'Movement Snacking' Is the Easiest New Way to Exercise, Doctor Says
There's a new workout trend in town, and it's pretty cool. It's called "movement snacking," and it will hands down be your new favorite way to exercise this year.
According to Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content and Education at Ro, a certified personal trainer, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, movement snacking is all about incorporating short bouts of activity into each day rather than—or along with—one main workout time. Dr. Bohl explains, "Movement snacking is the perfect way to combat a sedentary lifestyle and make sure you're getting at least some form of physical activity interspersed throughout the day."
Read on to learn more about this fitness trend, and next up, don't miss The Best Exercises To Regain Balance After 60, Trainer Says.
Movement snacking gives you many of the same benefits you'd get during an hour-long workout.
The best part about movement snacking? It can provide the same goodness as hitting up the gym for an hour's workout. Dr. Bohl explains, "Movement snacking gives you an opportunity to get your heart rate up, strengthen your muscles, challenge yourself, and burn calories. This can lead to benefits like weight loss, improved mood, and decreased risk of certain diseases."
Weight loss is really about the number of calories you burn each day, taking into consideration what you've eaten, Dr. Bohl says. So every little bit counts! Every amount of calories you burn contributes to your overall weight loss journey.
Note that according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity every week. It's not, however, specified how exactly this should be allocated. Individuals commonly break out this recommendation to a minimum of ½ hour, five days per week. But Dr. Bohl informs us, "You can also break it down even further, such as at least 15 minutes at least 10 times a week. In short, when it comes to physical activity, something is always better than nothing."
Here's how you can work movement snacking into your daily routine.
Dr. Bohl shares some examples of exercise snacking you can work into each day. "Opportunities for movement snacking appear all over the place throughout the day—even just bouncing your leg when you're sitting at a desk is a small form of movement snacking," he shares, adding, "One way to incorporate movement snacking is to have it scheduled into your day—for example, doing something every day at lunchtime or setting a timer for every hour and taking five minutes to do a quick exercise before getting back to work."
If you'd like to perform exercise snacking each day, there are many simple things you can do without the use of fancy equipment. This includes bodyweight exercises, jumping jacks, jogging, and walking. Bodyweight exercises you can perform are sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and lunges. A good plan Dr. Bohl tells us is to choose one of these and perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps to complete a five-minute movement snack.
Another way to include movement snacking into your weekly regimen is to not schedule it, but grab opportunities as they happen. For instance, park further from the door when running errands. Choose the staircase rather than the elevator. You'll rack up extra movement in no time!