Here’s part two of exercising 10 minutes a day! I definitely saw results the first month, but the next two months was where the real rewards were. My endurance and strength increased and I began to see more muscle tone in my arms and abs.
I started this so I could get in a habit of working out and begin to love fitness again. Gaining about 20 pounds after turning 40 definitely caught my attention. It took quite a bit of walking to lose most of it, but I realized I really need to be building muscle as well. So I set a goal of 10 minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. You can see how my first 30 days went here.
This is the part that I tell you I’m not a dietician or health expert and that you should love and appreciate your body. It’s all true. But I think you know that (I’m a DIY blogger after all) and I think that you can still love your body but want it to be it’s best. Shaming ourselves is never a good idea.
I only missed a few workouts in February when I started this. I was trying to create a new habit so I created a 30-day goal printable that helped me stay motivated. There were days I really did not want to do it even though it was only 10 minute! I did notice that Saturdays were too busy and Sundays I needed rest from the week.
For March I decided to focus on Monday through Fridays for my workouts, although between a head cold and spring break I missed quite a few sessions. I didn’t want to be discouraged though. I kept telling myself I was in it for the long haul. This was going to be a permanent morning routine, darn it!
It finally clicked in April! I did a 10 minute workout just about every workday and added in one or two 45-minute walks a week. I didn’t dread it. I actually looked forward to it. I was encouraged to keep going because I was seeing results — namely in my stubborn mid-section. Finally! I find it helpful to put activewear on first thing in the morning so I have no excuses not to hop up and move for 10 minutes.
See the Part 2 YouTube video here.
How much weight do you think I lost from the left picture to the right? While I did slim down a bit and my muscle tone increased, I didn’t lose any weight! I’m fine with that, as muscle toning was my main goal during this time. And muscle weighs more than fat! It’s normal to gain a little weight when gaining muscle.
If you’re interested in how I did lose weight, check out 3 things I did to lose 17 pounds. It worked for me to focus on that and then muscle toning.
Like the first month, I followed HIIT workouts on YouTube. There are so many wonderful videos to choose from! I focused quite a bit on my abs because they are the weakest. I crack up when I think about Marcello’s response to my complaints, “You had three babies. How many times do you think your stomach can go in and out and in and out?” To which I responded optimistically, “Three??” 😆
I really enjoyed videos that didn’t repeat and focused on abs along with cardio. Here were my top favorites this time around:
- Love handles and lower belly by Fit With Sally
- 10 min full body sweat sesh by MadFit
- 10 min standing abs +HIIT by MadFit
Of course, diet is as important as exercise, if not more. I don’t follow a specific diet and haven’t completely limited myself from any one thing, but overall it goes something like this:
- As many different plants as possible for my microbiome
- Stuffing leafy greens in as much as possible (smoothies, tacos, sandwiches …)
- Limited sugar and refined grains (like white flour)
- Limited processed/prepackaged food
- Usually meat for in one meal a day
I eat two or three filling meals a day and an afternoon snack. The thing that has helped me the most is to plan out my meals in advance. When I eat this way, I’m amazed how much I can eat versus fast food or prepackaged meals! I also have more energy and sleep better, which probably has something to do with digestion. It does mean more cooking, but I’ve found some easy recipes the whole family likes. (I’m working on a healthy family menu post.)
I practice intermittent fasting in hopes to eat fewer calories and benefit from some of the claims that it:
- reduces inflammation
- treats insulin resistance
- regulates hormones
- promotes cellular repair
But the truth is I’m not a morning person, so it’s not terribly difficult for me to wait until 10:30/11 am for breakfast after coffee.
Overall, weekdays are easier for me to stick to a routine, but sometimes I go rogue! And that’s ok. Food is for nutrition, but also enjoyment!
Also this time around I focused on my posture. Most weekdays I would even stand up against a wall for one minute with my back straight, my shoulders back and my head high. I was shocked how difficult it was and how often I sit or stand slouching. It causes neck pain and my stomach to stick out unnecessarily. Slouching also doesn’t help the double chin or jowl effect.
I’ve noticed that my clothes fit better, and I’m so happy to finally be getting my body back after the last several years. Forties were a new game for me and it took me awhile to figure it out. I hear it gets even harder at 50, so I’ve finally got my head in the game!
I still have arm, back and stomach goals, but I’m very pleased to not be thinking about it all the time. I used to chastise myself and have guilty thoughts about not doing anything or not eating the way I should. I don’t waste time on that now. The goal now is to stick to the routine and make more healthy choices than not. Simple as that.
I’ve been focused on this for the last few months and have benefitted from it, but now I’m ready to tuck this new 10-minute habit in my back pocket and move on. I don’t need a perfect body, just to be healthy and strong. There are times we need to make a concentrated effort in a certain area of our life and then it’s time to move on to the next!