improve your body strength. Next, you have to do knee pushups. In knee pushups, you put your hands and knees on the floor, while your feet are up in the air and you try to push yourself closer to the floor. Once you are done with it, do 30 seconds of seated V ups and 30 seconds of mountain climbers. Mountain climbers quickly increase your heart rate and improve lower body strength. Moreover, since they have constant movement, they are best for improving joint flexibility.


4. Stationary bike interval workout

Stationary bikes may not be the most exciting workout that you do. However, it can prove to be quite effective. The good news is that you don’t need to spend an hour on the cycle; you can get done with it in 10 minutes with the same results. Short bursts of high-intensity cycling are as effective as an hour long of cycling.

According to Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, high-intensity cycling workout is quite beneficial for your running performance. The researchers first did a treadmill test on 32 experienced runners and then divided them into four groups. One group continued with its normal training, while the other three did cross training with high-intensity intervals on bike with rest periods of 30 seconds, 80 seconds and two minutes. Post-training test results showed significant improvement in the group with rest period of 30 seconds. To get similar benefits, you can start cycling with a warm-up of 3 minutes, followed by 10 seconds of high intensity and 30 seconds rest. Repeat the 10 and 30-second cycle six times and end the exercise with 3 minutes of cool down.

5. Skipping rope workout

Another variation of high-intensity workout is the skipping rope workout, where instead of a stationary bike you utilize a skipping rope for short burst of intense activity. Before starting workout, make sure you select an appropriate rope. Choose a lighter rope for speed and cardio and a relatively heavier one if you want to do strength training.

We often tend to prioritize our work before exercise and end up compromising our health. 10 minutes from your daily routine won’t hurt you much but will do wonders for you. Exercise has numerous benefits; apart from keeping you energetic, it also wards off old age ailments such as Alzheimer’s. Brain tests also show that regular exercise increases the size of your hippocampus, which consequently improves your learning and memory skills. The best thing about these 10 minute high-intensity workouts is that you can do them at home without any special equipment.


Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia


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