Author: ANCHOR PHYSIO Jon Wiseman
Read time: 3 minutes
We've all done it before. You're fed up with your current unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, and you say, "that's it! I'm turning things around!". So you proceed to make a set of grandiose commitments to fix your diet, exercise regimen, skincare routine, cat's skincare routine….. and so it goes. And in no time, you find yourself comfortably rooted in the same behaviour patterns that you vowed to relinquish just a few short weeks ago.
Why is it that it's so hard to make these changes? To understand this, we must remember that we are creatures of habit. We like routine and consistency, and we don't do well when that is disturbed. As a general rule, the bigger disruption that a new routine makes in our current lives, the less likely we are to stick with it.
Take exercise, for example. Your commitment to getting to the gym 5 times a week for an hour workout will require you to book out at least 90 minutes out of your day. Inevitably, unexpected obligations in life will pop up and take precedence, like the urgent deadline at work or having to take the dog to the vet.
With this in mind, specific tools like exercise snacking can be applied to help with your fitness success.
Just as the name suggests, exercise snacking is a practice that breaks an average, 30-60 minute exercise session into informal and manageable chunks of time. Thus, it allows for exercise during those small breaks in the day, like taking breaks from work or waiting for the water to boil when making dinner. This takes the practice of physical movement into a more flexible and enjoyable experience while still creating the cumulative benefit of an uninterrupted workout session.
Here's an example of some small exercise snacks that will take between 1-15 minutes:
1. take a 5-15 minute power walk outside or around your house
2. perform 30 jumping jacks, rest for 30 seconds, repeat x5-10
3. perform sit up and down from your chair 30 times, rest 15 seconds, repeat x3-5
4. perform a 30-60 second plank
5. climb up and down your stairs 5 times
The best part is that exercise snacking is infinitely customizable! Each exercise snack can be as short or long and as easy or intense as you'd like. You can do it as little or as many times in a day. Best of all, it can include any form of movement that you enjoy (or don't!). Give it a try and see how it can help you with your goals in developing a healthy, active lifestyle without taking hours out of your day!