Movement Snacks: How To Implement This Exercise Trend Into Your Daily Routine

We know that regular exercise is one of the most important things for maintaining our health, but sometimes it's difficult to cram workouts into our busy schedules. An hour at the gym could be spent doing laundry, finishing up a work project, or even taking a nap. But what if you could break up your workout into multiple mini-sessions throughout the day? Movement snacks are the perfect solution for those with busy lives. Instead of one long exercise session, small bursts of movement throughout the day can fulfill your workout requirements without using up a significant chunk of time.


Movement snacks are just as effective as one long workout. According to Healthline, studies show that multiple mini-workouts of at least 10 minutes each will give you results similar to one long, sweaty session. The only caveat is to make sure you're putting in the same amount of intensity and total finished time. Here's how you can start implementing movement snacks as part of your exercise regimen.

Go for a walk

Many of us walk to get from point A to point B, but why not turn your steps into a mini-workout session? Instead of an ambling stroll, fire up your heart rate with a brisk walk. Even a quick 10 minutes counts toward your cardio. Walking is great exercise, especially for those with joint pain. It's low impact, which makes it easy on the knees and back, but it's also a great way to improve cardiovascular health. Just 30 minutes a day is an effective workout. If you break that up into three 10-minute movement snacks, you'll be set for the day.


You can also add some strength training to your walks by carrying light dumbbells or strapping on ankle weights. The resistance will make your heart work harder, while also toning your muscles. Just remember to keep your pace up so that you'll get the most out of your short workout. Multi-tasking at its finest!

Run for 10 minutes at a time

If you don't have time for a long, leisurely run, why not break up your workout into three short sprints? Running is one of the best ways to improve your heart and lungs, and it can be therapeutic, as well. It's also great for overall conditioning, as running makes you use your whole body. While a short, slow jog won't do much for your health in a short amount of time, a nice, fast pace will get your heart pumping. If you run at 6 mph, in 10 minutes, you'll have run one mile. If you do three short runs a day, you'll have netted three miles! That's a major accomplishment.


Breaking up your run into three sessions is a great way for beginners to get their mileage in without getting overtired. It also seems less insurmountable if you think of running one mile at a time versus three in one go. Over time, you can increase your distance and pace to get the most out of your movement snacks.

Take the stairs

Do you work at an office or have a doctor's appointment? Skip the elevator and take the stairs instead. Be opportunistic and use every chance you can to squeeze in a movement snack. Climbing stairs is a great way to torch calories, while also toning your body. In fact, the Run Society states that stair climbing is an even better workout than running or walking. The movement forces your muscles to fight gravity, adding resistance and making your legs work harder. You also have to use your balance and stability more than when working out on a flat surface.


Like with walking and running, the efficacy of your stair-climbing workout depends on how hard you go. One flight of stairs isn't going to do much for your health, but 3-5 flights can count as a movement snack. Bonus points if you run up the stairs or take them two at a time.

Schedule three different workouts a day

Many of us are so busy that by the end of the day, we forget to work out. When we do remember, we're much too tired to drag ourselves off the sofa. Why not schedule your workout snacks during the day when you know you'll have time for a quick session? It's easy to set aside 10-15 minutes during a lunch break or an afternoon lull. Set an alarm on your calendar or phone as a reminder.


A perfect workout would include using your whole body, and workout snacks can help you break up your routine so that you utilize every muscle. Your first block of exercise can focus on your lower body. Alternate between squats, lunges, and deadlifts. You can also work in some calf raises while holding weights. The second movement snack can be all about your upper body. Pushups are great for building muscle tone in your chest, back, shoulders, and triceps, while also working your core. Using weights, do sets of curls, shoulder presses, and rows. For your third mini-workout, focus on your core. Do sit-ups, twists, and leg lifts to work out your whole abdomen. You can also incorporate some yoga and stretching, which will help you relax and wind down after a long day.


Get up and move

Many of us sit in front of our computers for eight hours straight, but doing so is extremely bad for our health. Not only does staring at a screen for an extended period of time cause eye strain, but lack of movement can also lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess fat, per the Mayo Clinic. Experts suggest getting up and taking a break every 30 minutes. During a few of those breaks, incorporate some exercises to get your heart rate going. Do jumping jacks and high knees for a few minutes. How about push-ups against your desk? Any movement is better than staying stagnant for hours.


You can also do workouts while sitting at your desk. Leg raises are great for toning your quads and will get your blood flowing. Sitting on an exercise ball is good for your posture and building core strength. Get some ab workouts in by doing some crunches in between work calls. Before you know it, you'll have done a full workout by the end of the day.

Exercise while watching television

With movement snacks, you don't have to choose between watching your favorite television show or working out. You can incorporate your exercise and watch "Real Housewives" at the same time. If you're too engrossed in the show to work out at the same time, wait until a commercial comes on. A typical commercial break is about 2-3 minutes, which gives you just enough time to do a couple of different exercises.


In this case, use high intensity interval training (HIIT) to get your heart rate high while you work out, and then use your watch time to take a breather or do a lower-intensity movement. HIIT workouts burn more calories in a shorter amount of time than a longer, more moderate one, per Healthline. An added bonus of HIIT workouts is that they increase your metabolic rate, so your body continues to burn calories after you're done. We can all agree that movement snacks are a much healthier alternative to snacking on chips while watching our favorite shows.