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Use Movement Snacks to Improve Your Fitness

By Staff Writer
Share to PinterestUse Movement Snacks to Improve Your Fitness
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We've all seen those ads and PSAs asking us to move more for health reasons, but with a hectic schedule, how do you find the time to be less sedentary? Movement snacks may be the key! These short bursts of exercise are designed to fit in between other activities, so, if you're short on time, movement snacks can help you improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, and even your mental well-being.

01

Schedule 15 minutes for a stretch

Share to PinterestWoman stretching while working on computer
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Stretches are excellent ways to move more. If you are a multitasker, you can even fit them in while watching TV or on a (non-video) conference call. General stretches help prepare you for exercise and improve your balance. For example, stretch your hamstrings by sitting on the floor with your legs out straight. Then extend your arms and bend your waist forward. Hold this position for 25 to 30 seconds. Repeat it three to four times before moving on to another stretching exercise. Calf stretches are also easy to do. With one hand on a wall, step one foot back and gently press the heel toward the ground til you feel your lower leg muscles stretching.

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02

Learn Pilates

Share to PinterestGroup of women working balance exercise in the gym.
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Pilates improves balance and coordination and increases core strength, and it's easy to incorporate a short routine into your day. Use a few of the classic Pilates moves, such as roll-ups, supine spine twists, and leg circles will get the muscles and joints moving in just a few minutes. This form of exercise will also help you relax and focus, so you can return to work feeling refreshed after this movement snack.

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03

Try jumping in place

Share to PinterestSkipping the rope. Fit woman wearing red shorts and top skipping the rope at home in the morning
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When was the last time you used a jump rope? Jumping in place improves bone density and boosts your immune system. It also helps reduce blood pressure, improving heart health. So, for a quick movement snack, grab a jump rope and start skipping in your backyard—it's sure to get your heart pumping.

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04

Walk to the shops

Share to PinterestFemale in warm coat and knitted hat holding smart phone and walking in park.
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One easy way to fit in a movement snack is to walk or cycle instead of taking the car to run your local errands. You'll save on gas, and you'll also benefit from fresh air and natural movement. On the way back, you'll be adding a little bit of weight with your shopping bags for a (slightly) more strenuous workout.

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05

Do some yoga moves

Share to PinterestA single mom doing different yoga poses in her living room at home with the family dog.
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Yoga improves heart health, reduces inflammation, and strengthens your bones and muscles. It also helps boost your mood and reduce stress. Take a 15-minute break for a movement snack and work through a few yoga positions. Start with a traditional standing pose, move into a downward dog, and finish with a cobra pose. Before long, you'll reap the benefits of feeling healthier by slotting in mini yoga sessions a few times a week.

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06

Dig in the garden

Share to PinterestWoman working in the vegetable garden
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Getting outdoors is always a good idea! It helps you maintain vitamin D levels, especially in winter. If just wandering your yard doesn't cut it for you, dig in the garden, mow the lawn, or pull those weeds. It's surprising what you can get done in just 15 or 30 minutes. Your garden will benefit from a movement snack—and so will you.

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07

Star jump on your break

Star jumps engage the entire body. You'll exercise a range of muscles, from your calves to your shoulders, and you'll feel energized to boot. Start in a crouched position, then jump up and spread your arms and legs before returning to the original position. Repeat for several repetitions. Start off by doing two to three sets of star jumps, and you'll soon find it makes a difference to your overall fitness and well-being.
Share to PinterestA handsome young man working out at home. Doing jumping jacks exercise at home.
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Get out of your chair

From a public health perspective, sedentary behavior is the new smoking. People who sit for long periods of time during the day are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. You also burn fewer calories when sitting still. Use a five-minute break to move more, and you'll feel refreshed while keeping your muscles fit. For example, use the break to walk to the other side of the office, run up and down the stairs, or go and speak to a colleague.
Share to PinterestWoman stretching while working at home during pandemic lockdown
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Use a hula hoop

Hula hoops are a fun, retro exercise that might make you feel like a kid again. When you hula hoop, you release endorphins and improve your coordination. An added benefit is that regular hula hoop exercises help improve your muscle tone. You can hula hoop on a break or schedule some time at the beginning or end of the day—it's even more fun with some music! Once you've built the habit, look for weighted hula hoops to enhance your movement snack.
Share to PinterestSmiling woman exercising with plastic hoop in living room
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Dance to the music

Do you have a playlist of energizing music that you can dance to? Dancing is an excellent form of exercise and improves general health and balance. It's also an excellent mood-boosting activity. So, if you need exciting ways to get more exercise into your day, turn up the volume and rock out to your favorite tunes.
Share to PinterestWoman dancing and listening music in the morning in her kitchen
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