Five Minutes of Exercise

March 23, 2021   12 Comments

Do you have five minutes? I am assuming you are reading this so you have at least two minutes.

Five Minutes of Exercise

Raise your hand if your couch has a permanent butt print of your butt. I see a bunch of hands.

How could we have kept moving when our routines were completely upended by the pandemic? We were told to STAY HOME and if you went to a gym for exercise - it was closed.

I think there are many good reasons for a lack of movement during the last year, but I am going to advocate a shift since spring is here.

"Start with five minutes.”

That is what the guy at the top of this post is about to do. He is taking a break for a five minute walk.

Do you see that marathoner below?

I know for a fact that she started with five minutes of walking. (I don’t know that actually but it could be true!)

Most of us think that if we didn't go to the gym, sweat for an hour lifting strange objects or run like a gerbil - we didn't work out. And some of us, ahem, just give up THINKING about the gym and the gerbils.

You don’t have to end up running a marathon or a 5K - though there is a great app if you are interested - Couch to 5K.

You just need five minutes.

The guru who told me about five minutes is a personal trainer who was my pal. She was helping me get back on track after having spent too many hours in a library consuming M&M's and sitting on my butt.

Yes, I had stopped moving and I couldn't conceive of what it would take to get me in any sort of shape where I felt good again. So, five minutes.

I put on my watch, walked out my door, and walked for 2.5 minutes away from my house and then I walked 2.5 minutes back to my house. I committed to doing this every other day for a week.

Then, the next week I committed to 10 minutes (5 away and 5 back). The third week of walking included 15 minutes - and then I noticed something profound.

I felt like walking!

If you had asked me before I started my five minutes - "Do you want to walk today?" - I would have said, "No way, I want to sit on this couch and turn on the boob tube."

After a couple of weeks of doing just a WEE bit of exercise - I felt like getting off the couch. More importantly, if I took a day off from my walk - I missed it!

Strange, no?

If you have one of these, it does help to get you moving.

People with dogs are shown to get more exercise than people without them. I certainly have found that my dog has gotten me out in all weather when I would have remained on the couch.

A study was published on the effect of a wee bit of exercise on people in Taiwan (see 15 minutes of Daily Exercise Can Help).

The study found those who exercised just 15 minutes a day — or 90 minutes a week — cut their risk of death by 14 percent and extended their life expectancy by three years compared with those who did no exercise.

Yes, I want three more years of life. And, yes, I can find 90 minutes a week for exercise!

Please share your thoughts on how to get moving. Thanks!!

Other posts you might like:

Couch to 5K

Millions Have Moved From This Couch to Become 5K Distance Runners

Isn’t that couch cute? I would love to sit on it for a while....

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

How Much Exercise Do You Need for a Longer Life?

Some people have no problem with exercise. They get up, run, walk, go to the gym, and move seemingly without effort....

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Starting with 5 minute walks sounds easy enough...I will give it a try! And hopefully I will enjoy it so muchI will want to increase weekly to 10 and 15 minutes! Thanks Snack Girl for always putting things in perceptive!

I love this idea, Lisa. I often share a similar message you posted years ago: all you have to commit to doing is putting on your sneakers. If you go to the mailbox and back, awesome. If you go halfway up the block and back, awesome. If you walk 3 miles, awesome. I find this "minimum viable product" concept to be so incredibly helpful when I (and others I'm working with) feel a sense of overwhelm at having to start with "the marathon". (In writing, sometimes, this is referred to as the "sh!tty first draft". :)

Thanks for this post!

This sounds doable! Why is exercise so darn intimidating, but so essential to good health? This strategy will hopefully get me and my creaky achy joints up and moving.

I'm in! Yes, it sounds like something I certainly can do. I really appreciate this. Even thinking of beginning to move seems daunting. I don't know why I think it has to be "all or nothing" for it to amount to something. This type of thinking has been keeping me from doing anything at all. This is perfect for perfectionists like me. I can begin small. Thanks so much for a practical way to get off my duff!

You've convinced me! I'm in! It really does sound so much more doable. And one benefit of the pandemic-induced mask-wearing: keeps you from sucking in all that Spring pollen while you walk! Thanks Snack Girl for the tip.

I have a needak rebounder (made in the usa) I set a timer for 15 min and jog on it 2xs a day to some upbeat music. Some days I might only do once, some days 3xs. It's so much fun, timer goes off and if I have time I stay on longer. I turn 70 this year and my rebounder is low impact.

You are such a good writer! Funny, captivating and motivating. I will try this. Thank you!!!

Having a dog definitely helps! I think that walking them when I stopped my exercise routine helped me to maintain and not gain during the lockdowns. I don't always feel like it, particularly when the weather is bad but I have two dogs and do not have a fence so it is a necessity.

Like I told someone that recently had a baby and went back to the gym for the first time and was struggling, Baby steps! Showing up is the first step!

A great way to begin is to get up and walk in place during commercials. Eventually you will find yourself wanting to push it longer. This is especially helpful when the weather is too cold/hot/wet to go outside. ;)

You got me walking today 😊 thank you!

Like Karen, I also have a Needak rebounder. I pop in the 'Box and Bounce' DVD by Urban Rebounding (and add my own modified moves to increase the ol' heart rate). Just found it online here:

Thankyou Dawn, I will CK out that site.

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