Before COVID hit, I was a fitness instructor at a local gym, teaching 5 boot camp/spin classes a week. I taught two classes on one day and three classes the next day.
I LOVED teaching my classes, and my people typically liked me doing the workout with them (as long as there was space). That meant that usually at least twice a week with my classes, I would get in a solid cardio and strength workout whilst my little ones were content in the kid’s club.
I got to kick the asses of my participants as well as my own. We sweat, we laughed, and we high-fived. It was great.
My problem was that I then wouldn’t do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g the other five days of the week. I noticed that my body was craving more, but I was not super committed to dedicating an hour every day to more workouts, especially because I didn’t want to make my kids hang in the kid’s club every day. I mean, they liked it, but not every-single-day liked it.
It was around that time that a friend had posted something that inspired me. She said something to the effect (and I’m paraphrasing here) that she and her husband were committing to moving their bodies every single day before their vacation coming up, even if some days it was something small (please keep in mind that this was way before COVID days when vacations weren’t so…limited).
That SPOKE to me.
That INSPIRED me.
I didn’t *have* to make every single workout a long one, I just needed to do it.
That’s when I came up with doing at least 10 minutes a day of intentionally moving your body.
I settled on 10 minutes because I knew that it was short enough for me to NOT talk myself out of it. BUT, based on some of the workouts that I gave my class, I knew that I could challenge myself and give myself a good burn and that it would only last 10 minutes (think of it like sprinting for 10 minutes as opposed to pacing yourself for an hour long run).
My goal was consistency. I wanted to keep up a streak of moving my body daily for 10 minutes for as long as I could. When I initially started, I was 8 weeks out from my first of 2 major knee surgeries (on the same knee).
It was important to me and my recovery that I go into my surgery as strong as I could be, so I knew that consistent exercise was going to be instrumental.
And you know what?
Moving Your Body
I went into my first surgery feeling strong. I kept up my consistency. I went back to teaching my classes on crutches and with my bad knee confined to a straight-leg brace.
And then I continued to keep it up. I recovered pretty quickly, which was good because I was scheduled for a second surgery just over 4 months from the first one.
I kept up my minimum of 10 minutes of intentionally moving my body during vacations, during distance learning, and during the days when the motivation to do so was non-existent.
But I had made a promise to myself, and after continuing to workout during my recovery, I knew that I was strong enough not to give in to any of my own bullsh*t holding me back from doing so.
To be fair, I did NOT workout every single day. If there was ever a day that I missed, then I had to make up those minutes the following day.
Some days there really wasn’t time. Some days, I was too sore/tired/grumpy to pretend like I wanted to sweat it out. But, my “make-up” days were far fewer than my consistent days. Like, wayyyyy fewer.
Every now and then I fall off my 10-minute train again. For a while, I increased it to 15 minutes, and I was good with that for about 2 months until I just basically quit.
It was the month of 2020 when a death, a heart attack, hosting a funeral reception, a stroke scare, and regular 2020 life became too much. I allowed myself the grace and the rest, knowing that my mental and emotional health at that point needed to take priority.
I skipped more days than I would workout, and then making up my minutes seemed overwhelming, so I just didn’t. (Which is actually really funny considering that this article was in fact due during that time and I just knew that I couldn’t write about how doing 10 minutes a day had impacted my life when I wasn’t even doing it. #keepinitreal)
How It’s Going
With that being said, I am back on my train. I am two weeks away from graduating from physical therapy for my knee. I have been consistent with my minimum-of-10-minutes workouts for just over 2 weeks now.
Ultimately, would I lie to you and tell you that exercising for just 10 minutes a day would completely transform your body? NOPE.
HOWEVER, would I tell you that at least 10 minutes a day every single day makes a difference? Absolutely.
It is a commitment to myself and my health, and it has become a priority for me.
Again, my goal is *at least* 10 minutes a day. Some days it is more. Some days 10 minutes of intentionally moving my body is all that I have to give, or all the time that I have to give myself. But that’s honestly why I love the 10 minutes: because it is attainable.
I am less likely to talk myself out of 10 minutes than 30 minutes, and I can honestly tell you that I can leave myself breathless and dripping in sweat in just 10 minutes.
With the new year (though I started in December), my goal remains to get in at least 10 minutes every day. Is moving your body for 10 minutes something you might consider trying?
How I Achieve It
When my husband and I were first dating in high school and college, we succumbed to a plethora of unhealthy nutritional habits.
We got healthier after our first daughter was born, and have since invested a lot over the past eight years into the accessibility of fitness equipment at our home. We had to make it *easy* for us to get exercise in.
He is a 6x finisher of the Ironman Triathlon (it is a 140.6 mile race with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run in a single day, if you haven’t heard of it before), and it was a priority for him to be able to train at home.
Therefore, we have a *lot* of equipment at home in order to basically force ourselves into exercise.
Again, we were unhealthy for a great deal of time, and it is very very VERY easy for us to slip back into those habits…until we look at all that we have invested into our fitness equipment and then it kicks our ass in gear…literally.
Any of the equipment that we have at home can be found in a gym. Admittedly, I feel like the energy in a gym setting is simply electric, and I miss it something fierce.
I am so much more motivated and inspired at the gym, watching fellow gym-goers pushing themselves and reaching new personal goals, doing it for nobody else other than themselves. It is beautifully amazing. There is sweating and grunting and some pretty rank smells every now and again, but I love it.
With that being said, there are affordable options that anyone can add to a home gym. I think that’s important to note because sometimes making it to the gym is an excuse. When you have equipment at home, you have fewer excuses (at least that’s how it works for us).
My personal faves (which I’ve said before and I’ll say it again) are resistance bands and sliders. Literally, anything with sliders is harder. I used these ones (small business, women-owned) and they are dual-sided for carpet or hard floors. This resistance band set has 5 different levels, making them ideal for legs or arm work, and they’re fabric so they don’t roll or pinch.
Both sliders and resistance bands are also very lightweight, easy to store, and easy to travel with (and you can use code MoveoJenelle for a discount). And obviously, a cute and functional yoga mat to exercise on is a necessity.
I also have larger equipment like a weight set (3lb-12lb.), a small kettlebell set (5/10/15lb.), soft box (like the kind to do box jumps or step-ups), and a battle rope. Weight training just makes me feel stronger, so I dig doing it.
Pinterest is an incredible resource for workouts, and I can search ideas with the equipment that I have…with that being said, since I am a certified Group Fitness Instructor, I still use a lot of the sets that I have created for my classes when I taught, but Pinterest totally helps when I feel stuck in a rut or need new moves to try.
We also have a stationary bike, a treadmill, a pull-up bar station (my hubs is a big dude and the doorway pull-up bars just scare him into thinking he’s going to rip apart the doorway so he made his own…but it is big and bulky and I hate it), and our newest addition: a punching bag.
I have used any and all of these items for my sets. Some days include lots of equipment, and some days it’s just me and my yoga mat…but at least for 10 minutes.
How are you moving your body?
Jenelle Stathes married her high-school sweetheart and they share their love with their three darling and fierce daughters. She works as the CEO of their small family business and as a group fitness instructor for a local gym. Jenelle was born and raised right here in Reno, Nevada, and is doing her best at living a non-judgy and tribe-loving mom life. She has experience with infertility, weight loss, body positivity, fitness, and most recently, a tummy tuck. You can follow Jenelle to laugh either with her or at her as she traverses through the daily adventures of motherhood.