Exercise Snacks

Exercise Snacks

Here’s a novel New Year’s resolution – Exercise Snacks!

I just love this term for adding brief  (and I mean brief – 2 minutes is fine) exercise bursts into your daily routine because it is such a practical approach to physical activity.  These short spurts of exertion can improve metabolic health, raise endurance, and stave off some of the undesirable changes in our muscles that otherwise occur when we sit too long.

A 2022 research study at the University of Toronto showed that the physiological benefits of activity snacks can rival those of much longer, traditional exercise sessions.  These “snacks” also don’t need any expensive shoes or gym memberships, and the time commitment is minimal.

Try adding a brief snippet of exercise, lasting a minute or two, during the day.  It doesn’t matter what you do – standing up and sitting back down in a chair, or, if your knees can tolerate it, climbing up and down stairs.  “Almost any activity that gets you up and  moving,” can be an exercise snack, according to Daniel Moore, who led the 2022 Toronto study.  The activity should briefly raise your heart rate and breathing a minute or two, and should happen frequently, preferably every half hour.  Some people I know set an alarm on their phone to go off every 30 minutes, reminding them to get up out of their chair and move around.

“What’s especially nice about exercise snacks is it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or where you are,” Moore said.  Perhaps we should all resolve to try exercise snacks in 2023!

Washington Post

January 24, 2023

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