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Humans are in the habit of snacking. But do you know what we snack on the most? Not food but deep breaths whenever we are stressed and whenever we need energy. So, many studies are taking off on this logic and proposing daily “exercise snacks” — about a minute or two of physical activity in bursts — for making a difference in your fitness and overall health. However, since this routine is doable, consistency is very important here.

You can structure your exercise into short bouts that are performed twice or thrice a day, with five minutes of exercise followed by one minute of rest. Easily adaptable and convenient. Exercise snacking activates our nervous system, our muscles and our motor skills while improving endurance and flexibility. It reduces blood sugar, boosts oxygen in the blood, perks up blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. But the most important benefit of exercise snacking is that there’s no need to enrol in a class or go to the gym; additionally, you don’t need any specialised training gear like resistance bands, kettlebells or weights. All you need for the workout can be a desk or a chair. Exercise can involve slow jogging, spot jogging even, stair climbing, jumping jacks, air squats, push-ups, stretches, standing twists, lunges, push-ups, or even vigorously walking down a corridor.

Researchers have shown that compared to other exercises, most test subjects reported feeling highly confident about reaching their self-care goals with this routine. I do this too whenever I am travelling or have a crowded day, using gardens, open terraces, even kitchens and dining spaces. So here are a few simple routines of exercise snacking.

1) Sit straight on a chair. Exhale and twist towards the right side holding the back of the chair with both the hands. Repeat on the left side.

2) Exhale and raise your right leg upward towards your chest and try touching your forehead to the right knee. Repeat it with the left leg and then with both legs.

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3) Stand behind the chair, holding its back rest, or place your hands on your work desk. Inhale and stretch upward. Exhale and bend facing downwards.

4) Keep your hands on the desk, and swing your legs right to left, forward and backward.

5) Sit on the chair, exhale, bend forward and try touching the toes. Inhale, raise your right hand. Repeat on the other side. Do this 10 times on each side.

Other than these, neck rotation, hand stretches, shoulder exercises and leg raises can also be done in just five minutes.

The best part is these quick sessions uplift your mind, keep you alert and boost your creativity. Remember, don’t go beyond five minutes because that can be boring and make the routine compulsive rather than enjoyable. This is good for longevity, immunity and vitality, what I call LIV.

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