When you only have 10 minutes to workout

The other week, I had 10 minutes to workout. The day was crazy so I wasn’t able to go at lunch and then I had to teach after work. I had planned on taking the class before mine, but traffic was so bad that I missed it. After my class, there was literally 10 minutes before the next event started, so I just got to work doing what I could in that time. By the time 10 mins was up, I was sweating and felt like I had gotten in a pretty decent workout.

I shared this tip with a friend who was talking to me about how she’s struggling to find time to workout since she’s had a baby, even though she knows that it’s exactly what she needs to do. When I told her to just start with 10 mins, maybe 3x per week, she said it made it seem so much more DOABLE, rather than thinking she needed to spend an hour in the gym 5 times a week.

The thing is, if we have this mindset that we need to do X days for X minutes/hours per day, it’s daunting, overwhelming and quite frankly, setting us up for “failure” (or at least that’s how we may feel, even though that’s not the case). It’s hard to keep that up! And what happens when we only get in 30 minutes of working out 4 times in a week, rather than the hour a day for 5 days? We feel like we didn’t do enough. That we can’t keep up on our goals. That our hard work has gone to waste. We feel like “what’s the point in tomorrow’s workout? I’ve already messed up?”

I don’t know about you, but that’s no fun to me. That, and I don’t want anyone to feel like they “messed up” or “failed” because they didn’t get in X amount of workouts per week. Shit happens, life happens, things unexpectedly take up our time. And you know what? IT’S NO BIG DEAL! If working out/getting movement in is a priority and part of your lifestyle, a few days off- or even a week off- is not the end of the world. And in this case, 10 minutes is certainly better than nothing.

Actually, 10 minutes is always better than nothing. 5 minutes is better than nothing. 1 minute of big belly breaths to center your thoughts is better than nothing.

We are all busy, so doesn’t it sound so much better and easier to just have to focus on getting in 10 minutes of exercise? Bonus? If you get 15 in you’re feeling REALLY good! On top of the physical benefits that movement has, the mental benefits are also huge. When I’m stressed or feeling overwhelmed, sad, etc., movement usually helps turn things around. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout, and in fact, often times when we are filled with high emotions (good, bad, etc), a lighter movement choice is often even better for us- think: long walk, nice bike ride, gentle yoga flow, stretching, etc.

At the end of the day, though, we all have 10 minutes in our day 3-5 days a week that we can dedicate to movement- and that movement can be whatever YOU need/want on any particular day. Wondering how you can find those 10 minutes? Scroll through social media one less time during the day, watch one less TV episode, do something while you’re on the phone (I always call my mom when I go for walks!)… these are just a few of the things that I know suck up my time during the day, which may differ for you.

I promise, if you’re struggling with keeping a consistent workout regimen, take a closer look at why. Is the regimen too intense or too time consuming? Does it always require you finding time to go to a class or to the gym? Does it require too much equipment? Is it too expensive? Once you pinpoint what’s holding you back, think about ways you can  fix it. If the workouts you have planned are too long- decide on 10 minutes 3 times a week. That probably seems WAY MORE doable, right? If you don’t have the proper equipment at home or don’t like using all the equipment at the gym, start with finding bodyweight exercises! I’ve got tons to choose from 😉 Too expensive? Google “free fitness in X city” and I bet you’ll find so many- with Seaport Sweat in Boston this summer, there are over 8 classes a week to choose from!

Working out doesn’t have to be- and quite frankly, shouldn’t be- a huge issue/inconvenience/weight on your shoulders. Let’s be real, we don’t have time for that. Once I started letting go of “fitness rules” and comparing myself to others (usually those who have fitness as their full time gig and generally have more time & convenience to workout and do fancy things), it all seemed so much easier, so much more doable. And at this point, if I can only fit in 10 minutes, I focus on the fact that I was able to do that rather than beating myself up because I didn’t do more. I challenge you to do the same- your self worth is not measured by how many minutes you spend working out or in the gym- life is too short for that.


Questions for you: Do you have “fitness rules” in terms of what constitutes a workout? How long is your standard workout? Do you alternate between high intensity and low intensity?

Wednesday Workout- 6 Exercise Band & Dumbbell Circuit

Hey there! Happy Wednesday. I’m glad I have some workouts in reserve for you guys as I have barely worked out since last Wednesday- kinda crazy! I’ve been battling a nasty cold and have finally reached a point where I know, understand & embrace the rest that is required during these times. I have to say, it’s such a nice feeling being able to be OK with resting. Sure, I’m going a bit stir-crazy, but I’m doing my best to listen to my body and give it what it needs.

That said, this workout kind of goes along those same lines of listening to your body. I was pretty sore the day I created this, but really only in my glutes & shoulders. Otherwise I felt fine and was actually looking forward to a lunch break sweat sesh. Sometimes when I’m really sore I decide to rest,  other times I try and think about what’s sore and how the rest of my body feels. If there are plenty of things I can do that do not affect the sore parts of my body and otherwise I feel good, I continue with my workout, just scaling it back where necessary. This workout reflects that, and I’ll say that I actually felt less sore after I finished because I think my body needed some movement to loosen up tight muscles!

This is a simple circuit, working in lower body, cardio, upper body and core. You can choose to do 3-5 rounds, OR AMRAP for 20 or 25 minutes. I think I did 4 or 5 rounds, but I can’t remember now 🙂 To finish, I threw in a tabata or 4 high knees + 2 jumping jacks for exercise A and plank jacks for exercise B.

