Published April 25, 2013

Ten Minutes a Day of Exercise - Can It Really Make a Difference?

by Guest Author
alarm clock - 10 minutes of exercise

Wish you had more time to exercise?
Wish you had any time to exercise?

You are not alone!
Take heart. It is possible, even in just ten minutes a day, to get enough exercise to significantly impact your health and well being. Recent research has taught us that frequent exercise, even if done for short periods of time, is far more beneficial that the occasional huge blast of exertion.

Ten minutes a day of walking, running or yoga can significantly change how you feel in your body and thus how you feel in the world. Incredibly, ten minutes a day adds up to seventy minutes a week, and sixty hours a year! That’s a lot of exercise to get or to miss.

Last year, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Timothy S. Church, of the Louisiana State University System, published research confirming that ten minutes a day of moderate activity significantly improved the fitness levels and heart health of the participants in his study. 1
Additionally, the association between small amounts of physical activity and longer life also holds true. Steven Moore, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute states that “a very low level of activity, equivalent to 10 minutes per day of walking, was associated with a gain of almost two years of life expectancy.” 2

Amazing, right?

A good way to begin is by trying a ten minute mental exercise first. Think back to when you were a child. What did you love to do? Jump and run? Climb trees? Swim? Play ball?

"Make a short list of the activities that felt natural and joyful to you"

Write this list down the left side of a page or document on the computer.
Now, on the right side, think of an adult version of those things you enjoyed so much. You will be more inclined to dive in and enjoy your activity if you are naturally inclined to do it. Tuned into your childhood self and let that be your guide.

If you loved to jump and run – you can begin running by simply running five minutes out of your house and five minutes back. This is actually an exercise that trainers use who train people for triathlons. If it works for them, it will work for you. Remember the math, ten minutes of running a day is over an hour a week—that's a lot of exercise!
If running isn't your thing, a brief ten minute walk will do more than boost your heart rate. It will clear your mind, ignite your imagination and give you more perspective on your day.

"Was it climbing trees that made you happy? Consider joining a gym that has a climbing wall"

If you only have ten minutes—go up one wall and down. Done with persistence and regularity, this will make a big difference in your fitness level.

If you can’t leave your office or home for a walk, there are many Ten Minute fitness programs that can be done indoors, even in small spaces. A quick, yes, ten minute search on the internet will offer up a variety of choices. There are even Apps you can get for your phone.

What matters is frequency and consistency.

You mean now?” Yogi Bara once famously answered, when someone asked him the time.

Yes, now.

Get ready. Get moving. Ten minutes a day.

 “Those who think they have no time for exercise, will eventually have to make time for illness.” ~Edward Stanley

Lorne Holden is an award winning artist, author and teacher based in New England. Her new book about the benefits of daily endeavors can be found at Her favorite ten minute daily exercise is yoga. Stay connected to Lorne's good news on Facebook or Twitter