Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. The 21-Day Fitness Challenge: All You Need is 10 Minutes a Day!

    I do great at dieting. Where I have trouble with a healthy lifestyle is starting and sticking with a fitness plan.

    Oh, sure... I always have high hopes of trimming down and toning up. I plan fitness regimens of 3 days a week of exercise and 4 days a week of treadmill.

    I start. Then I stop. Then I start again. Then life throws me yet another curve and I tell myself I'll put fitness on hiatus until things smooth out.

    A few days turns into a few weeks. My resolve melts... and so do any muscles I've managed to build.

    I now know my problem: I think I need at least 30 minutes a day of exercise. America's Fitness Coach Dave Hubbard says we can enjoy health benefits by fitting in just 10 minutes of exercise a day!

    Welcome our newest blogger and take his 21-day challenge.

    The 21-Day Challenge: Got 10 Minutes a Day?
    by Dave Hubbard

    Think carefully about each of the following statements:

    1. Americans are eating much less today than they did 50 years ago.
    2. Current trends now indicate that by the end of next year (2010), 81% of Americans will be obese.
    3. Shortly after the birth of our nation (220 years ago), 95% of the energy output of this country was from the human body−today it is less than 1%.

    I believe there's a direct correlation between all three of those statements. Everyone knows that eating too much fast and fried food leads to obesity. However, one of the biggest things often overlooked, as it relates to why obesity in America has steadily increased, is as follows:

    We have become a sedentary society − we're not moving enough! Our evolution as a society from agricultural, to industrial, to technological, has left our bodies behind.

    Even when given a choice most people will choose to move less. Think I'm exaggerating? Next time you're at the grocery store, watch someone wait five minutes to park 50 feet closer! Elevators, escalators, automobiles, golf carts, remote controls, gas fireplaces, etc. All these things make life easier but they're leaving our bodies behind.

    Statistics today show that 60 percent of Americans are sedentary, meaning they don't move unless they have to. Thirty percent are sporadic, meaning they exercise when they get a chance, but not of10 enough. Only 10 percent are physically fit!

    Which category do you fit in?

    It is precisely because we're not moving like we used to that we should make it a habit to exercise every day! We hear all the time that everyone should get a minimum of 30-minutes of daily exercise. But with only 10% physically fit, clearly that formula's not working.

    Why is it not working? I believe it's unrealistic for most people to successfully set aside 30-minutes a day to exercise. There're simply too many things that get in the way too often.

    If you're struggling to move more and fit in fitness, here are two keys to turning things around:

    Become more aware of how many times each day you take the easy way out, and take the alternative. In other words, how often do you opt for the sedentary solution, (examples: taking the elevator or escalator verses using the stairs, or taking the car to do something where you could have walked instead)?

    Set a goal to exercise every day but for only 10 minutes. This will annihilate the excuse of; "I just don't have time today." Are you kidding me? You'll spend more time watching commercials in a half hour TV program than if you just got up and did your 10-minute workout!

    Over the years, I've proven with my clients that people are far more successful at reaching their fitness goals when they increase the frequency (develop the habit of exercising every day), increase the intensity (workout more vigorously), and decrease the total time spent working out (to as little as 10 minutes).

    To demonstrate why this is the case, let's look at the following simple comparison between Dorothy and Bob.

    Dorothy decides to take the conventional approach of exercising 2-3 times a week for 30-45 minutes. Dorothy started out great. Then the second week things got really busy and she missed a day. The next week things got even busier and she missed two workouts. Her total workouts for the month: 11.

    Bob decides to try the new approach of exercising for only 10 minutes every day. Bob's first week started busy and things stayed busy all month. But at only 10 minutes a day he managed to stay much more consistent. His total workouts for the month: 26!

    If you find yourself in either the 60% (sedentary), or the 30% (sporadic) category, then I challenge you to take my 21-Day Challenge. Studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 21 days to establish a habit. I challenge you to change your habits by committing to; (A) becoming less sedentary, and (B) exercising every day for 21 days straight.

    Write a brief comment on what you did each day to; (A) move more throughout the day so as to not take the easy way out, and (B) exercise for at least 10 minutes.

    When you're finished taking the 21-Day Challenge − whether you stick to that method going forward or not − at least you'll have a better understanding of how valuable it is to exercise daily, and increase how often you move throughout the day. I'm betting it will have a lasting impact on your future fitness. And who knows, maybe you can start eating a bit more and not have to worry about putting on extra pounds.

    Former NFL player Dave Hubbard, known today as America's Fitness Coach®, has been lecturing on how to Get Fit For Life for over 20 years. Learn more at

    Author: John McGran

    Archived posts 2009
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