Exercise in Ten Minutes with Nickels & Dimes

Today I learned a quick way to stay in shape during the holidays and beyond.

Penned “Nickels and Dimes” by David Goggins (https://davidgoggins.com/), you need only five minutes, twice a day.

We look at it as a work break.

It’s so simple. All you need is a timer and your body and your positive mindset.

Here’s how it works. You choose 2 basic exercises. For my first time I chose modified / knee push-ups and squats. How easy is that.

You perform five of the harder exercise and then ten of the easier exercise. In my case…

            5 push-ups

            10 squats

Here is how the timing works.

  • You set the timer for five minutes.
  • You do your first set of Nickel and Dime.

You rest until the timer gets to the beginning of the next minute. I had about 30 seconds of rest after each set. Remember rest is an important part of exercise.

Nickels and Dimes may sound way too easy, but the point is to make it easy so you will be motivated to do it. And you don’t want to get overwhelmed after one week. If you choose you can make it a little harder and go for ten minutes. Alternatively, you can choose harder exercises. My buff son chose pull-ups and regular push-ups. Make it doable for you.

Just imagine exercising for five minutes, twice per day. How easy is that! Could you commit to Nickels and Dimes three times per week?

The best way to make exercise stick is to make it intrinsically motivating, meaning receiving no external reward, just the good feelings that come from having accomplished something important, like taking care of yourself.

The best way to develop the intrinsic motivation to work out is to find a buddy. These days people are communicating using Zoom. Why not? That way you have an accountability partner to help you stay on track.

Why don’t we start our new year’s resolutions now before we lose control of our holiday food and drink?

I wish you all a safe, happy, and socially distant holiday season, filled with good cheer and good friends.


Janice Litvin helps leaders and teams banish burnout in their organization. She speaks about employee engagement in wellness, stress / burnout, fitness and healthy eating. Look for her new book, Banish Burnout Toolkit on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or her website: www.JaniceLitvin.com/book.