Exercise Snacking - Healthier and More Efficient

exercise-efficiencyWe like exercise, specifically Pilates led by a Physiotherapist, and we regularly promote its tremendous health benefits. We appreciate that finding the time to exercise can be tough for some people. With time constraints in mind I would like to share an interesting idea of ‘exercise snacking’ that I came across in an interesting article over on sciencedaily.com

The article’s focus is on an exercise method to help better control the blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance. Whether you are knowingly insulin resistant or not controlling blood sugar levels is surely a smart thing for everyone to do, especially in our modern times when sugar is so prevalent in many of our food sources.

Controlling blood sugar levels will not only help you to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes but will help you lose or control your weight better too.

Is the recommended 30 minutes of exercise really optimal?

You have probably heard of the recommended exercise amounts of 150 minutes a week, or a day - 5 days a week. If your exercise commitment is a 30 minutes session once a day then you may want to consider the ideas presented in this article.

Instead of a single, 30 minute exercise session in a day it is believed that brief, repetitive bouts of intense exercise in the day, especially around meals times, can be far more beneficial for your health.

If you find it tough to schedule that hour for the local gym or run around the park at lunch time you might want to try doing a few minutes of intense exercise before breakfast and before dinner. Assuming you eat these two important meals at home it would be optimal to be able to perform these brief bouts of exercise at home too. You would not need fancy equipment to achieve this either, simply a bit of creativity and self motivation.

Ideas for the short, intense home workout

You could create yourself a mini circuit to perform almost on the spot. A single pair of weight dumbbells would give you a more complete workout potential.

For example:

  1. Squats x 20 (with or without the weight dumbbell)
  2. Pushups x 20
  3. Overhead shoulder press x 20 (with or without the weight dumbbell)

repeat this 3 exercise circuit as many times as possible in 5-10mins, taking 30 second rest periods between each circuit.

That’s it. Quick and simple but potentially very beneficial.

We could refer to this as the ‘minimum effective dose’ for an exercise routine.

Please note: this is not complete and structured exercise prescription and does not take into consideration your own personal health situation. The information presented here is for inspiration only.


Image courtesy of ‘keerati' / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

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