According to the CDC, adults need 150 minutes of physical activity a week to stay healthy. That might sound like a lot, but new research shows just short bursts of activity throughout your day can have an impact.
A new trend called “exercise snacking” is changing the game. It involves incorporating short bursts of activity into your day instead of one, long workout.
“I think the real important part is to just to not stay stagnant for hours at a time,” says Stephanie Nickitas, the Owner of CrossFit Winter Park and a CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.
An exercise snack is a brief snippet of exercise, usually lasting a minute or two, that’s repeated throughout the day, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Simple exercises that could make up an “exercise snack” include air squats, planks, sit ups, pushups, or lunges. One idea is to choose four exercises and perform each 30 seconds, with 20 seconds rest in between. Do this for five minutes an hour, every hour during your workday.
A study published in the Journal of Aging Research showed exercise snacking can improve leg muscle function and size. Other research has shown climbing stairs for just a few minutes throughout the day can improve cardiovascular health.
“Especially if you’re in a job where you’re sitting a lot, get up and move around a few times an hour if you can,” said Nickitas.
A little activity for a time can makes a big difference. Some research has shown people who sit for hours on end develop blood sugar and cholesterol problems at higher rates than those who get up and move often, regardless of how much they exercise.