Getting started is often the most difficult part of working out; there are a million and one reasons not to go to the gym or go for that run on a dark rainy night. You’re exhausted from life and work, and you just don’t seem to have the time or energy to start exercising.

Successive lockdowns through the Covid-19 pandemic showed us how important exercise is for our mental and physical well-being, when everyone relished their daily walk of freedom. Many of us became acquainted with Joe Wicks, whose energy and burpees poured into our living rooms every morning. What began as a way to encourage children to stay active while stuck inside and not in school grew into a nationwide phenomenon, with parents and children working out for 30 minutes before the start of a work and school Zoom day. Some of us even got a six-pack!

Taking control of your health

With many of us leading sedentary lifestyles and eating highly processed foods, we are setting off a chain reaction of chronic health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease in later life.  Taking control of our health and leading a more active lifestyle will give us the best chance of living a healthier life with the benefits that brings.

So, let’s face it, who has the time to fit in an hour-plus workout Monday through Friday? It’s difficult and makes us feel guilty, so we don’t bother. The most common reason for not exercising is a perceived lack of time. However, the new buzz in the fitness world is called ‘Fitness Stacking,’ so let’s look at what it is and how it can help you fit in a variety of exercises throughout your day.

What is fitness stacking? 

Fitness stacking is when you exercise for 10 minutes and then decide whether to continue exercising. The idea behind Fitness Stacking is that you’re playing a mental game with yourself because it’s easier to find the motivation to work out for 10 minutes when you’re releasing endorphins and might be up for more. The most important thing is to listen to your body; if you’re tired after 10 minutes, stop; if you still have energy, keep going.

Approaching exercise in this manner can help you develop healthy habits and provide you with the benefits of moving your body, feeling good, and being able to fit it into your schedule, all of which you can build on.

The benefits of short workouts

Studies have shown that short bursts of exercise enhance metabolism and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes merely by being less sedentary, so you don’t need to work out for 1-2 hours three times a week to reap the health advantages.

The benefits of short workouts, or “Fitness Stacking” is you can fit multiple 10-minute activity spurts throughout the day, allowing you to focus on your health while juggling family, work, and other commitments. As a result, you are more likely to follow through and continue to enjoy the many advantages of regular exercise.

Everyone can experience the health benefits of physical activity, lets run through some of them below:

  • Improves your memory and brain function
  • Protects against many chronic diseases
  • Lowers blood pressure and improves your heart health
  • Improves the quality of your sleep
  • Helps reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Improves mood
  • Boosts your energy
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Strengthens your bones and muscles

How much exercise is enough?

NHS guidelines for adults aged 19 – 64 years is as follows:

  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week (2.5 hours)
  • or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week (1.25 hours)
  • spread exercise evenly over 4 to 5 days a week, or every day

Some ideas for your fitness stack

Determine how much time you have on a given day, then decide which body parts you want to work on and see what mood you’re in. You could walk, run, or ride a bike for ten minutes, depending on the weather. Or a 10-minute yoga or Hiit session followed by 10-minutes of strength training (you can find a tonne of free online workout classes on YouTube or download apps for inspiration and guidance).

As an example, you could fit in three 10-minute sessions throughout your working day: a 10-minute walk before work, a 10-minute strength workout at lunch and a 10-minute yoga session before dinner.

Despite our hectic schedules, we all recognise how crucial it is to fit in exercise. You will reap its benefits if you only exercise a little bit at a time since all the time you spend moving your body adds up. Who knows, you might find that you quickly form a habit, and it becomes a lifestyle.

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