5 Tips on how to ‘Exercise Snack’ at Home

There are 45-second exercises that are as effective as a 30-minute walk. Here are five ways to ‘exercise snack’ at home.

15 Realistic Fitness Goals to Improve Your Health - F

It's great for enhancing flexibility and strength.

A study has found that making time for short bursts of exercise throughout the day is very effective. This approach is known as an “exercise snack”.

Researchers from China found that 45-second exercises are just as effective in dropping blood sugar as a 30-minute walk.

This is because more regular movement is better at absorbing excess sugar in our blood after a meal.

It minimises blood sugar spikes, which can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes and affect mood, energy levels and productivity.

The more you “exercise snack” throughout the day, the better it is for your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight management and even your mood.

Every time you exercise, you’re releasing feel-good endorphins. 

Here are five 45-second exercises to do at home.

Do a Sun Salutation

5 Tips on how to 'Exercise Snack' at Home - sal

Known as the world’s best stretch, this ‘exercise snack’ loosens up every single joint and muscle in the body and helps alleviate pain and stiffness.

It’s great for enhancing flexibility and strength. You can do it first thing in the morning or use it to break up long periods of sitting during the day.

Each repetition takes about 45 seconds, or you can do three repetitions, which will take around three minutes.

  • Start from a standing position, open your arms and reach them upward while taking a deep inhale.
  • Next, bend at your hips into a forward fold, placing your hands in front of your feet (bending your knees if necessary).
  • Walk your hands out into a high plank position, then step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Lower your hips until they are parallel to the ground and breathe into any tightness.
  • Press your left hand into the ground and lift your right hand overhead, twisting your body to the right and bringing your gaze to your lifted fingertips. Reverse the movement and repeat on the other side, keeping your core engaged throughout.
  • From the plank position, walk your hands back towards your feet (with legs bent or straight) and roll up your spine to return to a standing position.

Balance on One Leg

5 Tips on how to 'Exercise Snack' at Home - balance

Balance is crucial.

It strengthens our core and bones, improves coordination and keeps our brains healthy.

Studies suggest that people who can balance on one leg for 10 seconds tend to live longer. To incorporate this exercise into your routine, try doing it while brushing your teeth.

  • If you feel unsteady, rest your hands or fingers on a stable surface like a work desk, wall, or sink.
  • Balance on one leg and count to 10, then switch to the other leg. Gradually increase the time you spend on each leg, aiming for up to one minute per side.

Walk Up Stairs

5 Tips on how to 'Exercise Snack' at Home - stairs

Climbing three flights of stairs three times a day has been shown to enhance cardiovascular health, aerobic fitness and leg strength.

With scientific backing, make a habit of walking up and down the stairs at home, choosing stairs over elevators, and walking on escalators instead of standing still.

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift and walk when on an escalator. Start off small and build up your strength and speed.
  • To progress, take stairs two at a time, increase your pace and add more flights of stairs. Carry your laundry basket, a backpack or some shopping bags for extra weight and combine it with other exercises, such as doing a squat on every step.

Bicep Curls

You can perform this exercise with dumbbells, or even use water bottles or tin cans if you don’t have weights.

Try doing it during a call or virtual work meeting (seated with the camera off).

This exercise strengthens your upper body and calves and is a great alternative to taking a walk if you’re stuck at your desk.

  • While seated, keep your elbows close to your sides and lengthen your arms (while holding weights) and then curl them towards your shoulders.
  • Lift your arms up towards the sky, turning your palms away from you. Then bring them back to your shoulders and lengthen them out to the starting position.
  • Lift and lower your heels during this movement.
  • Do 15 repetitions for a 45-second workout, or more if you’re using light weights

Sofa Dips

This exercise can help build upper body strength while sitting on the sofa and can also alleviate back and neck pain.

Additionally, increasing muscle mass aids in weight management, as muscle is metabolically active and boosts the number of calories burned daily.

  • Sit on the edge of the sofa and shuffle your body off, using your arm strength to help you lower your body and bring yourself back up while keeping the elbows facing back behind you and your fingers facing your body.
  • You can try this with straight legs and bend them if the move is too tricky, which will take some weight off your arms.
  • Do 10 repetitions during ad breaks while you’re watching television.

Incorporating “exercise snacks” into your daily routine can be a simple and effective way to stay active and healthy, even with a busy schedule.

By breaking down your workouts into manageable, bite-sized sessions, you can improve your fitness, strength and overall well-being without committing to long exercise sessions.

Whether you’re balancing on one leg while brushing your teeth or performing quick upper-body exercises during virtual meetings, these small changes can make a big difference.

Remember, consistency is key, and every little bit counts towards a healthier you.

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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