Grazing on food throughout the day can lead to slow progress, or even set-backs, if your goal is losing weight. Your body needs time to process (AND USE) the energy between eating occasions to help avoid storing fat. Eating food every hour is probably not a great idea. When it comes to exercise though, grazing can be just what the doctor ordered. If you find it hard to exercise because you don’t have 2 hours to go out to the gym and back, snacking on exercise may be easier to accomplish while still getting the benefits.
With exercise, good things come in small packages
- Schedule wise, small bouts of exercise can be more realistic for many. Want to get over mid-day zombie mode?
- An exercise snack will energize!
- 100 push-ups at once – overwhelming. 100 pushups over 8 hours – achievable.
- completing exercise snacks often sets the stage for other positive habits.
Snacking on exercise may lower insulin levels
In a recent study, when 11 adults with overweight or obesity spent 9 hours taking an hourly stair-climbing “snack”—which meant briskly climbing 55 steps—their blood insulin levels were 17 percent lower than when they spent 9 hours sitting. Each “snack” took 20 to 60 seconds! High insulin levels = greater risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. (source – Nutrition Action Newsletter)
Exercise snack tips
- Stay committed to getting out of your seat every hour during the workday.
- If you keep them frequent, 60 second exercise snacks can be enough.
- Get your heart and breath rates up! these are sprints, not marathons.
- Consider resistance bands for some strength training options.
- The more involved the better – meetings are a great opportunity.
- Don’t compensate for more activity with poor food choices.