I work with a lot of moms who tell me they just don’t have time to work out. Between work responsibilities, taking care of the kids and just keeping up on everyday tasks, there is no time left to get to the gym. And I totally get that—in fact, I couldn’t agree more.  Getting to the gym these days is a luxury, and one that I just can’t afford.

But I also know that I can’t afford NOT to work out. That’s because I know that 10 minutes spent working out is more productive than anything else I can do for 10 minutes all day. Here’s why:

The espresso effect: Sometimes it’s 10am and I’m already two coffees into my day.  I have two choices: Make another French press, or do a few sets of lunges and pushups.  Every time I force myself to do a quick workout, I get a natural energy boost to keep going.

EPOC: It stands for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and it means that you continue to burn calories for up to several hours after working out. Ten minutes of high intensity training (HIT) means I’ve just fired up my metabolism to be seriously productive.

Stress-proofing: My three-year-old is throwing a tantrum, the baby is puking all over and the dog just chewed up my left running shoe. Somehow, the act of swinging a kettlebell (not at the kids or dog, of course) makes it all a little more tolerable.

Mental clarity: Often I’ll get a one-hour window of me time (aka work time) when both kids are napping. Rather than immediately diving into my work, I’ll do a 10-minute full-body circuit first.  It always helps clear my mind and allows me to work more efficiently.

Sustained strength: We all know that over time, working out makes you stronger, but I can also feel a difference in my strength immediately after lifting heavy in a workout.  Whether I’m carrying around my chunky baby or unloading from a Costco trip, my muscles are fired up and ready to go.

So there you have it.  We all have 10-minute gaps throughout our day. What do you do with yours? Empty the dishwasher? Check Facebook? Make lists of lists of things to do?

If you can think of something more productive than exercise, that takes only 10 minutes of your time, please let me know. And stay tuned for my next blog featuring three 10-minute HIT workouts you can do anywhere!