Nosh On These ‘Movement Snacks’ to Boost Your Results

It’s a typical Wednesday morning. Your early morning alarm stings your ears as you aimlessly reach for the snooze button. The next 10 minutes feels like 2 seconds and you soon find yourself buzzing through your morning routine. Work drags on as you spend hours in front of your desk, and look down to see your smartwatch recording a whopping 225 steps for the day. “No problem,” you think, “I’ll make it up in my workout tonight.” Two scoops of pre-workout and an hour later, you’re drenched in sweat from a soul-crushing workout. Rinse and repeat day after day, week after week.

But those six-pack abs never come. In fact, the scale is going up and you still feel like trash. Does this routine sound oddly familiar to you? You may be putting yourself through a high-intensity beat down for an hour, 3-5 times per week, but if you have a sedentary job & lifestyle for the other 23 hours per day, you may find that you need a better daily routine.

Instead of putting so much emphasis on your 30-60 minute sweat sessions, try focusing on incorporation of healthy ‘movement snacks’ throughout the day. A ‘movement snack’ is simply a 3-5 minute movement break strategically placed into your day. These can be targeted stretching sequences, body weight challenges, or anything that gets you moving. Mix in 5-6 bite-size movement snacks in your day and that’s an extra 30 minutes of accumulated movement! Did she say MORE SNACKS?! Sign me up!

Here are five different ‘movement snacks’ that you can try from your home office today:

  1. Take the Stairs
    • Set a 5 minute timer. Accumulate as many stairs as possible in that time.
    • Be creative! Walk forward, walk backward, lateral climb right, lateral climb left, use every other stair, etc. Load up a backpack if you’re feeling especially adventurous.
    • Always remember, safety first – use a speed and form you are comfortable with. Hold a railing if needed.
  1. Plank Challenge
    • Use a stopwatch to accumulate 3 minutes in a plank hold. Start the timer while you are holding, pause the timer when you need to rest.
    • Try to rest as little as possible. Repeat until you reach 3 minutes total!
    • Any plank variation works – high plank, elbow plank, side plank.
  1. Body Weight Strength Challenge
    • Set a 5 minute timer. Use each minute to accumulate as many repetitions as possible of the following movements:
      1. Minute 1 – Max repetitions of push ups
      2. Minute 2 – Max repetitions of squats
      3. Minute 3 – Max repetitions of bent over arm raises
      4. Minute 4 – Max repetitions of lunges
      5. Minute 5 – Max repetitions of sit ups
  1. Hip Stretching Sequence
    • Lunge Switches: Kneel on the ground. Shift weight to bring right leg into lunge position. Try not to use your hands!
    • Lunge Rotations: With your right leg in front, rest your left hand on the ground and reach up, rotating to the right.
    • Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: Start in a lunge position. Lean weight into front leg while squeezing glutes. Reach arms overhead for an enhanced stretch. For an added challenge, attempt to grab rear foot!
    • Sit Back Hamstring Stretch: Sit hips back onto back heel and lean over the front leg.
    • Repeat this pattern on the left. Perform as many rounds as you can comfortably in 5 minutes
  1. Low Back Yoga Flow
    • Perform the following flow as many times as comfortable in 3 minutes.
    • Start on all fours. Perform one cat / cow flow.
    • Push hips back to Child’s Pose.
    • Flow forward to plank on knees. Lower to the bottom of a push up. Exhale in to Cobra pose.
    • Press hips high into a Downdog pose. Return to all fours and repeat.

A structured strength training program with consistent conditioning work is important, don’t get me wrong. But even the best 1-hour daily workout can’t undo the detrimental effects of sitting all day, every day. Give yourself strategically placed breaks throughout your day – every hour on the hour – take 10 minutes to sneak in a ‘movement snack’ and keep your body & mind fresh, and enjoy an extra 30+ minutes of activity you didn’t know you had!

Tiny tweeks in your daily routine can lead to BIG changes!

❤ Lo

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