Exercise Snacks

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Anytime Fitness website defines the term Excercise snacks as “exercise snacks doesn’t actually refer to food at all. It’s pairing the concept of snacks – small increments of something throughout the day – with a strategy for fitting your workout in!”

In a 2022 PubMed article, authors Hashim Islam and colleagues describe the exercise snacks as:

We define exercise snacks as isolated ≤1-min bouts of vigorous exercise performed periodically throughout the day. We hypothesize that exercise snacks are a feasible, well-tolerated, and time-efficient approach to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and reduce the negative impact of sedentary behavior on cardiometabolic health. Efficacy has been demonstrated in small proof-of-concept studies.

University of British Columbia writer Carolyn Ali writes quoting Dr. Matthew Stork, a health research postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences “There’s a host of things coming together that’s making it more challenging to get physical activity. We’re more restricted and less mobile.” She adds:

The good news? All this time at home makes it easier than ever to work short bursts of activity into your day. Instead of carving out an hour to go to the gym, you can break off little bits of exercise to do throughout the day — exercise snacks — and still reap benefits.

Carolyn explains that the concepts of exercise “snacks” grew out of “the concept of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT), in which you exert yourself for a short period, rest for a short period, and then repeat.”

You’re not restructuring your day around exercise. You’re restructuring exercise into your day.
— MATTHEW STORK, UBC SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND EXERCISE SCIENCES

In a Healthline article, Nancy Schimelpfening highlighting Excercise snacks writes:

  • During the holiday rush, workouts can fall by the wayside due to a lack of time.
  • However, experts say that even short bursts of vigorous activity, also known as ‘exercise snacks,’ can help improve your health.
  • Even household chores or playing with your kids can turn into a workout if done correctly.
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