Tuesday tip: Exercise Snacks 🏃🏼♂️
Following on from last week’s tip about thinking outside the gym here’s a practical way to do that – exercise snacks!
Studies show that spending over 6 hours a day sitting increases the risk of death by 40% and can actually almost cancel out any health benefits from a daily workout. Studies show that prolonged sitting/inactivity during the day substantially reduces muscles’ ability to absorb and use amino acids. Without sufficient amino acids, muscles cannot effectively repair and build themselves. However when participants broke up sitting with two min walks/chair squats every half-hour their muscles were better able to absorb and incorporate amino acids from their bloodstreams.
These ‘exercise snacks’ (brief 1-2 mins of exercise repeated throughout the day) can be extremely effective. Another study showed that incorporating exercise snacks (stair climbing in this case) every day for 6 weeks resulted in significant increases in aerobic fitness and leg strength, comparable to traditional longer workouts.
Now I’m not saying you should abandon your workouts but in the same way you include food snacks outside mealtimes, it’s worth including exercise snacks outside your workouts. These are a really feasible, time efficient way to improve fitness and health and well-being. They’re also a great way to get exercise in if you’re injured or recovering from illness/surgery etc and can’t workout.
Exercise Snacks require no gym membership, special clothing or footwear or equipment and very minimal time commitment. You can choose a variety of flavours – stair climbs, chair squats (sit to standing on tiptoes then repeat), quick walk around the office, desk push ups, a minute of jump jacks etc. Ideally, the activity should briefly raise your heart rate and breathing, last a minute or two, and happen often, preferably every half-hour. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or where you are – anytime is a good exercise snack time!
Happy Snacking! 🤗