Who doesn’t love the idea of a snack?
Something that doesn’t take long to eat (or prepare). That fills a hunger need but doesn’t put you off your next meal or need any special effort or stand on ceremony.
What about applying this to exercise?
Short ‘snacks’ of exercise can be just as beneficial (sometimes more so) than an hour in the gym. Especially if you don’t like the gym or you always find an excuse not to go.
Short bursts of exercise that don’t require special equipment or time out of your busy schedule but still benefit your health and fitness can still give you both physical and mental health benefits. That sounds like a win win to me.
I’ve come across this idea through Dr Ranjan Chatterjee’s book and podcast The Four Pillar Plan as well as the idea of ‘movement based living’ that I came across in Katie Bowman’s books and blogs. It seems the benefits of regular movement throughout the day, rather than once or twice a week in the gym could actually be of greater benefit in someways. And the best thing is that it’s do-able.
If you’ve got time to brush your teeth twice a day, you’ve got time for exercise snacks too.
How about things like:
Lovely gentle stretches when you wake up in the morning - reaching your arms up and over to the side, gently bending over to touch your toes?
Going up and down your stairs 3 times instead of once when you head downstairs for breakfast?
10 kitchen counter press ups while you wait for your kettle to boil
10 squats before you get in the shower?
Hopping 10 times on each leg before you put your shoes on?
And this is all before you’ve stepped out of the door in the morning? No equipment, and just a few seconds here and there.
And when you’re at work
Sitting and standing up from your desk chair 10 times in a row
Taking the long way round to the kitchen or meeting room
Snacking on fresh air with a lunchtime walk
And in the evening
Standing on one leg while brushing your teeth
Swap between sitting on the floor and sitting on the sofa in the ad-breaks on tv.
Crazy dancing in the kitchen while cooking an evening meal
A walk around the block after eating
You get my gist? It’s easy to move just a little more, to build it into your life. It’s an easier habit to keep going with when no equipment or preparation is required.
Plus, it’s great way to start to introduce more movement and build a little more strength and fitness before you hit the gym or strap on your trainers.
So, have a go and let me know how you get on. I love to hear about different ways to get exercise into your life.