The New Indian Express

Snack on Exercise

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Not everyone can hit the gym, and now “exercise snacking” has become one of the safest and most effective ways to manage weight.

A new bite-sized “movement snack” is a practical and empirical approach to various health concerns, as most people in the new normal are adapting to work from home or virtual work cultures, which have inevitably forced us to limit movement in recent years.

A smart way of restructuring exercise into your routine will help you reap the same benefit by following the most popular bouts of exercise snacking, which include jumping jacks, push-ups, spot jogging, lunges, squats, climbing stairs, taking a quick brisk walk, and lifting water jugs or bottles.

Short bursts of exercise can be as effective as long sweaty workouts in terms of lowering your health risk, improving your sleep pattern, balancing hormones, and maintaining body composition.

Since evidence has proven that a sedentary lifestyle involving 8 hours of inactive status is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, fatty liver, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and depression, there is emerging research data on exercise snacking.

Pic: The Tribe

Key benefits of exercise bouts:

· The fear of a high-intensity, extreme workout lasting too long and its impact on those with a history of heart disease can now be reduced to short bouts of exercise spread throughout the day.

· As the evidence suggests, exercise snacking has proven potential benefits in improving muscle health among older adults, provided there is adequate intake of a good-quality protein source.

· A simple exercise with a duration of 2–10 minutes, followed by a protein-enriched snack, helps to burn extra fat, and build muscle. This can be a short and easy practice that need not be sweaty, painful, or boring anymore.

Snacks are typically recommended after high-intensity exercise sessions, and exercise snacking aids in muscle protein synthesis.

· Sugarless yoghurt / curd or nut milkshake or yoghurt smoothie.

or

· Whey protein with β-hydroxy-β-methyl butyrate (HMB) promotes muscle growth while preventing breakdown.

Workout Options

  • In/pop power squats
  • Power jacks
  • Mogo jumps
  • Cross power lunges
  • Ladders
  • Bridges
  • Tucks
  • Burpees
  • Lay & stand
  • Sky walker
  • Push-ups
  • Standing calf raises
  • V in & out
  • Butt kicker
  • Shuffle in place

This type of exercise is highly recommended for those who are unable to exercise for long periods of time due to knee pain, post-bariatric surgery, frail elderly, cancer patients who need to exercise to prevent muscle loss, and all those who are unable to go to gyms or work out at a stretch due to busy schedules such as post-delivery mothers, adolescents preparing for exams, work from home employees, and night shift workers.

Read the full story that first appeared in The New Indian Express here:

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