5 things you can do in less than 10 minutes for your health

Are we really so time poor that we can't find 10 minutes for our health? Is 10 minutes really the difference between you losing a contract, losing your job or failing to finish your to do list for the day? 

I don't think so.  And I'm happy to argue the point with you if you disagree. 

The to do list never ends. We put our tasks on it and most commonly it never gets cleared anyway. But the world doesn't end because of it. And you'll still keep plugging away at those tasks tomorrow....and the next day...

So enough of the excuses about how time poor you are... 

Here are 5 great things you can do for your health that take 10 minutes or less.

Boil a pot of brown rice rice or kumara/sweet potato for your week of healthy lunches.

A container of rice will keep in the fridge for 5 days, so every day when you make your lunch you just take what you need and away you go.  Similarly kumara (any cooked food except eggs) can be frozen and thawed overnight in the fridge for lunch the next day.  It takes less than 10 minutes of your time.  Sure brown rice takes a while to cook...but you don't need to be standing there watching it.  So I stand by what I say, it takes less than 10 minutes of your time.  Cook up a roast, portion it and freeze it.  Once again, once its in the oven, don't waste time watching it, get on with what you need or want to do - the only time spent is cutting it and putting into freezer bags or containers.  Why am I suggesting kumara or brown rice?  They help to keep blood sugar levels stable, full of nutrients and a great addition to a fibre packed salad.

Cook breakfast AND make lunch for the day:

It takes 3 minutes to boil and egg and pop down some toast.  And while that's happening you can be chopping salad greens for your lunch.  Plus you've already got your precooked salad carbs and proteins, and to whack a bit of flaxseed oil or a few nuts (your fats) through your salad takes less than 30 seconds.  Don't have 10 minutes in the morning?  Yeah you do, set your alarm 10 minutes earlier.

Drink 8 glasses of water a day:

Flavour it with lemon, have it luke warm, set your phone alarm or calendar on your computer - but whatever you do, please try to devote 10 minutes every day to drinking water.  It takes around a minute to drink water, so if you do that 8 times a day then that's 8 minutes.

Go for a walk:

Yes, even just a 10 minute walk will increase blood flow and burn off a few extra calories (not many, but more than if you were glued to facebook).  Depending on your weight, height and metabolic function you might burn around 29 calories sitting at your desk wondering what task to do next.  If you got up and went for a walk, you can burn anywhere from 40 - 90 calories, depending on your walking speed and terrain (eg hills and stairs).  But most importantly, you get oxygen and blood flowing - this helps your metabolism, organs, joints, brain...and everything else that makes up your body!


Many of us have inverted breathing patterns and fail to use our breathing muscle (the diaphragm) correctly.  This causes stress and tension, blood acidity and affects all structures in our body.  Just 10 minutes a day of breathing exercises will relieve a lot of tension.  But don't just start "breathing deeply" for 10 minutes until someone has taught you how to breathe correctly from the diaphragm.

And if you really are stuck for time before your world implodes you can combine breathing and walking....or breathing and cooking rice.

If we break things into 10 minute chunks we can get them done.  It's when we start freaking out over the whole "OMG I must devote an hour a day" concept that we procrastinate or avoid these things.

And here are 5 ways you can find 10 minutes.

  • Spend 20 instead of 30 minutes on facebook/twitter/trademe/YouTube etc
  • Get up 10 minutes earlier.  Your body won't notice.
  • Set up an auto responder on your email telling people you have a 24-48 hour turnaround in email.  Give yourself some breathing room.
  • Stop explaining yourself (if you are this type of person).  Just present the immediate facts and walk away.  Explaining oneself takes time - save it for when an explanation is actually asked for.
  • Schedule a 10 minute appointment for yourself with yourself and keep it.  Value it as you would an appointment with your child's teacher, or your doctor.  If you cancel your own appt with yourself, charge yourself a $10 cancellation fee and make some money on your procrastination.

How many other ways can you find 10 minutes?