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: Emily Freeman

A workout may not happen every day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. Think of “exercise snacking” as one of those days where you don’t have time to fit in a meal. Instead of forgoing food entirely, you grab bites here and there, aka snacks. You can apply this same concept to exercise. Whether it’s a short walk, HIIT routine, yoga session, or strength workout, focus on getting in smaller chunks of movement throughout your day. 

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Home Fitness Routine 

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.  This is great news for those who don’t have a whole hour block to dedicate to fitness each day — instead, short bursts of exercise can be fit within your day. 

The trick here is to also add variety depending on your unique fitness goals and to be consistent. Not sure where to start? With your FitOn program, you can try some of the variety we’ve built for you right in the “for you” tab! You can also 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 Give Your Brain Power a Boost

Studies have shown that regular physical exercise improves cognitive function. By inserting short bursts of exercise into your day, you’re not just giving your brain the break it needs to fire up and stay focused again. Your body is responding to psychological effects that promote cognitive health and an overall feeling of 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. 

#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 be fit  

Most of us are busy crushing other goals outside of fitness. But guess what — you can have everything you want, including a fit body and amazing, full life. Exercise snacking allows you to do the things you love and get in the exercise that will help you look and feel your absolute best. 

Quick Hit Workouts You’ll Love

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 and keep your body guessing for optimal results.