Get Fit in 10 Minutes

Got 10 minutes? Then you've got enough time to get in shape. While 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended for healthy adults, experts agree that moderate-intensity physical activity accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute bouts can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight. Try multitasking with these ten-minute workouts.

1. Jump Rope. Join the American Heart Associations' Jump Rope for the Heart campaign (an educational fund-raising program), or just jump for joy.  Ten minutes provides as many aerobic benefits as a 30-minute jog, according to Buddy Lee, a former U.S. Olympic wrestler and author of Jump Rope Training.

2. Lunge with Free Weights. Lunges work all major muscle groups in your lower body; provide strength training and a mild cardio workout. Free  weights can increase the rate at which you burn calories,  muscle strength and size, and bone strength. Basic standing and walking lunges with 2 to 5 pound hand weights are a powerful ten-minute workout.

Standing Lunges

  • Start with feet together, stomach tight and back straight. Keep hips and shoulders in one line throughout the lunge. Hold weights securely in both hands, elbows close to the body.
  • Step forward and place your right foot flat on the floor while you lift up
  • on your left foot.
  • Slowly bend your left knee and lower down until your right thigh is parallel to
  • the floor. Don't let your right knee extend past your toes.
  • Press down on the right heel and return to standing.
  • Repeat 8-12 times then switch legs.

Walking Lunges. Repeat Standing Lunge but alternate legs in a walking movement. Repeat for 8 to12 repetitions.

3. Ten-Minute Yoga. Yoga increases flexibility while toning major muscles.  Get a good yoga DVD or book to learn basic poses or log on to for guidance. Repeat these poses or add others for a calming 10-minute workout.

  • Mountain Pose. Feet together, back straight and pelvis tilted slightly upward. Breathe deeply and lift your arms straight overhead.
  • Standing Forward Bend. Exhale and bend forward at the hips as far as possible. Place hands on the floor, behind ankles or folded together at the elbows. Hold for one minute and roll slowly up to standing.
  • Downward Dog. Come onto the floor with your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders, palms flat. Lift your knees away from the floor, your thighs back and your tailbone toward the ceiling. Keep your head between your upper arms. Maintain pose for one to three minutes.
  • Cobra Pose. Lie on your stomach with your legs and feet behind you and pressed firmly on the ground. Place hands directly under your shoulders, hug elbows to your ribs and straighten your arms while inhaling. Hold for 30 seconds.