We all know that food snacking is fun, but it does, of course, come with a downside of weight gain. Exercise snacking can also be fun, and it, of course, comes with numerous health benefits.
If you read this and think, I can’t exercise because of my bad back, think again. And if you are undergoing medical treatment for cancer and not sure whether you should exercise, read my post about exercising while being treated for cancer.
According to startling statistics from the UK National Health Service (NHS), exercise comes with a multitude of benefits. These include lower risk of:
Do you want any of these proven exercise benefits? Of course, you do. Maybe you want all of them. But maybe you hate exercise.
Are you one of those people who resolve to exercise, but somehow it never happens? Are you intimidated by the idea of going to the gym or starting to run? Or do you feel you need to get fit before you start publicly exercising?
The answer is to take up exercise snacking. Exercise snacking, as its name suggests, involves doing exercises through the day in short bursts.
Here are some suggestions of things you could do. It’s best if you can attach them to some other activity that you always do during the day. That way you are much more likely to remember to do them.
Stand on one leg while you brush your teeth in the morning. In the evening, stand on the other leg. You do clean your teeth twice a day, don’t you?
Do air squats while talking on the phone. Air squats are also known as body weight squats. Here’s how to do them:
Run up and down the stairs for 4 minutes twice a day. Attach this to a meal, (preferably before the meal!), to help you remember to do it.
Touch your toes (or as near as you can get), while emptying your dishwasher. Here’s how you can go about that:
Bring in your shopping and then use the weight of your shopping bag to do a suitcase carry: You simply carry the shopping bag in one hand and walk around with it.
Engage your core (your abdominal muscles). Keep your shoulders level and facing forward. If you have to lean over to one side to carry the shopping, the bag is too heavy. Put some of the items away and carry a lighter weight. You will improve and eventually amaze yourself at the weights you can lift.
Want something more difficult? Do “round the clock” while the kettle boils. There are various ways of doing this, but this is the way I do it:
Then I repeat with the other foot. I try to make sure that the moving foot touches as lightly as possible, without any weight. If you find this difficult at first, let your foot rest more heavily at each clock position. Here’s an example, from my Instagram account, of me doing this exercise.
These are a few ideas for exercise snacking, but I’m sure you can think of more for yourself now that you are familiar with the idea.
Go back to the beginning of this blog and read about all those amazing benefits of exercise. Perhaps you could copy and print them and post them somewhere you can see them to remind yourself why exercise is so important.
How often do you exercise? Do you hate to exercise? What do you think about exercise snacking? Which of the examples provided here do you think you can commit to do? Please share your thoughts with us!
Tags Fitness Over 60
I walk and do fitness classes with weights, balance and cardio. the instructor changes up the classes frequently. I try to walk daily, the classes are only twice/weekly. I also do a hula hoop class weekly! As far as snacking goes, I do calf raises while cooking, squatsand pushups from the sink before my shower. We’ve got to move it or lose it, Ladies! ;) I’m 68.
I walk, pickleball, weight train, line dance and curl. I find the weight training enables me to do everything else and I will never give it up. I have been doing it for years. I am 68 and you really don’t know what kind of shape you are in until you do a weight class for an hour. It works all muscle groups. Improves balance, tones arms, legs, core. I only go once twice at the most in a week but the results are unbelievable. I never increase my weights just nice and light, do my push ups against a wall, my squats using a ball etc. If you improvise you can keep doing it forever. Keep moving. I am sure these micro exercises are doing something, but the human body is capable of much more even as we age.
I never enjoyed or wanted to exercise. But I have done exercise snacking without knowing it. I have used my groceries, as weights, run up and down the steps. The article makes me feel better. Thank you.
I think this is an excellent idea and now to just do it! Quick and easy ways to keep my mobility! Thank you!