The 5-Minute Workout : Truth or Hype?

Perhaps you’ve heard the news: mega-workout sessions may well not be the best way to get in shape, stay in shape, or even prepare for endurance sports. The long-haul is out; short and sweet is in. There’s a cool NYTimes article on all of that here.

What’s truth and what’s hype? I humbly present a few bullet points that have helped change my head around on this topic.

  • Something is better than nothing … way, way better. I’m coming to see more and more that giving five minutes to a workout, or self-care, routine is about 90% of the game for most of us, most of the time. I used to think that was just something fit people wrote in articles to sound catchy; no mas. You are starting a ball rolling, telling your entire system that “okay, we’re doing something different now!” An innate intelligence (or call it physiology) can and does keep that momentum going throughout your day.
  • It’s a cheap psychological trick, because you definitely have five minutes to spare at some point today.
  • It’s a wrench in your own gears, in the best sense of the words. And that’s often the hardest part, to throw the wrench. It can be a very fruitful process to investigate internally where that sense of “no, I can’t spare any time; way too busy” comes from. Where, when we can and do take at least that much to check facebook? What beliefs are you holding about the way things are going to play out in your life?This has been a huge learning process for me, and I am always, always happy with my decision when I feel that place of resistance, lean into it a bit and say “Okay, I hear you … Let’s move for five minutes, then we can get back to whatever else …”

Take five minutes to change up your movement, thinking and feeling patterns.

You could try:

  • 5 sun salutations
  • Explorative contract-relax stretching in your hips or shoulders
  • All this in a row:
    • 25 jumping jacks
    • 20 crunches
    • 15 squats
    • 10 pushups
    • 10 burpees (squat-thrust-jumps)
  • Dance for two songs
  • Some spontaneous movement of whatever form

Have fun! And cheers to throwing wrenches into our own gears 🙂


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