Whenever I talk to people, I always find myself asking - ‘Do you do Yoga or Pilates?’ and too often the answer I hear is ‘Yes, but I’d like to do it more.’
In every case, the reason is due to the fact that we all lead such busy lives. We all know the benefits strengthening and conditioning exercise like Pilates and Yoga, has on both the mind and the body. So, during these busy periods of our lives, one could argue that finding the time to fit in daily segments of time that are dedicated to stretching, meditation and exercising our bodies, is more important than ever. Finding this time everyday to focus on our personal health and well-being has been proven to support our physical health, keep our stress levels in check and as a result strengthen our respiratory and immune systems.
Gaining all these benefits does not mean fitting in an hour and half yoga class three times a week and often the pressure to do this just adds to our stress. In fact by just squeezing in 10 minutes as soon as you wake up - before you check your phone or make a coffee - can really transform your mental and physical health.
If we are totally honest with ourselves, it is possible for most of us to fit this into our day, if we were to really prioritise it.
The Golden Hour
Many of you will have already heard about the ‘Golden Hour’ concept - various high-achievers advocate the idea. You wake up an hour earlier than usual and then fill your hour with 3 x 20 minutes segments of time, each dedicated to something that promotes self-improvement. For example, you may spend the first 20 minutes going for a walk/run, the next 20 minutes reading a book or article online and the last 20 minutes segment spending 20 minutes writing that novel you’ve always dreamed about.
In an ideal world then, yes, this golden hour would perhaps be the perfect way for many of us to start our days. However, with the constraints of everyday living e.g shower, breakfast and having to run into the morning commute in order to get to work on time, many of us would have to set our alarms to a very unsociable time.
The feeling that adding time for ourselves into our daily schedule means taking an hour or more out of our day, means that many of us find ourselves putting it to the end of our to do list leaving us with no time at all.
So how can we fit it in?
Make it a habit - daily habits are super important to stay on top of your health and wellbeing. Adding lots of small habits to each day, accumulates to a lot of time spent on your mental and physical health each week and as a result ensures that you stay on top form, no matter what life throws at you.
Just as you find time every morning and night to brush your teeth, you can find time to spend even just 10 minutes for a quick meditation and stretch before you rush into your day. (You don’t even have to get out of bed for the meditation part).
Habits are best built by using the technique of ‘stacking’ - once you have one habit solidly in place, you can easily bolt-on another. For example, you clean your teeth once you have had your breakfast and then as soon as you have cleaned your teeth you might bolt-on another habit like doing an 8 minute ab exercise immediately after.
10 minutes to stay on top form
Our suggestion, is to spend just 10 minutes as soon as you wake up on key areas of your health. Choose 4 key things that you would like to focus even a small part of your day that you are not doing already. For example, you may do 2.5 minutes of a quick meditation about focus, 2.5 minutes of sit-ups and 5 minutes of stretching.
It really is up to you how you divide us the 10 minutes of time. By spending even just these few minutes everyday can really help you to keep health and wellbeing as a priority throughout your day and adds an extra 70 minutes of time to focus on yourself every week! Enjoy..!