A New Way to Snack
You might be surprised at what you can accomplish in 20-60 seconds!
We all have are go-to's for snacks. Perhaps it's an apple and almond butter, “ants on a log” (one of my childhood favorites—celery and peanut butter, topped with raisins,) or veggies and hummus. At times, maybe those snacks aren't as “healthy...” chips, sweets and the like. However, what if there was a different way to snack?
What if you had a different go-to when you were feeling bored, tired, or if emotions started coming up for you during your day?
What if that snack was...
Wait for it...
Yup, you read correctly and it's not a typo!
There is a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise that looked at this particular idea. Their “snack” took only 20-60 seconds to complete and consisted of briskly climbing 55 steps during that time. The individuals in the study were men, overweight or obese, and they completed these “'snacks” 9 times during their day. The researchers then compared blood insulin levels when they had their snacks versus sitting for 9 hours during their day.
With many individuals working from home currently, this isn't such a far-stretched scenario!
What did they find? When the participants had their “snacks” of exercise, their blood insulin levels were 17% lower than when they sat for 9 hours. Why is this important? High insulin levels are a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These short breaks during your day can add up to a positive difference in your overall health.
Here are two side notes, and not part of the study mentioned above:
Moving your body during your work day is also something that is ergonomically important. Most individuals feel less discomfort and more ease during their day, and possibly even more focused and productive work, when they are able to take moving breaks during their day.
If you are experiencing “stomach grumbles”, lack of concentration, and a lack of patience within your work tasks, these could be signs that you actually need some food! Choose a food-snack that you know you enjoy and that will give you long-lasting energy.
What would it take for you to try exercise snacks?
As always, if there is a reason why you shouldn't be moving up/down stairs briskly, please don't do it! Consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine with any questions or concerns.
Reference: Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2020. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000002431