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An Approach to Fitness for Our Busy Lives

Lady middle aged stretching arms overhead while sitting at a computer desk.

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding time for a full workout can often seem like an impossible task. However, maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for overall health and well-being. Enter the concept of “exercise snacking” – a novel approach that breaks down the barriers to fitness by incorporating short bursts of physical activity throughout the day. At our exercise physiology clinic, we are excited to introduce you to this method to get you moving throughout your busy schedule, promoting better health if you can’t get to a gym.

What is Exercise Snacking?

Exercise snacking involves performing brief, frequent bouts of exercise throughout the day, rather than engaging in a single, extended workout. These “snacks” of exercise can be as short as a few minutes each and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. The idea is to accumulate physical activity in smaller doses, making it more manageable and less intimidating, especially for those with busy schedules.

The Benefits of Exercise Snacking

Person with short hair on a blue exercise mat on the floor in loungeroom doing exercise push up or plank.

  1. Increased Accessibility: Exercise snacking makes it easier for people with time constraints to fit physical activity into their day. No matter how busy you are, there’s always time for a few minutes of exercise.

  2. Improved Consistency: Short, manageable bouts of exercise can help build a consistent routine. Regularly engaging in these brief activities can foster a habit of movement, leading to long-term health benefits.

  3. Enhanced Metabolism: Frequent bursts of activity can boost your metabolism throughout the day, helping with strength, stress and overall energy levels.

  4. Better Cardiovascular Health: Even short periods of exercise can improve cardiovascular fitness, lowering the risk of heart disease and other related conditions.

  5. Mental Health Benefits: Regular movement, even in short intervals, can enhance mood, reduce stress, and improve mental clarity. Exercise snacking releases endorphins, which can boost your overall sense of well-being.

How to Incorporate Exercise Snacking into Your Day

Lady in blue shirt and office work clothes climbing stairs with her black bag over shoulder.

Incorporating exercise snacking into your daily routine is simple and flexible. Here are some practical ideas:

  1. Morning Stretch: Start your day with a five-minute stretching routine to wake up your muscles and get your blood flowing.

  2. Desk Exercises: During your workday, take short breaks to perform exercises at your desk. This could include chair squats, seated leg lifts, or desk push-ups.

  3. Stair Climbing: Skip the elevator and opt for the stairs. Climbing stairs for just a few minutes can be a powerful cardio workout. No stairs close by? Research has shown that 3 x 3 mins of step ups can be just as effective as 20 minutes of light-moderate exercise on a bike.

  4. Lunchtime Walk: Use part of your lunch break to take a brisk walk. Even a 10-minute walk can make a difference.

  5. Evening Activity: Finish your day with a short activity, such as a quick yoga session or a few minutes of your exercise physiologist prescribed program like bodyweight exercises.


The Role of Professional Guidance

Exercise physiologist standing with middle aged lady with short hair looking at paper for exercise program.

While exercise snacking is a flexible and accessible approach to fitness, working with a professional can enhance its effectiveness. At Fleurieu Exercise Physiology, we can help you design a personalised exercise snacking plan tailored to your fitness level, goals, and daily schedule. Our experts can ensure that each exercise ‘snack’ is safe, not painful, efficient, and aligned with your overall health objectives. Additionally, professional guidance can provide motivation and accountability, helping you stay on track with your fitness journey.

Summing it up

Exercise snacking is a dynamic and adaptable approach to fitness that can transform the way you think about physical activity. By incorporating short bursts of exercise into your day, you can achieve significant health benefits if you don’t have time or enjoy lengthy exercise sessions. Whether you’re a busy professional, a parent on the go, or simply looking for a more manageable way to stay active, exercise snacking offers a practical solution to keep you moving and thriving.


Author: Maddie Warner, Accredited Exercise Physiologist

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