Sunday, December 04, 2005 10 minute increments

I've read a lot of articles recently that state that doing, say, three 10 minute sessions of exercise a day is as good as 30 minutes at a stretch. I don't have a hard time believing that, as far as it goes.

However, when it comes to cultivating a long-lasting habit of exercise, I don't believe that planning out three 10 minute sessions are a good idea. This is for a couple reasons:
  • You're not just allocating 1 chunk of exercise into your day - you need to make room for three. Granted, 10 minutes is a lot less than 30, but you still have to think about it three times a day. I don't want to have to think about exercise 3 times a day - once is plenty
  • What about showering? You won't get as sweaty in 10 minutes as you do in 30, but you do break a sweat.

This is not to say that cultivating a habit of, say, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, is a bad idea. On the contrary, I think it's a great idea. What I'm saying is that you need to make exercise as friction-free as possible - easy, routine, predictable. You don't want to need to think about it multiple times a day - do it in the morning, get it over with, and have time for other things.

I have a treadmill at home, and do a more serious workout 4 times a week. This is either walking with some bursts of running, or walking on an incline. A new habit that I'm trying to get into is to do a mini-workout (just basically walking on the treadmill) the other 3 days a week, to get some activity in there.


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