The Power of Micro Workouts

the power of micro workouts

Despite what most people might think, you really don’t need much time to work out.

In fact, even ten to twenty (or yes, twelve) minutes of challenging exercise a few times a week is enough to burn fat, build muscle, boost strength, and contribute to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Which means that no matter how busy you are, we all have time to exercise.

After all, just think about how much time you waste on social media, watching TV, or being inefficient throughout your day. You can easily shave a few minutes off your daily tasks and have enough time for a warm-up and a twelve-minute HIIT or circuit workout most days of the week.

But sometimes, the resistance isn’t really about the actual time the workout takes. It’s about the energy it takes to gear up for it.

Maybe your stress levels are over the top, or your energy levels have been so low that you keep talking yourself out of a workout. Or maybe you just don’t want to get all sweaty and have to take a shower afterward.

These are understandable excuses, especially during a pandemic. We’re all struggling right now, myself included. But when it comes to exercise, being healthy and fit isn’t actually as black and white as the fitness world tries to make it seem.

This is one of my gripes with the average person’s understanding of a typical gym workout — they either go to the gym for 45 minutes or none at all.

The reality is that something is always better than nothing when it comes to movement. Getting out for a fifteen-minute walk instead of doing the strength training workout you’d planned on doing that day might not be what you’d hoped for, but it’s significantly better than doing nothing at all.

Doing something movement-related — whether it’s a short walk, a few sets of push-ups or pull-ups, or ten minutes shooting baskets in your driveway or playing catch with your kid is always better than doing nothing at all.

If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, make time to move every day. And if you’re not sure where to start, I have a few suggestions.

Read more

The 12 Minute Athlete January Accountability Challenge

We’re kicking off the new year with a new community challenge!

This challenge is all about accountability. The start of a new year can feel overwhelming (so many goals and ideas), and many of us are still navigating the pandemic and other stresses.

So we’re keeping things simple.

Set the intention to show up for your fitness journey this month. Prioritize your health. And get moving. 

We’re ready for new beginnings and a fresh start, and we hope this challenge will help you feel refreshed and energized in the new year.

Read on to get all the details for the 12 Minute Athlete Accountability Challenge!

Read more

The Best Articles and Our Favorite Workouts from 2020

Well, 2020 was certainly not the year I expected. What a year… I want to end the year with ten of my favorite articles we posted on the site this year. If you missed any of these the first time, take the time now to check them out. Or, if you read them the first …

Read more

What seems impossible today will become your warmup tomorrow

Stick with something long enough and your goal really does become your warm-up. When I first started training handstands back in 2014, my dream was to hold a five-second handstand in the middle of the room. I didn’t even *know* about other handstand goals at the time. I just knew I wouldn’t let myself give …

Read more

Staying Motivated to Work Out During a Pandemic

 Staying Motivated to Work Out During a Pandemic

How do you stay motivated during a pandemic?

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot lately.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, many people stayed optimistic about fitness. They focused on the time they would save by no longer commuting, and dove into the world of Zoom workout classes and home gym setups.

But nine months later, so many of those people have lost that sense of optimisim that kept them going at the beginning, and are struggling to find the energy to stick with their goals.

Without something to train for, even athletes whose lives typically revolve around their workouts are having a hard time staying motivated right now.

And I get it. COVID has made me question my goals and priorities in all areas of my life — including my training goals. Short and long-term goals that used to feel so important no longer seem to matter as much any more.

Despite my dedication to fitness and long-term health, even I have days when I wake up and wonder why I even bother. Why put myself through the stress of a tough workout when no one knows when any of this is going to end?

Read more

I never thought I’d miss the gym

I never thought I would say this, but I miss gyms. It’s not that I miss the equipment. Even when I did go to a gym before Covid, I rarely used more than a pull-up bar, medicine ball, and a plyo box. I certainly never touched the weight machines or cardio equipment (I always bring …

Read more

Plateaus are Part of the Process

Plateaus are Part of the Process

We’ve all experienced it: that initial burst of progress any time we’re starting something new, then, what seems like a lifetime of being stuck at the same level.

Plateaus happen to everyone. No matter what level you’re starting at, you will experience a plateau at some point. While plateaus are never fun, they’re a normal, albeit frustrating, part of getting better at anything.

When you reach a plateau, it’s helpful to acknowledge it, then reevaluate where you are in your journey.

Here are a few things to consider:

Read more

5 Ways Fitness is a Training Ground for Life

5 Ways Fitness is a Training Ground for Life

Fitness has been my biggest teacher in life.

Through push-ups, squats, burpees, and sprints, I’ve become not only physically stronger and fitter than my former non-fit self, but mentally stronger, too.

Fitness helped me learn that I can do difficult things. It taught me patience and persistence. After spending most of my life hiding behind a wall of fear, always afraid to fail, fitness helped me learn to try.

Without the lessons I’ve learned so far in my fitness journey, I would be a shell of the person I am today. And I know I’m not alone.

I hear so many stories from others who have had similar experiences. From the lawyer who got through the hardship of her teenage years by running every day, to the scientist who learned how to deal with life’s unpredictability through skateboarding, fitness has the power to change lives.

Below are five ways fitness can teach you valuable life lessons, no matter your current fitness level, previous experience, age, sex, or genetics. These ring true whether your fitness activity of choice is lifting weights, playing pickup basketball, or going for an awe-inspiring hike in nature. Keep coming back to these and notice how you can use your workouts as a training ground for the rest of your life.

Read more

Is There a Secret to Getting Fit?

Is there a secret to getting fit? 

People always want to know the secret to getting and staying fit.

I used to look for this magic pill, too. Years after I became a personal trainer and got in reasonably good shape, I still spent way too much time and money on programs, books, and devices I hoped would finally help me build the strength and body I wanted.

It took me a long time to figure out that there is no secret to becoming fit for life.

But…there also kind of is.

Read more