10 Minutes Exercise A Day – Toni Yancey Talks About Instant Recess

Here Dr. Toni Yancey talks about the theory behind her Instant Recess approach to health and fitness. She wants schools and business to adopt regular exercise as a part of the normal operational routine. Her slogan is “What is good for the waistline is good for the bottom line”.

She asks why PE teachers are always given such a bad time, and why schools cut physical education budgets before others, when it is known that exercise aids brain development and makes people more alert, more productive and increases learning.


She wants people to do just 10 minutes of exercise a day to help guide the nation towards a healthier future. Her argument is that too much sitting messes with our metabolism and this causes weight gain and ill-health.

Once again we have a very sensible and straightforward approach to getting the nation fit and healthy again. Although intensive workouts are better at helping people to lose weight and get fit, increasing the volume of light activity throughout the day can also increase calorie expenditure and improve cardiovascular fitness.

She also talks about how a fitter workforce are more motivated, take less time off sick, get injured less and overall are more productive.

Part of the approach is to make a little exercise fun and Toni Yancey suggests that you use local customs, sports teams and songs to inspire you for a short while to exercise. She talks about the importance of culture and dance and how group dancing is a form of social bonding – you only have to watch a Zumba class in action to see how effective group dancing can be.

The lack of walking is also discussed. America has structure walking out of everyday life. Due to poorer public transport people have to rely on cars, so therefore walk much less in America than they do across Europe and in the UK.

Children are also not getting the same levels of exercise that they used to get. Regular fitness education for children also does more than improve physical health, children are more likely to concentrate in class and ultimately get better results in exams.

Instant Recess also wants to see games and PE teachers giving a higher profile in school today. Fitness is necessary for brain development, the role of PE is vital to good all round childhood development.

The Instant Recess movement is essentially an attempt to make activity a much greater part of life. We no longer have to toil on the land to earn a living so to replace the lack of exercise in work companies should incorporate exercise into the daily schedule. Her message to corporations and schools is that “what is good for the waistline is good for the bottom line” – get people fit and healthy and you have better educated children and more productive business.

The book:

Instant Recess – Building a Fit Nation 10 Minutes at a Time by Toni Yancey, MD, MPH

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