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Movement Snacks

This article is not about food. I can understand why you would think it is given that the definition of a snack is a small amount of food eaten between meals. What if we rethink the word “snack” and make it a “small amount of anything”, specifically movement? I cannot take credit for the idea of movement snacks. I got it from a post by The Foot Collective (valuable health information is provided by this organization).

I love the idea of having snacks of movement throughout the day. It’s something I’ve been preaching for years. Our population would be much healthier if we got up and moved more throughout the day. We all know this. It has been proven that exercising an hour a day does not undo all of the damage done by sitting for 10 hours a day that the average Canadian does. This does not mean that scheduled exercise sessions are a waste of time because they are valuable, it’s that they are not enough. The message is that we shouldn’t be lulled into a false of security around our health. It’s important to be aware of the benefit you are truly getting from the time that you invest working out.

The way I see it is getting out for a walk, run, ski, cycle or going to the gym provides as much in the way of mental/emotional benefits as it does physical benefits. It’s that change of scenery and/or social interaction that keeps the mind from getting too cluttered with the “to dos” that fill our days. So don’t change that part of your routine. The idea here is to add more to what you are already doing. Before you panic consider these ideas:

  • Every time you stand up do 5 squats, 5 jumping jacks, or 5 lunges.
  • Stand up every hour and do push-ups at the wall or at your desk.
  • Do a walking lunge when you head to the washroom or to the kitchen to get a coffee (an image of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks just popped into my head).
  • Dance – there is music everywhere, let it move you.
  • If you can, place a yoga mat or a towel on the floor and every time you walk by it do a Burpee. If you re-route yourself to avoid the mat you’ll likely end up adding extra steps to your day so it all works out.

All of these movements can be done within 30 seconds and without sweating. Before you know it you will have added 30 push-ups or 50 squats to your day without breaking a sweat. That’s pretty sweet.

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