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  • Writer's pictureTania Cucciniello

What is Exercise Snacking?

Would you like a bite? A taste? Maybe even a second serving? But what exactly is exercise snacking?

Exercise Snacking

Sorry (not sorry) but “exercise snacking” has nothing to do with food! It is a fun, new term trending that involves short bursts of movement for about one-minute or less. Getting your exercise in little chunks at a time is a method that is certain and dependable to achieve more movement throughout the day.

Exercise snacking is being used to help people reduce sedentary behaviour. Looking for small opportunities to be physically active will help decrease stiffness, increase circulation, increase energy, and increase your steps by the end of the day.

Different Formulas

This method has many formulas; therefore, you can find the one that best suits you and your schedule.

If you’re sedentary for work, namely a desk job, try any of these formulas:

  • Get up every 30 minutes for 20 seconds.

  • Get up every 60 minutes for 30-40 seconds.

  • Get up every 90 minutes for 1 minute.

The most fascinating thing about exercise snacking is that even if you do 20 seconds of vigorous effort every 4 hours, it provides many health benefits!

Types of Exercises

If you’re someone who must stay logged on to work, try these recommendations while standing next to your desk:

  • Roll your shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles.

  • Marching in place.

  • Squats.

  • Jumping jacks.

If you’re someone who can get away from your desk, or maybe it’s the weekend and you just finished watching a 90-minute movie, it’s time to get up and move for a minute. Options:

  • Running in place for 1 minute.

  • Lunges for 1 minute.

  • Push-ups for 1 minute.

What to do once every 4 hours:

  • Run up a flight of stairs with vigorous effort for 20 seconds, go right back to work.

If you try this for 1 day, you will have run up the flight of stairs 3 times by the end of the day.

This little amount of time and effort has been shown to improve cardio-respiratory fitness and VO2 max, which means you will improve the capacity of oxygen supplied to your muscles. By improving your VO2 max in short bursts, when it comes to simply climbing up a flight of stairs at a normal pace, you will find yourself less out of shape and panting less, a marker of better physical health.

Finally, there are cognitive benefits that come from running up a flight of stairs, such as a rush of endorphins, which leads to better focus and increased productivity.

Finding More Ways to Move

Once you start exercise snacking you’ll be trying to find more ways to move throughout your day. Caution- you might be motivated to:

  • Always take the stairs.

  • Park further away.

  • Walk to the grocery store.

Want More?

Maybe after a few weeks of trying this, you’ll want a whole “exercise meal!” (Ok I just made that one up).

Try any of these pre-built programs I highly recommend by my partner Joey- @theapexcoach.

Each program gives you basic access to the Apex Coaching app so you can take your workouts wherever you go.

Program 1: Beginner, no gym, no equipment, bodyweight only. Duration 6 weeks.

Program 2: Beginner-Intermediate, gym access required, uses equipment, full body cardio conditioning. Duration 6 weeks.

Whatever level of physical activity you choose, simply commit to it. Small steps and consistency each day is what amounts to progress, health, and longevity.

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