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  • Writer's pictureNashville PT

What Is a Movement Snack? Incorporating Active Breaks into Your Day.


four people moving their bodies and a variety of snacks

In today's sedentary lifestyle, finding ways to move more throughout the day is crucial for our overall health and well-being. One innovative approach gaining popularity is the concept of a "movement snack." In this blog post, we will explore what a movement snack is, its benefits, and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine to improve your physical health and make movement a part of your lifestyle.


What Is a Movement Snack?


Think of a movement snack as a short burst of physical activity that you can enjoy throughout your day. It's like taking a mini-break to engage in simple exercises or movements to get your blood flowing and your body energized. It's a quick and effective way to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting and increase your overall activity levels.



Benefits of Incorporating Movement Snacks:


1. Increased Energy and Focus: When you're feeling tired or mentally drained, a movement snack can provide a refreshing break. Engaging in physical activity stimulates blood circulation and oxygen flow, boosting your energy levels and enhancing mental clarity and focus.


2. Improved Physical Health: Movement snacks offer numerous health benefits. They help increase your heart rate, strengthen your muscles, improve flexibility, and enhance overall fitness. Regular physical activity, even in short bursts, can reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.


3. Enhanced Mood and Well-being: Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in our brains. Taking movement breaks can help reduce stress, alleviate feelings of anxiety or depression, and promote a sense of well-being and positivity.


4. Increased Productivity: Incorporating movement snacks into your workday can actually improve productivity. Engaging in brief periods of physical activity can enhance cognitive function, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. It also helps break up sedentary behavior and prevents mental fatigue, leading to increased efficiency in tasks.



How to Incorporate Movement Snacks into Your Day:


1. Set Reminders: Schedule regular reminders throughout your day to prompt you to take movement snacks. You can use a timer on your phone or computer to notify you to stand up, stretch, or perform a quick exercise routine.


2. Simple Exercises: Choose exercises or movements that can be done easily in any space. Examples include marching in place, stretching your arms and legs, doing a few squats or lunges, or even dancing to your favorite song. The key is to get your body moving and your heart rate up.


3. Break Up Sitting Time: If you have a sedentary job, aim to take movement snacks every 30 minutes to an hour. Stand up, walk around, or do some light stretching to break up prolonged sitting.


4. Make It Fun: Get creative and make your movement snacks enjoyable. Involve your colleagues, friends, or family members. You can even turn it into a friendly competition or challenge to motivate each other to move more.


5. Find Activities You Enjoy: Choose activities that you genuinely enjoy, whether it's taking a short walk, practicing yoga poses, or playing a quick game of catch. When you enjoy the activity, you're more likely to stick with it and make movement snacks a regular part of your routine.


Remember, every movement snack counts! Even short bursts of activity can have a significant impact on your health and well-being. So, take a break, move your body, and reap the benefits of incorporating movement snacks into your day.



References:

- Pedersen BK, Saltin B. Exercise as medicine - evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Dec;25 Suppl 3:1-72. doi: 10.1111/sms.12581.

- Chaput JP, et al. Sedentary behavior and health: Do we really need to exercise? Curr Opin Cardiol. 2018 Sep;33(5):575-583. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000538.

- Stanton R, et al. Associations between sitting-related behaviours, body fat and body composition: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2019 Mar;20(3):526-537. doi: 10.1111/obr.12815.

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