It’s About Time: 10-Minute Workouts

Feb 8, 2023

At MOSSA, we believe everyone can get moving, regardless of schedule, location, or experience. That’s why we’ve created 10-minute workouts for, among many things, maneuverability, digestibility, and versatility.

It’s About Time: 10-Minute Workouts

I can’t make time to exercise. I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t understand where people find time to exercise.

We hear it all the time. (And, yes, we’ve even said it.) Yet, down we go, making time to dive into the rabbit hole of cute puppy videos, or finding time to check comments on our latest social post, or having time to hit the snooze button. How easily 10 minutes can get swallowed up by, excuse the intensity of this word, pointlessness!

On the other hand, what if we resisted the puppy videos (I know, it’s hard), didn’t give in to our social feed, and vetoed the snooze button? We would miraculously regain all these small windows that could be put to great use! We could make time, have time, and find time to MOVE, for just a bite-sized portion of our day.

See, at MOSSA, we believe everyone can get moving, regardless of schedule, location, or experience. That’s why we’ve created 10-minute workouts for, among many things, maneuverability, digestibility, and versatility. In fact, I can think of 10 compelling reasons why 10-minute movement snacks can be the perfect add-on to your active (or getting active) lifestyle.

10 Reasons 10-Minute Workouts Work

1. You’re Creating an Exercise Habit
​​​​​​Turning a new behavior into a habit can be challenging…often made worse by the loftiness of the approach. Rather than making small changes that gradually gain momentum (walking before we run), many of us use the go big or go home mentality, as in, “I am going to start exercising so I am going to get up every morning at 5 a.m. and run 5 miles.” That zero-to-60 approach costs a lot of motivation muscle, which is likely to wane, especially for non-runners and non-morning people!

But if we create small, manageable commitments, like: “I am going to slowly and steadily build an exercise habit by scheduling a 10-minute workout three times this week,” we’re much more likely to feel successful and we have a much greater chance of hardwiring a new habit, so that it eventually doesn’t use much motivation muscle at all!

2. You’re Trying a New Program
Are you program curious? Have you ever said, “Oh, I like the look of that, but I am _________.” (Fill in the blank: not coordinated enough, not flexible enough, not strong enough…) MOSSA’s 10-minute workouts are a perfect way to practice the core competencies for each program. Choose a 10-minute workout and keep doing it until you can do it all, then move on to a different one for that same program. Before you know it, you will have the lingo down and you will be moving like a pro!

3. You’re Short on Time
At MOSSA we are huge believers that there is no such thing as a bad workout. The only bad one is the one that never happened! We know there are times when we are time starved and trying to squeeze in 30 or 60 minutes can seem impossible. But we also know that moving, even for short periods, has so many inherent benefits. It’s why we push to do something rather than nothing. We know you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish in just 10 minutes, and you’ll be surprised by your options: strength training, cardio, mind-body, dance, and more, all capable of delivering physical and psychological benefits.

4. You Need a Little More…or a Little Less
Maybe 30 minutes isn’t the magic number. Nor is 60 minutes. But 10 is great and 20 is awesome. What about 40 or 50 minutes? The 10-minute workouts give you versatility to create your own perfect length workout!

5. You Want Less Physical or Mental Overwhelm
When we start a new exercise type it stresses the body (this stress is positive, BTW), resulting in muscle soreness because of “unaccustomed” activity. Sometimes this muscle soreness can be uncomfortable and a little intimidating. By reducing the volume of work, our muscle soreness will be reduced, resulting in less physical overwhelm. In similar ways, learning new activities can use up a lot of mental bandwidth, especially when concentrating for long periods of time. Reducing the length of time will mean that we don’t use up our whole quota of mental reserves for the day.

6. You Want Improved Focus, Productivity, and Energy
It has been well reported in scientific literature that a single bout of exercise (yes, 10 minutes counts) can improve concentration and focus for up to two hours afterwards. So, when you are feeling that mid-afternoon slump, rather than reaching for a coffee, what if you moved your body for 10 minutes?

