In this fitness guide, we show you a basic cardio workout that will only take you around 10 minutes to complete. These 10-minute workouts will form part of a series of fitness guides for you to follow every week. Once you’ve started to become more active, you could do two of them together on the same day. Do you feel that your bum is droopy? Take a look at our 10-minute firm butt workout for over 50s.
By following this workout a few times per week, you will be working towards doing your recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
Nutrition, training, and mindset coach Ben Coomber told us: "Short workouts are perfect for a lot of people. Traditionally people think of an hour in the gym, but 10 minutes can see you build strength, support cardio health and give you a mental endorphin boost, without the time constraints.
"Ultimately, it’s better than nothing and with all the positive research on exercising and aging well, if 10 minutes a few times a week is achievable then these workout guides are perfect for those people. Grab some water, set a timer and get to it."
Always start with the dynamic stretches before beginning the workout.
Dynamic stretches are different to static stretches. With a static stretch, you hold it for a brief period, whereas with dynamic stretches you move your body and limbs. Current research shows that doing static stretches before exercise doesn’t reduce your risk of getting an injury, and might even increase it.
These will lubricate your hip joints, and help to improve your overall hip mobility.
- Stand on one leg and hold on to something for support.
- Bring your other leg out to the side slightly, and gently swing it in small circles.
- Do 20 circles on each leg.
These will loosen the muscles in your lower back and sides.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart; hold your arms out to the side, and at about shoulder height.
- While keeping your torso still, slowly rotate your body from side-to-side.
- Do 10 rotations.
Arm circles help to increase the level of mobility in your shoulders and lubricate your shoulder joints.
- Holding your arms out at shoulder height, slowly circle your arms backwards.
- Start with small circles, and then work up to bigger ones. Do 20 circles.
- Circle your arms forwards 20 times more.
Leg swings will warm up the muscles in your legs and hips.
- Hold onto something stable like the back of a chair or a bannister railing, and support yourself on one leg.
- Gently swing your other leg backwards, and then forwards. That’s one repetition.
- Use the momentum of your leg to keep it moving.
- Don’t swing your leg too far forwards or backwards.
- Complete 10 reps on each leg.
After completing the above dynamic stretches, your joints should feel a bit looser and your body warmer.
Jog on the spot - 2 minutes
Start by jogging on the spot and on the balls of your feet. Try not to put too much weight on your knees, and stay light on your toes.
Jumping jacks - 1 minute
Jumping jacks (star jumps) for 1 minute.
Burpees - 12-16 reps
Burpees will get your heart beating a lot faster, and so if you find these difficult, you could stand up instead of jumping up, or don’t go into a full press-up position.
- From a standing position, drop down into a squat and put your hands on the floor.
- Kick your feet behind you into a press-up position, and then jump them back into a squat.
- Jump up while raising your arms up.
Side-steps - 1 minute
While moving in side-steps, move to the left a few times, and then back to the right. Keep doing the movement for 1 minute.
High-knee jogging on the spot - 30 seconds
Instead of jogging lightly on your feet, bring your knees up as high as you can; try to do it for the whole 30 seconds.
Jog on the spot for 1 minute, and then walk around for another minute. Let your heart rate return back to resting level.
Cool down stretches
- While laying on your back, raise one leg and hold it under your knee with both hands.
- Pull your leg towards you while keeping it as straight as possible. Keep your other leg bent and your foot on the floor.
- Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds.
- Repeat the stretch on the other leg.
- Step forward with one leg and bend it slightly at the knee.
- Keep your back leg straight and push your heel into the floor.
- Hold the stretch for around 20 seconds.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
Lying quad stretch
- Lie on your left side and grab the top of your right foot.
- Pull your heel towards your right buttock.
- Feel the stretch on the top of your right leg.
- Hold the stretch for 20 seconds.
- Change sides and repeat the stretch on your left leg.
Gradually increase the amount of time you workout for
If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle for a long time, the above workout routine is a good starting point for you. You should try to do it at least three times per week, and then after a few weeks increase the amount of time you do each of the exercises for. Remember, you need to try and work towards doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.