‘Exercise snacking’: Why is it good for you? | Fitness News


If you’re lazy or short on time like most of us working professionals, you may find it difficult to get your daily fix of exercise. In such a scenario, finding a fitness routine that fits seamlessly with our busy schedules is key. Enters the concept of ‘exercise snacking’. No, I know what you’re thinking. But it does not refer to the snacks you eat pre or post exercising. Instead, it is the approach of including bite-sized workouts into your life, which provides a quick energy boost and contributes to overall well-being.

According to Utsav Agrawal, advanced trainer at FITTR, exercise snacks refer to short bursts of physical activity that can be easily integrated into your daily routine.

“These quick bouts of exercise are designed to be convenient and accessible — making it easier for people to stay active throughout the day. The concept is based on accumulating short periods of exercise, much like you might consume snacks throughout the day, as opposed to longer, dedicated workout sessions,” he said.

What are its benefits?

*Efficiency: Exercise snacks are designed to be short and efficient, making them ideal for individuals with busy schedules. You can incorporate these brief bursts of activity into your day without the need for a dedicated workout session.

*No need for gym access: Many exercise snacks require minimal or no equipment, allowing you to perform them almost anywhere. This eliminates the time needed to travel to a gym or set up complex workout routines.

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*Easy integration: Since exercise snacks are short, you can seamlessly integrate them into your daily routine. Whether it’s a quick set of squats while waiting for your coffee to brew or a brief walk during your lunch break, these activities can be easily woven into your day.

*Consistent activity throughout the day: Instead of relying solely on one long workout, exercise snacks distribute physical activity throughout the day. This consistency can be more sustainable for people who struggle to find time for extended exercise sessions.

*Increased heart rate variability: Short bursts of exercise can contribute to improved heart rate variability, which is associated with better cardiovascular health. It indicates the adaptability of the heart to various stressors, promoting overall heart health.

*Cardiovascular fitness: Exercise snacks that elevate your heart rate, such as brisk walking or jumping jacks, contribute to cardiovascular fitness. Regular short bursts of activity can help improve endurance and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

*Stress reduction: Exercise snacks trigger the release of endorphins, which can help lower stress levels. Stress reduction, in turn, positively impacts heart health.

Here’s how to incorporate exercise snacks into your routine:

Exercise snacking, Short workoutsBite-sized workouts, Busy schedules fitness Many exercise snacks require minimal or no equipment, allowing you to perform them almost anywhere. (Source: Freepik)

*Desk exercises: Perform simple exercises at your desk, such as seated leg lifts, desk push-ups, or standing calf raises.

*Stair climbing: Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs whenever possible. This is an excellent way to get your heart rate up quickly.

*Walking breaks: Take short walks during breaks or lunchtime. Even a 10-minute walk can make a difference.

*Bodyweight exercises: Incorporate bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, or jumping jacks into your routine. These can be done almost anywhere.

*Interval training: Short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions can be effective exercise snacks. Perform exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, or high knees for 1-2 minutes at high intensity, followed by a short rest.

It’s important to note that while exercise snacks offer numerous benefits, they are not a replacement for more extended and structured workout sessions. A well-rounded fitness routine that includes a mix of short bursts of activity and longer, more focused workouts can provide comprehensive health benefits.

As with any exercise program, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert to ensure that your chosen activities align with your individual health needs and goals.

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