7. You Have Niggles (That’s Australian for Aches and Pains)
Our whole body is wrapped in a type of Saran Wrap called fascia. Fascia is a tough connective tissue that envelops every muscle, nerve, and organ in the body and it both separates and binds our whole structure. It is comprised of about 70% water. Healthy fascia is hydrated and glides and slides on itself. Fascia can get dehydrated by not drinking enough water, but it can also get dehydrated because of sedentary postures, like sitting. Picture a seated posture. Now picture the water getting squished out of your backside muscles, or the fascia sticking to itself across the hip joint and behind the knee. Now this is a massive oversimplification, but, when we go to stand up, we feel stiff and sticky, and many of us have niggles, or “common” aches, and pains. Practically speaking, we can’t completely eliminate seated postures, but we can infuse motion – like a 10-minute workout – to promote healthy hydrated fascia and to combat niggles.

8. You Want to Improve Your Health
It’s a known fact that exercise, independent of anything to do with body weight, makes you healthier. Indeed, it’s the only thing that will improve your biomarkers of health. Too often exercise focuses on weight loss, and too often, when weight loss isn’t immediately evident, people quit. So, we have to make movement about our overall health – mental and physical – and about increasing our active lifespan. Because the “best” kind of exercise isn’t what moves a scale; it’s about what will keep us moving for our entire life. My point: 10-minute workouts are a perfect preview and practice to find out what you like and don’t like, and what will start you down a path of enjoying movement for your health’s sake.

9. You Deserve Emotional Wellbeing
Exercise releases feel-good happy hormones, boosting emotional wellbeing by reducing stress and anxiety and promoting a positive sense of self. It’s why we often joke, “I regret that workout…,” said no one ever! Sometimes it costs us a little motivation to get going, but once it is done, we experience an immediate boost in mood and disposition. So, whenever you are procrastinating, just imagine how good you will feel when it is done! Repeat after me: “I am only 10 minutes away from a better mood.”

10. You Need Movement Confidence and Competence
We should all desire to inhabit a body that moves with ease and less restriction, that can do all that we want it to do. A body that is confident and competent. Unfortunately, it has become widely accepted that the way we age in western culture is normal. That the movement dysfunctions many experiences are a normal by-product of ageing. This is far from the truth.

When it comes to movement, when we decide to not do certain things anymore (“Oh, I don’t do push-ups,” and “No, I don’t lunge with these knees,”), well, we lose our ability to do those things. This reduces movement competence and confidence, which is a fast-track to losing independence.

The opposite is also true. Expose yourself to as many movements as possible. Have a “can-do” attitude or “I can’t do it now, but I will soon” attitude and you will get back your movement mojo. And not only that, but you will also build a better brain because exposure to new moves, new programs, and new physical challenges, builds new neurons! And, yes, even 10 minutes of novel movement patterns build a better brain.

What Didn’t Make the Top 10 List

I hope you noticed something when reading this. I didn’t talk about changing the shape of a muscle. I didn’t talk about weight loss. I didn’t use the word “tone” or “shape” or “ripped” or “cut” or “shredded.” I used confident, competent, wellbeing, happiness, less niggles, more focus, less stress, less anxiety, improved health, and a better brain.

Exercise intention – why you want to get and stay moving – is important for exercise adherence. In other words, having greater psychological needs can be a great driver of self-motivation! So, I have a challenge for you. I want you to find “10 for your 10,” meaning 10 personally motivating reasons why it is worth taking 10 minutes of your day to move. Here are mine!

My Why for 10 Minutes of Movement Each Day
1.    I want to live a long, active life with my husband.
2.    I want to live a long active life for my two daughters.
3.    I want to have the emotional fortitude to handle the stresses of work and life!
4.    I want to feel good in my body.
5.    I want to feel creative and sharp.
6.    I want to be a role model for my girls and other people in my close circle.
7.    I want to grow younger by reducing my biological age.
8.    I want to experience high productivity.
9.    I want to be healthy.
10.  I want to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Keep working on your 10 – it’s okay if your list is a work in progress and evolves over time – and I’ll wrap by saying thanks for taking 10 minutes to read about 10-minute workouts, a slightly more productive use of your time than, say, puppy videos and news feeds. Now, will you give yourself another 10 and get moving?

To learn more about MOSSA’s full library of 10-Minute Workouts, visit www.mossaondemand.net.

At MOSSA, we believe everyone can get moving, regardless of schedule, location, or experience. That’s why we’ve created 10-minute workouts for, among many things, maneuverability, digestibility, and versatility.


Cathy Spencer Browning
VP of Training & Programming

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