What is Exercise Snacking + 5 Reasons You Need to Try It

This may be the ultimate way to fit movement into the busiest days.

By: Lexy Parsons

Maintaining an active lifestyle and regular exercise routine can feel challenging at times, especially when your to-do list is long, and your schedule is jam-packed. However, there’s a trendy approach to fitness that might just be the solution you’ve been looking for, and it’s known as “exercise snacking.” 

Similar to grabbing quick bites throughout the day to satisfy hunger when you don’t have time for a full meal, exercise snacking involves incorporating short bursts of physical activity into your routine when a full workout just isn’t in the cards. Whether it’s a short walk, a sweaty HIIT sesh, a quick and calming yoga flow, or a FitOn strength workout, exercise snacking enables you to enjoy movement in smaller, more manageable portions — even on your busiest days.

How to Snack on Exercise 

If long workouts don’t fit into your current busy schedule, there’s good news — some research shows that short bursts of high-intensity interval training may offer similar results as those who do endurance workouts. What does this mean? Rather than dedicate a whole hour block to fitness each day, utilizing short bursts of exercise can help you yield comparable results without sacrificing your time or schedule.

Of course, exercise snacking will look different from person to person, depending on your unique fitness goals and needs. However, no matter your fitness level or exercise goals, the trick here is to be consistent!

Not sure where to start? Keep scrolling! We’ve got you covered with quick and effective FitOn workouts that serve as the perfect snack. Plus, with FitOn, you can try some of the variety we’ve built for you right in the “for you” tab or browse each workout category and choose workouts that you can fit into your busy schedule. Haven’t joined our community yet? Sign up for free and get access to unlimited workouts and meditations.

5 Benefits of Exercise Snacking 

Exercise snacking goes beyond the benefits of regular strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Intermittent exercise throughout your day will:

#1 Enhance Cognitive Function & Benefit Your Brain

Studies have shown that regular physical exercise improves cognitive function. This includes improved memory and focus, reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline, reduced risk of depression and anxiety, and even improved sleep. However, you don’t need to work out for hours on end to see the results! In fact, according to a study published in Neuropsychologia, you can see brain benefits within just 10 minutes!

So, by inserting short bursts of exercise into your day, you’re not only helping your brain to fire up and stay focused again in the moment, but you’re also gaining long-term benefits by improving cognitive health and an overall well-being. 

#2 Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

When it comes to weight loss, science shows that it doesn’t matter when you get in your workout, it just matters that you do it. Participants in this study all lost weight regardless if they did their workouts as one longer session or in multiple sessions per day. 

And if you’re still skeptical, there’s research to suggest that short bouts of exercise throughout the day not only yield similar benefits to longer workouts, but they also appear to have the most significant impact on reducing the risk for obesity.

#3 Reset Your Stress Levels

When you’re having one of those days, thinking about working out can feel like an additional layer of stress. We’ve all been there when we feel the clock ticking like we need to use every second towards checking off to-dos. However, short bursts of exercise can give you the relief you need to be able to push through a chaotic day, stay centered, and get everything done. Short bursts of exercise release endorphins, the feel-good hormone, put you back in the present moment and reduce levels of anxiety. Yes, please! Can we get a round of peace for the table, please? 

RELATED: A Holistic Psychologist’s Top 3 Self-Care Hacks For Anxiety 

#4 Give You The Perfect Pick-Me-Up

When you’re fatigued, exercising may not sound all that appealing. However, getting in a quick workout can actually give you the perfect energy boost. Even just ten minutes enhances blood flow and sends more nutrients to muscle tissue which gives your energy production an oomph. 

#5 Allow You to Live Your Life… and Maintain Your Fitness 

Most of us are busy crushing other goals outside of fitness. But that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your fitness goals! With exercise snacking, you can achieve the best of both worlds —  an amazing, full life and a strong, fit body. These short-duration bouts of movement allow you to do the things you love and get in the exercise that will help you look and feel your absolute best.

Quick “Snack” Workouts You’ll Love

Have 8 minutes to spare? Perfect. Grab your mat and prepare to work your entire body with Danielle Pascente! This quick HIIT workout will help you work up a sweat and boost your endorphins — the perfect way to boost your mood and combat energy slumps.

This as many rounds as possible workout with Danielle Pascente may sound daunting… but it’s just 14 minutes! Plus, you’ll target your total body, increase your heart rate and metabolic rate, and feel like you just put in an hour at the gym. Grab your dumbbells, roll out your mat, and hit play whenever you have 15 minutes of time during your busy day.

What if you could get a quick and effective workout without leaving your desk? Turns out, you can! This 10-minute barre-inspired workout with Sydney Belina is perfect when you want to burn and sculpt your arms with little time and little space — all you need is a chair!

If you’re spending 60 minutes doing cardio… try squeezing in 6 minutes! Yep, that’s all you need to rev your heart rate and boost your energy. This workout with Sydney Belina targets your total body and can be done anytime, anywhere!

Hungry For An Exercise Snack? Browse Our Pantry

Need some extra inspiration to get your exercise snack on? The FitOn app has a library full of quick, effective workouts. By fitting movement into your day where you can, you’ll cut down on commute time to the gym and keep your body guessing for optimal results.