Recently, I have been talking to lots and lots of different people at an organisation where I am the head of wellbeing. And almost every single one of them have reported this mid-afternoon slump in energy. Does this sound familiar to you? And if so, have you ever wondered how to stay energised after lunch? The main thing I am discovering is that people just are not physically moving enough. Given the current circumstances I know that is a bit obvious. We are working from home in the main, people are not necessarily going out and about. You may even skip or have skipped exercise all together. And there is, of course, a lot of staring at screens. But there are ways that you can move within the confines of a building if you really cannot get out for a five- or ten-minute walk or a quick jog.
This is where the concept of movement snacking comes is. Think of exercise as movement snacking. In the same way that you might go over to the fridge and pick up a snack from the fridge, you are going to snack on movement. There are lots of different ways you can do this. You could use your staircase, for example, to run up and down five times. You could have a heavy object near your desk, like a kettlebell, a dumbbell, a sack of spuds, books in a rucksack, anything like that will do, and you can squat with that. You can push it overhead. You can do body-weight exercises like squats and press-ups, and you can even get out and just stand outside your front door or in the communal garden or in your own garden and do 10 jumping jacks or skip for two minutes.
Exercise Doesn’t Have To Be One Big Block
So, for two to five minutes of every hour, I want you to be thinking about what you can snack on in terms of movement, because exercise does not have to be one big block. It certainly does not need to be an hour done at some point during the day. Exercise is most effective when it is blended with other types of movement, and it is most effective when you have lots of little spikes of daily life movement throughout the day.
Little And Often
So, snack on daily physical movement little and often. What are your exercise snacks? What are your go-tos? Have you got your environment set up so all of that is ready? So there is minimal decisions that you have to make to make it happen.
The other great thing about exercise snacking is that it requires no to little equipment. And remember exercise does not have to be one big block! Try exercise snacking, see if it makes a difference to how you feel and let me know how you get on or your thoughts. That’s it from me. Stay healthy and all the best for now.
This article first appeared in the August issue of SE22 magazine.