Your mind may automatically think of food when you hear the word ‘snacking’, but what if you applied the same idea to exercise? A snack is something usually smaller in size, quick, more informal, perhaps on the go or easily accessible. What if you applied these same concepts to your movement through the day?
According to the researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of American adults do not meet the recommended daily activity by the U.S. government. They suggest adults should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity), as well as some kind of strength training at least twice a week. Exercising on a daily basis can not only help you in losing weight (in addition to a healthy diet) but also reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
One study published just this year had 24 young, inactive adults take a flight of stairs vigorously three times a day, three days a week for six weeks.1 Their overall cardiorespiratory fitness was moderately improved by 5%, showing that even little movements or bursts of activity can make a difference in your health.
As a health coach, one of the top reasons I hear people say they are not exercising is because of lack of time. Exercise snacking may not accomplish your entire exercise requirements, but it could be a way to make an impact on your physical health with minimal time and requirements. The important thing here is to get moving!
Ready to start your exercise “snacking”?
What are some ways you could add an exercise “snack” to your day?
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1. Do stair climbing exercise “snacks” improve cardiorespiratory fitness?
E. Madison Jenkins, Leah N. Nairn, Lauren E. Skelly, Jonathan P. Little, Martin J. Gibala
Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2019, 44:681-684 ,https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2018-0675