Dara Duff-Bergeron: Sweaty Mummy


An Effective 10-Minute Workout

Choose Your Own Fitness Adventure

Recently I've been enjoying some 10-20 minute workouts sprinkled throughout my week. I teach Belly Bootcamp classes six days per week and run usually 1-2 times per week with clients. Outside of this I try to find time to add in extra bits and bobs that help me to be prepared for my day job as well as to reach my own fitness goals.

Yes, even trainers have fitness goals!

If I have a small break between clients or arrive a little early to an appointment, I like to park the car and throw my ear buds in to go for a quick jog. If there are hills I can use to amp up the intensity of such a short sweat session, that's a bonus! Even a 10 minute jog, though, is better than no jog at all. If I push hard enough and work up a sweat, I've nudged my metabolism for a few hours and even helped suppress a snacky appetite. Those metabolism nudges are pretty effective—an hour workout three times per week will bump the metabolism up for a few hours, three times per week. On the other hand, two ten-minute workouts per day, 6 days per week, will bump up the metabolism for virtually the entire waking day, 6 days per week. Total minutes? Same. Effects? Totally different—and here's the proof.

Finding an hour to exercise is tricky for us mommies. Finding 10 minutes is totally do-able. Don't try to tell me it's not; there is nothing you can say to convince me. If you have time to have a decent bowel movement each day, you have time to exercise. Time to shower? You have time to exercise. Time to Facebook? Time to exercise. If you are the Octomom, you are excused. Everyone else, time to shape up!

* Just a moment here: in no way do I believe a woman should have to choose between a bowel movement and a workout. I recommend both! *

The key to an effective 10-minute workout is that it should be challenging. If you're only going to put in 10 minutes, make it 10 worthwhile minutes. You birthed a child, right? Surely you can take 10 minutes of discomfort in the name of better health.

Choose one exercise from List A, one exercise from List B, and one exercise from List C. Combine to create a circuit of 3 exercises. Perform each exercise for 1 minute, then move onto the next until each of the 3 exercises has been completed for 1 minute. Repeat for 3 total circuits (9 total minutes). Or choose your own favourite challenging exercises that target both the upper and lower body, using any equipment you have at home if you wish. The following exercises require no exercise equipment. Finish with 1 minute of stretching. Voila!

Note: I am working on photos/videos for all of the exercises I commonly recommend in my blogs. If you haven't guessed, I'm not much of a techie. I have chosen exercises I believe most people are familiar with but if you have questions, please comment below to get more specific instructions!

LIST A (cardio)

  • jumping jack
  • jog on the spot
  • high knees on the spot
  • butt kick on the spot
  • run stairs
  • shadow skipping (no rope)

LIST B (lower body)

  • jump squat
  • walking lunge
  • backward walking lunge
  • squat and tap butt on chair/bench
  • step up on chair/bench (alternate feet)
  • wall sit (hold 60 seconds)

LIST C (upper body/core)

  • plank (hold 60 seconds)
  • triceps dip on chair/bench
  • push up (knees, toes or on bench/table)
  • sit up
  • overhead press (use any household object or your kid!)
  • side plank (30 seconds on each side)

Need some variety?  Get more ideas for 10 minutes of exercise no matter your schedule.

Need some post-workout fuel?  Here are some of my top tips for figure-friendly lunches.

Need some inspiration?  Remember what it is like to feel that everything is possible.