Forget ‘no pain, no gain’. Exercise snacking is here to make us feel good about getting fit.
And sorry to break it to you, but it doesn’t actually involve doing some stretches while eating pizza. We can dream though…
With exercise snacking, you do small chunks of exercise throughout the day instead of all at once in a single session like a crushing gym workout or a run.
Best of all, these snacks often don’t even look or feel like exercise - it’s simply any way of moving your body, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, going for a walk around your office or block or stretching at your desk.
Totally doable, right?
Even the Aussie health guidelines say that doing some exercise is better than doing none. And it turns out these small portions of exercise throughout the day add up to real health benefits.
You don’t need special equipment and you don’t even need to break out a sweat. Best of all, you’ll never be able to use the excuse “I don’t have time” again.
Why exercise snacking is good for you
Aussie health guidelines say adults should get 50 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, which feels like a lot right?
Often we think if we can't do a longer exercise session, then there's no point doing any exercise at all. That's no longer true.
With exercise snacking, you can start small and work your way up to the recommended level of exercise all the while knowing you’re still helping your health.
We also keep hearing that moving every hour - even to get out of our chair and stretch - is also good for our mental health and work focus, so it’s a win-win situation.
The key to successful exercise snacking
Find activities that are easy and fun. This way you’re more likely to do them and then feel good about yourself and want to do more.
Forget high-intensity workouts, a run on a treadmill or a gruelling cardio class… at least for now. Get snacking on these options instead:
- Dance your heart out for 5 minutes to a favourite song.
- Walk around the room when you’re on the phone. Do the same when you’re watching TV.
- If you’re still commuting to/from work by bus, get out one stop early and walk the rest of the way. Or if driving, park a further block away.
- Spend 5 minutes walking around the house picking up things and putting them away.
- Take your dog for that extra walk when they give you those pleading sad eyes.
- Or zoom around the house with your pets when they’re in that crazy mood full of energy (just don’t go leaping off furniture with them!).
- Move your rubbish bin to the other side of the room so you have to get up to use it.
- If you have a steep driveway, walk up and down it a few times. Pretend you’re impatiently checking the letterbox for a parcel.
- Take the stairs. Make extra trips for no reason. Aim for two or three trips a day.
- Walk around the block at lunchtime.
- Map out a 10 minute walk around your neighbourhood and do it after dinner. Try and find at least one new or interesting thing each time you walk.
- If you hate walking, listen to a podcast to make the time more enjoyable.
- Walk over to your colleague instead of picking up the phone or sending an email.
- Finally, if you’re after some workout exercises like squats and weights that are still easy and fun, check out these ideas while brushing your teeth, hanging out the washing or using wine bottles as weights! Brilliant!