How to Sneak Exercise into Your Busy Day—Chef Denise’s 10 x 10

As the executive chef of Los Angeles’s best diet meal delivery service, I know how important it is to eat healthy, nutritious food. Unfortunately, this is only part of the equation for a healthy lifestyle; we all know we need to exercise too.

However, few know better than me how hard it can be to make time to exercise during a busy day. When I work in the kitchen, I at least feel like I’m moving around and burning some calories. However, I have recently had to spend much more time in the office sitting at a desk, and I can feel my metabolism slowing down with each passing hour. My typical day usually has me starting work at 4 or 5 am, so waking earlier to exercise is not really an option. I go to tap class at Agoura Hills Dance twice a week but that just isn’t enough to combat my long hours on the computer. So I have come up with a new program—Chef Denise’s 10 x 10. It’s so simple and can be done anywhere! Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick 10 things that you do regularly every day: for example, brushing your teeth, getting out of the car, grabbing a document off the printer, etc.
  2. Assign a different simple exercise that you can do anywhere without equipment to do before, after, or during each activity. For example, touching your knee to your elbow, squats, leg lifts, arm circles, waist twists—anything that gets you moving!
  3. Each time throughout the day that you do one of the 10 things on your list, perform 10 reps of the specific exercise that you’ve assigned to that activity. For example, every time I wash my hands, I do 10 demi-pliés.

Granted, this regimen will not get you 6-pack abs, but it will keep you moving and therefore help rev up your metabolism without taking up a big chunk of your day. Ideally, you should still strive to incorporate a minimum of five ½-hour sessions of moderate aerobic exercise into each week, but when that is simply not possible, the 10 x 10’s are much better than doing nothing at all! So, take a step toward a healthy 2013 and let me know how it goes.


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