Three 10-Minute Workouts You Can Do Between Appointments

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For medical professionals and students, the challenge is always time. It’s not a matter of values. We all want to live in the best possible health. In this case, patients look to medical professionals for leadership.

One can spout to her clients all day long about preventative medicine, but if the messenger is not practising what she preaches, the message is weak.

The Latin version sounds better, Cura te ipsum or Physician Heal Thyself.

According to the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey, two in three Australians have a concerning BMI level. This might be why the National Preventative Health Strategy set about to make Australia the healthiest country by 2020.

Part two of that plan was to tackle obesity, but one doesn’t have to look far to see how much we've progressed. As a whole, affluent Australians not at risk for starving to death.

Rest assured, lowering one’s body fat levels, living a healthier life is not easy. If our health professionals can’t do it, how can we expect our patients to do the same?

Time is the biggest obstacle for all professionals so it’s well nigh we simplify the conversation. If the strategy to lower our collective BMI is to move more and eat fewer calories, we need some tactics.

We’re not going to address the nutrition piece in this blog. If you’re looking for nutrition advice… We covered sugar versus fat in this blog,  New Year’s Diet planning here, and tricks for eating through holidays here. We even talked about five things you could do instead of joining the gym here.

Today, we’ll dive into ways you can use the equipment in the clinic or hospital to move more, starting with identifying your approach.

 

Goals & Strategies

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The recommendations for the gym range from seven minutes to an hour every day. The Mayo Clinic recommends 30 minutes a day. We’ll go with that.

If you tried to spend 30 minutes a day at the gym, you’d have to account for drive time and parking time, maybe 60-90 minutes when said and done. Forget it. That's an extra 2.5 hours a week at least!

Instead, we’re gonna break those thirty minutes of work into three ten-minute segments every day. (Feel free to make break them into six five-minute segments if you prefer.)

We’ll use what is on hand to make life simple. The goal is to introduce a keystone habit. Charles Duhigg teaches us about these in his book The Power of Habit. Exercise is a keystone habit.

In that book he said:

“Keystone habits explain how Michael Phelps became an Olympic champion and why some college students outperform their peers. They describe why some people, after years of trying, suddenly lose forty pounds while becoming more productive at work and still getting home in time for dinner with their kids.”

Bodyweight

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The easiest way to stay fit is to use the body you have. Lifting weights, meaning external weight in excess of one’s own body weight is not necessary unless the goal is to develop the sort of strength required for lifting heavy loads.

With body weight, you can develop the kind of strength you need to excel at work, endurance strength. This means anything you do, squats, walking lunges, push-ups, even isometrics like a wall-sit or plank, will benefit you.

If you go with isometrics, try to hold the poses as long as possible, resting only long enough to recover, keeping up your heart rate for ten minutes.

You could spend the whole ten minutes performing squats. This short video is a fine walkthrough.

Squats should be on of your top three exercises. They engage your biggest muscles, burn a ton of calories, and over time will make your legs able to work longer and stronger. After ten minutes, though, you’re gonna be sore the first time. You’ll get stronger and hurt less in time.

 

Rehab Center

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Depending on your workspace, you may have access to the rehabilitation centre. Consult whoever manages that space on policy, but if you can get in there for ten minutes, you can do a lot of damage.

Look for these basics: a balance trainer, Bodyblade, exercise balls, or resistance equipment. It’s all fair game for our purposes.

Anything you do in there, ten minutes of lifting, stabilisation training or a Bodyblade workout will contribute to your total 30-minutes for the day. Do something different every time to keep it interesting.

You may even be able to enlist a therapist for advice.

The Bodyblade offers a simple, but a surprisingly effective solution that will really make use for your time. Try this quick routine, repeating three times to make it ten minutes of work, then off you go.

 

Walking

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The last thing most medical professionals want to do is walk more, but it’s one of the most accessible movements. The gold standard of walking is 10,000 steps a day, but that number is not based on any kind of science.

A better measure for your walking is to establish a baseline, then try to push it. It won’t take more than ten additional minutes of walking to increase your net daily total.

The easiest way to do this is by using a pedometer. Omron makes one for walking and one for jogging, but they’ll both work.

Spend one week tracking your average walking. Use your ten-minute window to do laps in the parking lot or anywhere you can find space. Speed counts, but controlled movement counts more.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but the idea is simple. Break up the tediousness of exercise into the way you spend your day.

It’s not enough just to be busy at your job. That business burns calories, but the repetitive movements of your job may harm you over time.

Instead, break up your movement. Do it without going to the gym. Go home and be with your family instead.

Damon Mitchell is a recovering fitness industry fancy-pants, with twenty plus years of experience. He’s been certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. These days he works as a content creator.
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