Low on workout motivation? Try ‘fitness stacking’

GGetting started is often the hardest part of working. But jumping over that hurdle can feel a lot easier when the finish line seems so far away.

That’s why digital fitness brand obé is encouraging people to play with “fitness stacking”: doing one 10-minute burst at a time. And after those 10 minutes, you’re looking to see if you’re ready for more.

“It’s something that seems much more attainable,” says Melody Zoller, oboe instructor and senior manager of programming. “It’s about proving to yourself that you’re capable of doing things for a short period of time that eventually build on each other.”

Short workouts are extremely beneficial. They can help you develop healthy habits, give you exercise mood and health benefits in general, and are easier to fit into your day—meaning they’re something you can actually do.

Fitness Stacking builds on that fitness snack professionals do. The idea is that fitness stacking is like playing a mental game with yourself. Finding the motivation to work out for just 10 minutes feels so much easier. And that 10 minutes is great, if that day is in you. But Zoller says you might find that once you’re already moving your body, you can do more than you thought.

“Usually what happens is we get the endorphins going, or our body warms up and we start to realize how good it feels,” Zoller says. “And if you have time to finish those 10 minutes, you’re fine, it felt great. I think I can try another 10 minutes.”

Fitness stacking is also beneficial because it allows you to customize your workout. Maybe your legs are too tired from running the day before. With this technique, you can try a 10-minute upper body workout followed by another 10 minutes of core.

“You can really be in control of your movement and create what feels like your ultimate experience for the day, which I think is really satisfying knowing that you did exactly what you wanted to do,” says Zoller.

Obé actually found that fitness stacking was something its users were doing naturally, whether it was completing a few short workouts at once or spread throughout the day. So they recently expanded their 10-minute video catalog to provide more stack-happy options.

Zoller’s advice for tackling a fitness stacking workout? Listen to your body. If you want to be done after 10 minutes, you will be done! But if you’ve got that fire and energy to keep going, choose your own adventure and embrace it.

Here’s a 20-minute fitness stack from Zolar that includes four five-minute workouts You’ll start with a stretch, do an upper body stretch, tackle some core, and finish with a cool down. Here’s the beauty of it: You can try one, a few, or all of them—it’s up to you!

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