Video: Lisa’s 10-minute workout

BHF Physical Activity Specialist Lisa Young offers tips on how you can be active every day, and demonstrates a 10-minute workout you can do in your living room.

Regular physical activity can help you drop a dress (or trouser) size and will also make you feel fitter, more energised and better able to cope with life’s ups and downs.

You don’t have to drag yourself to the gym for hours on end. Improve your health and wellbeing by building up to 150 minutes of activity a week at an intensity that makes you feel warmer, breathe harder and makes your heart beat faster than usual; every 10 minutes counts. Here are my top tips and a 10-minute workout to get you started.

Regular activity

Build this 10-minute heart-healthy workout into your weekly plan. Do each exercise for 30 seconds at a moderate intensity and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat each exercise twice. If you find the exercises getting easier, increase the number of times you repeat each one, and/or increase the time you spend doing it, decrease time spent resting between exercises and/or add more exercises to the workout.

1. Sit-ups

Sit-ups with a gym ballCan be done on the floor or with a gym ball. Focus on keeping your back in a neutral position, contract your stomach muscles, lift your shoulders and curl your chest towards your knees. Slowly lower to start position, remember to breathe out and squeeze your abs on the way down.

2. Squats

SquatsStanding with feet slightly wider than shoulders, engage your stomach muscles, keep your back straight and lower your bottom as if you are going to sit on a chair, come back up to standing. Breathe in on the down motion and out on the way up.

3. Jumping jacks

Jumping jacksStand with feet together and arms by your side, jump in the air, split your legs and raise arms so you look like a star shape. Jump again to return to first position. Repeat continuously, keep breathing. Keep knees slightly bent at all times.

4. Punches

PunchesStand with feet shoulder-width apart, make a fist, bend arms with elbows at your waist. Extend one arm in front of you at shoulder height. Return to starting position. Repeat with other arm. Breathe out on each punch.

5. High knees

Jog on the spot and raise knees to waist height so your legs are pumping up and down. Keep stomach muscles engaged to help keep your balance. Remember to keep breathing.

Keep active

Set aside time for activities like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, exercise classes or team sports. Make sure it’s something you enjoy and that it fits into your daily routine, or make it social and do it with a friend.

1. Get started

Build in 10 minutes of activity each day. Start with gentle things like walking, gardening or climbing stairs. You could take a daily walk to work, to the shop or to see a friend.

2. Be active

Take on our ‘Be active challenge’! Record the minutes of moderate-intensity activity you do in a week. It may be a month or longer till you reach 150 minutes, but small goals help.

3. Get motivated

Think about activities you are already doing, what you enjoy or active things you would like to start doing. Why not plan which activities you will do during the coming week?


If you have a health condition, check with your doctor or cardiac rehab professional before taking up a new exercise routine.

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