We all understand the benefits of exercise, but so many people find time is their biggest barrier.
What if you could fit in just four minutes of exercise every single day to stay healthy, fit and strong and feel amazing?
Imagine not having to slog it out for hours a week, but simply making movement an intentional part of your daily life. Picture yourself fitting lots of one minute 'exercise snacks' into your day, each leaving you feeling energised and upbeat.
It can be done.
The time barrier doesn't have to stop you any longer.
Let's assume we spend two minutes each morning and night brushing our teeth. That's four minutes looking after one small part of our bodies.
What if you could take four minutes every day to look after your entire body?
Busy as you are, you wouldn't go for days or weeks without brushing your teeth right?
How about every single day, you pledge to spend at least four minutes getting your heart rate up and challenging your muscles.
It doesn't even need to be four consecutive minutes. You can snack on exercise for one minute at a time, four times a day.
Sounds good right?
Rather than see exercise as an insurmountable task, simply start snacking on it by getting your heart rate up and/or challenging your muscles, a minute here, a minute there, throughout the day and see what a difference it makes.
The great thing about the snack on exercise philosophy is that unlike most approaches to exercise it sets you up for success, for two key reasons;
Number 1 – It works
Research confirms that shorter higher intensity exercise is much more effective at increasing fitness, promoting fat loss and preventing diabetes and heart disease than longer steady exercise. For example studies by the University of Birmingham's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences showed that three minutes of intense exercise, three times a week, is equivalent to five one-hour sessions at a lower steady pace.
It only takes seconds to get your heart rate up, especially when you are just starting out and as you get fitter you can progress your snacks to keep seeing results!
Number 2 – It is doable
For many people time is such a barrier that they just simply don't exercise. Full stop.
When you think of travel time, getting changed, exercising, showering and changing again afterwards, plus more travel time, it just gets too hard right?
(Not to mention any childcare hassles, fear of what others will think, worry about what to wear, what to do and the list goes on...)
I want to help you overcome all of those barriers.
Once you discover how to snack on exercise you can fit in short bursts of exercise with virtually no time taken out of your day. It could be while waiting for the jug to boil, when you're on hold on a phone call, while reading an email or article (like this!) or doing other routine tasks.
Even better, you can do it anywhere, anytime as your own body is the best exercise tool you could hope for and with sweat free snacks you don't even have to get changed.
You can snack on your own or with your kids, partner or workmates. (I personally vote for "with" as social snacks tend to be even more fun and motivating!)
When you choose to snack on exercise, and learn a few simple ways to challenge your heart and your muscles, you can literally keep doing it for the rest of your life. No excuses, no stress or guilt, just an active healthy body and all of the benefits that go with it!
What you do will depend on your own fitness level and it will likely change over time. At 73 it will be different to what you did at 37, but the snack on exercise philosophy still applies at any age!
Here are some great ideas to try today:
- Do step ups and knee lifts as fast as you can,
- Take a deskercise break, doing dips off your chair and lunges standing behind it,
- Dance to your favourite song, (this is one of my favourite snacks as it boosts your mood and does so much more than the exercise alone!)
- Do one minute of shadow boxing,
- Try out my two minute 'ten out of ten' complete workout,
- Run around with your kids/grandkids and finish with a tickle fight,
- Do shuttle runs along the hall or outdoors,
- Do ten press ups and ten squats,
- Vaccum vigorously, lifting and moving your furniture,
- Climb stairs or a hill, (once or for a few repeats)
- or anything else that gets your heart rate up and challenges your muscles.
Here are my top tips for adopting the Snack on Exercise philosophy;
1.Commit to a snack on exercise challenge, snacking every day for a set period of time, for example 10 days or six weeks.
2. Give yourself a visual reminder – a snack on exercise chart (aka piece of paper) on the wall somewhere prominent where you can tick off each day.
3.Tell someone supportive what you're doing so they can encourage you.
4.Get a friend to join you and take on the snack on exercise challenge at the same time (regardless of whether you see each other, keep each other on track.)
5. Plan the best time of day to suit your lifestyle.
6. Link your snacks to regular events throughout your day. This could be as simple as each time you use the bathroom, or when you send/receive text messages or before each meal. By linking it you won't forget and you will quickly form strong habits.
7. Tie your snacks into useful tasks, like biking to the shops, pulling weeds or chopping wood (for yourself or a friend if you don't have a wood pile).
8. Choose a reward that you can look forward to if you keep the commitment of snacking on exercise every day. (A massage, a new book or a fun experience that appeals to you.)
9.Share your success with others and keep spreading the positive ripple effect. The
more friends and colleagues you have that snack on exercise, the more easily it becomes a part of your lifestyle. Meet up with friends for a walk rather than a coffee, join a social sport together or get your workmates to join you for a lunchtime run rather than sitting in the staffroom.
Remember, small things add up to make a big difference.
Want to take part in the snack on exercise movement?
If you found this useful, please share it with a friend and help me spread the positive ripple effect around the world!
Read on here to find out more about how the Snack on Exercise Movement idea first came about.
Please comment or ask any questions below...