Why You Should ‘Exercise Snack’ Throughout the Day

Small bouts of exercise — like climbing stairs — could improve fitness

Adriana Velez
Elemental
Published in
3 min readFeb 6, 2019

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Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

IfIf you’re like most Americans, you’ve been avoiding the gym. And it’s probably not necessarily because you hate exercising. Getting a workout can involve traveling to a fitness location, changing clothes, using equipment, navigating other exercisers, and then, of course, 30 to 60 minutes of physical endurance.

But what if taking the stairs a few times a day could “count” as exercise?

Canadian scientists who helped popularize high intensity interval training (HIIT) and the “one-minute workout” have released new research that supports a new way to improve physical fitness: “exercise snacks.”

No, it’s not a protein-based energy gel. It’s what researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada call short spurts of exercise interspersed throughout the day. Their recent study, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, found that short bouts of physical movement — like briskly climbing stairs a few times a day — can effectively improve a person’s fitness level.

In other recent studies, exercise snacking has shown to be effective in reducing blood sugar and in lowering blood pressure — more effective, even, than one…

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Adriana Velez
Elemental

Writer, restorative futurist, lifter of heavy things