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We Are 100% Here for Snackable Workouts

You know how sometimes a bag of mixed nuts, or an easy-to-slurp smoothie can sate you until your next big meal? Snackable workouts are the sweat-it-out equivalent, and to be honest the concept is pretty genius. Even if we’re able to get those hearty workouts in at the beginning or end of the day, so many of us are sedentary for those remaining hours.

“The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) classifies a sedentary lifestyle as a health risk factor for developing heart disease,” warns Pete McCall, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and Voltaren spokesperson. “The less physical activity a person performs, the greater the risk of developing heart disease or other chronic health conditions that could significantly reduce the overall quality of life.”

Enter snackable workouts. At no more than five to 10 minutes per session, these mini workouts provide an easy way to step away from our chairs, use our bodies, and get our hearts pumping. So, what are snackable workouts and what do you need to know about them?

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What Are Snackable Workouts?

snackable workouts

Instead of spending a half an hour or more at the gym throughout the day, doing mini high-intense workouts throughout the day can be more effective, and help you stay motivated longer. There are various workouts that you can do, but the main goal is to stay moving for at least a minute or two before proceeding with your normal routine.

“A ‘snackable workout’ is actually one of my favorite kinds of workouts,” says Mahri Relin, a certified personal trainer, and the founder and creator of Body Conceptions. What was once thought that you needed to work out for a long period of time in order to see results is now not truly the case.

Be Vigorous

The key to doing snackable workouts correctly is to choose a workout that fits your surroundings and desire and do a vigorous session for only a couple of minutes. No matter what you want to do, just make sure you don’t go slow or mild. Having a quick, fast session is best.

As long as you’re staying more active than usual and adding in some workouts throughout the day, you’re able to live a healthier life. Research has shown that doing vigorous moves for only a few minutes throughout the day can really help.

She explains that you can experience the same benefits if that block of exercise is broken up into smaller chunks of time. This is especially helpful for anyone who’s crunched for time or struggling to find at all (ahem, all of us).

To figure out if you’re doing vigorous work, the CDC states that you wouldn’t be able to speak more than a few words without pausing to take a breath. So, if you’re able to speak easily while doing your few minutes of exercise, then maybe try upping your pace and movement.

The Benefits of Snackable Workouts

snackable workouts

There are several reasons why you should workout, as there are proven health benefits. But let’s break down the several reasons why you should try snackable workouts. While not as intense as working out for an extended period of time, there are still some great benefits to trying snackable workouts.

Physical Benefits

Like any other form of working out, there are some great benefits physically, such as heart health, improving movement functionality, and much more. Whether you’re trying to lose some weight, tone up, or just to strengthen your body, snackable workouts could be a great addition to your day.

“Some of the benefits of adding short bursts of physical activity into your day include burning more calories throughout the day than you would with no exercise or even one long workout, increased blood circulation,” says Nefertiti Thomas, a personal trainer and the founding instructor for Bande.

In a recent compelling study by Harvard Health Publishing, researchers concluded that those who sat for about three hours a day were 33 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease compared to those who sat for seven hours a day.

Short weight training sessions can also target and help with body aches that you might be experiencing, as it helps strengthen your muscles as well as improves your posture, especially if you usually sit at a desk. Standing and walking is a great way to make sure there aren’t any deformities in your body from being hunched over for hours.

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Mental Benefits

But it’s not just about your physical wellbeing. Your mental health can also improve from adding in some rigorous movements throughout the day. One of the biggest benefits from working out is simply the mood boost you get from getting some exercise.

“Moving your body releases endorphins and neurotransmitters that create feelings of relaxation, happiness, and even euphoria,” explains Relin. “[Exercise] can also be a great way to connect with others if you choose group activities, or it can give you much-needed ‘me time’ if you need some time away from others.”

Working out, even in short bursts, has been proven to help with sleep by improving your sleep pattern and helping you stay asleep for longer.

It’s also a huge benefit as it gets you away from screens, which might sound weird. But most of the time when we move around, we’re usually focusing on a screen. But now, if you’re intentionally moving to do a workout, such as jog up and down the stairs a few times before going to your desk, your eyes aren’t glued to the screen, which helps your brain take a bit of a break from those damaging screens.

Examples of Snackable Workouts

snackable workouts

Snackable workouts can range from familiar exercises like jumping jacks and squats to simply walking around the block. Here are a handful of ways you can incorporate more bite-sized movement into your day.

Quick Workouts

  • Taking a brisk, 10- to 20-minute walk.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Do some squats before a meeting.
  • Parking far away and walking.
  • Working at a standing desk for part of the day.
  • Doing wall push-ups (these can even be done in the bathroom).
  • Riding a bike to work or the grocery store instead of driving.
  • Taking quick classes, which can even be done on your phone.
  • 10 minutes of jump rope or hula hooping (try to teach yourself new tricks)

Chore Workouts

  • Dancing around the house while sweeping.
  • Shoveling snow.
  • Carrying groceries up the stairs.
  • Walking up and down your stairs as you vacuum, dust or clean.
  • Mow the lawn.

Combo Exercises

  • 20 jumping jacks, 20 reverse lunges.
  • 10 burpees, 10 wall push-ups, and a 1-minute plank hold.
  • 50 mountain climbers and 20 crunches.
  • 10 star jumps, 10 push-ups, and 20 squats.
  • 25 jumping jacks, 5 push-ups, 20 alternating lunges, and 30 seconds of bicycle twists.

While Taking Care of the Kids

  • Carry your kids around the house while playing.
  • Squats while giving kids a piggy back ride.
  • Run around the backyard.
  • Dance session.
  • Outdoor games like playing catch or basketball.

Pet Edition

  • Go for a jog with your pup.
  • Squat while holding your buddy for added weight.
  • Help your dog get zoomies (they love being chased)!
  • Hold your furry friend in the air for some arm workouts.
  • Animal yoga (added weight when they climb on you)!
  • Find a rope and tug with dogs.
  • Arm curl your fluffy friends.

Our bodies are designed to be active throughout the day. Desk jobs are a relatively new development, but they are more common today than ever before. As such, we need to be cognizant of our sedentary versus moving hours and aim to move more. Not only can it help prolong our lifespan, but it can improve our quality of life both now and far into the future.

In Conclusion

Working out for a full hour can be intimidating, and for some, it’s a lot easier to give up your goals when the stress and anxiety of staying at the gym is weighing on you.

So, to stay a bit more motivated and hold on to your resolutions this year, try adding snackable workouts into your routine. Whether that means adding the stairs in the office, or parking farther away than usual, or maybe doing a couple of laps around the house throughout the day, these not only will improve your mental health, but your physical health.

Snackable workouts can be easier to keep up with without feeling the anxiety of sticking to something for longer than a few minutes. Remember, the best way to implement this goal is by sticking to your routine and only doing workouts that fit your needs and surroundings.