The 10-minute Challenge

A friend invited our family to join theirs this summer in some exercising goals with a fun reward together at the end of the summer for our families.  It led me to give myself a 10-minute challenge.  Who knew 10 minutes could make such a difference?  {This Little Project} made exercise manageable and more fun!

I used to be the director and owner of a dance studio for 13 years.  I was a dance student for 7 years before that, so moving and exercising were well-built into my lifestyle.  

That started to change when I closed my dance studio when Jay was born.  I had seen a lot of "dance moms" with their kids at competitions and travel performances and knew I didn't want that life for my kids.  I thought I would continue to dance though and teach on the side a little.  But my body didn't agree.  I broke my feet 3 times and finally had to accept that what I loved and had done for as long as I could remember was not going to be a part of my life right now.

It was hard.  
It felt like a complete lifestyle change not to spend hours in the dance studio each day.  Plus I had a new baby!
Since I also loved to run and now I wouldn't be able to do that either, I really didn't know what exercising would be for me now.  The things I loved to do I couldn't do anymore :(

Fast-forward 6 feet still can't take much impact: no running, jumping, etc.  Even though so much time has passed, I haven't found something I love to do for exercise to replace what I did before.  The truth: I don't spend much time consciously exercising--even though I know I should be!

That's where the 10-minute Challenge comes in. I decided to challenge myself to fit 10 minutes of exercise into each day. With three kids, finding time for myself can be a challenge.  But I was confident that I could find 10 minutes consistently each day.

Everyone has different experiences with exercising.  Some love it.  Some really don't.  But I would guess that a lot of people are like me:
 simply trying to figure how to get the pattern of exercise into their life.

Who knew that 10 minutes could be so transformational?  It's been so fun for me that I usually go for more like 15 minutes  :)

Experts recommend that you get  at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.  That's a total of 90 minutes in a week.  Well, 10 minutes 6 days a week gets you 60 minutes.  If you move up to 15 minutes 6 days a week you get those 90 minutes a week. 

Now, I know that prolonged exercise has it's place.  
But doing Some is better than None, right?
 For me, 10-15 minutes a day = No more guilt.
And there are benefits I wasn't expecting too, like how my kids are more exercise conscious. 

A friend recently said told me, "If you are going to exercise you may as well do something you like!" which I totally agree with.  That's why these past six years have been so hard.
But I've also learned to remember that even if I don't love's only 10-15 minutes!

To meet my exercising goal I knew I needed to be able to exercise at any time at home.  And I didn't want to spend a lot of money to exercise.  Those things may be different for you.

Here are some ideas for {This Little Project}
that have helped me:

Yoga Today has a weekly class online that is free.  If you do it once at the beginning of the week and then again on Saturday you will find that you are better the second time too.  It's longer than 10 minutes, so you can do however much of it you want.  I love the stretching aspect of yoga!


Make a list:  When you get your free 10 minutes you don't want to spend the time thinking of something to do!  Have a list of ideas ready that you can do with little prep time so you can make the most of your precious minutes.

Exercise DVD's:  There are so many great DVD's on the market that you can do at home.  Many can be checked out from your local library so you don't get sick of doing the same thing.  Rotate to try different things too and find something you enjoy.  It's yard sale time and I've picked up some good ones there too.  You could also trade with a friend.

Get outside: It's nice to be able to have a change of scenery.  A brisk stroller walk (pushing 50 pounds of kids!), or a bike ride with the kids in a bike trailer, or a hike in a local area (with baby riding on my back!) will be fun family memories as well as some good exercise for everyone.

Exercising year-round can be a challenge when it's cold.  I found an exercise bike on craigslist and put it in our playroom right where I can see the kids if they are playing outside too.  You might be more likely to exercise if life doesn't have to stop to fit it in.  The kids just play while I take a little ride  :)

Tell someone: Having our summer challenge gave me just the motivation I needed to finally make a cosistent change.  Sometimes having a friend along or letting a family member know about what you are doing makes it more real to you.

Reward yourself:  It's fun to have a goal to work towards, but I think my friend had it right with a reward at the end of the summer.  
You really need to celebrate your success!

Will you be taking the 10-minute challenge?


elspeth said...

I'm SO curious. What was your families' end of summer reward?

Jedda said...

Well...since you are so curious Elspeth...our reward was a fun picnic together and a bike and running races. What better way to celebrate that fitness than put it to the test, right? The kids got to participate in their own races too. What a clever friend, don't you think! :)

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