As always, let me know if you try this or if you have any questions- Happy Sweating!


Wednesday Workout: Quickie Upper Body Finisher

I’m a fair weather runner. I don’t put myself through running in the rain, snow, cold weather or super hot weather. I guess you could say I’m a running diva- #sorrynotsorry. As I am not running many races requiring strict training at this point in my life, this works for me. In fact, I’ve realized that I enjoy running much more when I do it because I want to, not because I have to.

That said, the weather lately has been making me CRAVE running outside. Not only does it feel good to get outside for my workout, it also serves as a way to get a little bit of a tan 😉 Last week I ran a 5K and got some color- all during my lunch break. Win-Win! On top of that, I had enough time left over to do a little arm workout to round out my workout for the day.

All you need for this workout is a set of medium (or light) dumbbells and a resistance band. I also did this outside, but that’s optional 😉 Three- Four rounds and your arms will feel like they got their workout in, too!

I uploaded this demo video to help you see what the moves look like, as some of them are not commonly used on the blog. This is a great supplemental/finisher workout if you’re looking for a little extra, or it could certainly be done on its own if you’re looking for a strictly upper body-based workout.

As always, I love when I see that you’re trying these, so be sure to tag me @Burpeestobubbly

Questions for you: Do you run in any weather or are you a fair weather runner like I am? Do you like to workout outside?

Wednesday Workout: 25 Minute (or less!) Shoulder Burner Workout

Hey there! Look what I have here for you- a new workout! I haven’t been making my own workouts lately as I’ve been playing along with Jen Sinkler and her #30daysofkettlebells training program. As part of this, we would get an email each day with a new KB focused workout. I did *most* of them and absolutely loved them- some were super short so I could double up, while others were longer so I kept it to just doing one of them. I think what I loved the most was that the workouts were not complicated, but they required me to use KB’s (or DB’s if I was at home), which is a piece of equipment that I still need to work at getting comfortable with.

But, sadly, the #30daysofkettlebells is over, which means I’m back to making my own workouts. I did this one on Monday and loved the way the exercises flowed from one to the next, obviously with a heavy emphasis on shoulder work, as indicated by the title 😉 I went heavy-ish (for me) with the exercises as I’m trying to increase my shoulder strength, which is why it’s only 8 reps for the non-cardio exercises. I used 20 pounds for the single arem OH press and 25 pounds for the side lunge double arm press.

In case you’d like to see demo’s, I’ve uploaded the videos from my Instagram story to YouTube:

On top of it being a shoulder burner, you’ll notice that your core is getting a workout, too- especially the obliques in the single arm OH press since you have to work to not lean away from the weight. I did 5 rounds and it took me a little under 25 minutes- just in case you need an idea of how long it will take you.

I really enjoyed this total body workout – let me know if you try it!

Questions for you: Have you been following any new workout routines lately?

All the feels {why i fight}

I am still feeling all the feels after the event/class I lead at the New Balance Global Flagship store in Brighton through my connection with MoveWith. If you remember, I wrote all about my first MoveWith experience here. Since then, I’ve taught two more, including the one last week.

Going into this event, I knew I wanted it to be just that: an event. Not just a workout, but rather an event where I could offer more than just a sweaty 45 minute session. When I spoke with the manager at the beautiful new New Balance Global Flagship store in Brighton, I knew that I would be able to achieve my “event” idea if I hosted the class there. It’s a big store so there would plenty of room for a big crowd, a DJ and product samples. I was hoping for 25-30 people, so I was totally blown away with the fact that 39 (!!!) signed up.

As the day got closer, I had a mix of of nerves and excitement because everything was really coming together. But, as soon as people started showing up, my nerves went away and all I felt was excitement. The fact that so many people showed up was so amazing. Some people I knew, but many I didn’t. Some people were friends from college, friends of friends, friends from the gym, friends from my office and friends/contacts I’ve made through blogging, and many from New Balance. But, what was so amazing was that everyone showed up smiling and ready to work.  I couldn’t help but smile because of this- heck, even as we were halfway through the kickboxing aspect, people were STILL smiling!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- the fitness community in and around Boston is really wonderful. So many people make fitness a priority in their day to day and this shows by how many people an event like what I did last week can bring to it. These people- ranging in age, fitness levels, gender, likes and dislikes- all came together for a 45 minute fitness class, many of them likely not really knowing what to expect besides my short write-up in the event page on MoveWith.

And, while this can be a bit intimidating for instructors because we, also, have no idea what to expect in terms of what levels people will be at, it’s also something that gives me so much drive, energy and passion. It puts my teaching abilities to the test, gets me out of my comfort zone and really reminds me why I love to teach. As for many of us fitness instructors, we teach the same classes week to week and similarly, the same base group of members come to our classes week after week, so it gets to be familiar. It gets to be comfortable. Which is great, but it also doesn’t challenge us the way new classes and new groups of class participants do. I always feel like I leave these types of classes with a new perspective on teaching, and a new pep in my step.

So, I thank MoveWith, New Balance and everyone who came out last week for giving me so much happiness from the 45 minutes we were sweating together. Also, a huge thank you to DJ Sprino, who is THE BEST DJ in Boston, especially for fitness events, Purity Organics, DRINKmaple and Larabar. I’m already working on my next event there, and rumor has it, we’ll take Burpees to Bubbly quite literally 😉 Save the date for May 10th- more information, including a signup page, will be blasted soon!