Sorry, no actual snacking involved…
Fitness trends come and go. And while some are fads hit the fitness headlines for all the wrong reasons, there are a few new ideas that have a grain of good advice at their centre. Fitness snacking is an interesting new concept that you may have seen popping up in your newsfeed over the last few months. The idea comes from personal trainer, Matt Roberts, who has worked with celebrities like Naomi Campbell and Samantha Cameron. He suggests we aim for a number of ten or fifteen-minute bursts of activity several times a day over a dedicated, traditional workout session three times a week. Roberts suggests that with increasingly hectic schedules, and busy lives, little and often is a much more manageable way to get your workout in. It could also counteract the effects of long sedentary days spent sitting at a desk. So far, so sensible, right? I’ve taken a closer look at fitness snacking and how it could work for you, below.
What Does Fitness Snacking Look Like In Reality?
Ok, so fitness snacking might sound good on paper, but what does it look like in reality? And is it really practical to fit it into your day?
You might wake yourself up with a 10-minute yoga or pilates session to get you prepared for the day ahead. Then take the twenty-minute cycle to work rather than using the car. When lunchtime swings around, you are going to want to hit the pavement rather than checking out the latest celebrity gossip at your desk. Finally, a 15 minute HIIT session to round your day off and get your heart pumping. Fitness snacking is possible for most of us, no matter how hectic our schedules, but it still requires discipline and commitment.
What Are The Advantages of Fitness Snacking?
The immediate advantage of fitness snacking is that it allows you to squeeze some type of exercise or workout into a small timeframe, which means no more excuses when it comes to your health and fitness. It’s also been proven to have some health benefits, and numerous studies show that you don’t need to slog it out at the gym for hours on end to get good results. HIIT workouts are a great example of how you can squeeze a lot into a small timeframe.
What Are The Disadvantages of Fitness Snacking?
For some people, fitness snacking just isn’t practical. If your job sees you behind the wheel all day, for example, or you work in a location where it’s not practical to get out at lunchtime and exercise, it’s probably not going to be a good fit. You also need to take care that at least some of the activities you are choosing are raising your heart rate, to ensure you aren’t missing out of the healthy heart benefits of more traditional cardio and strength programmes. If you are training for a specific goal, or to achieve a high level of fitness for an event, fitness snacking may not be intense enough to give you what you need from your workout.
The Bottom Line
Fitness snacking is a great way to introduce more activity into your everyday. But it won’t work for everyone. And you need to make sure that the ‘snacking’ that you are doing is tailored to have a meaningful impact on your health. A couple of 5 minute strolls, twice a day, while an improvement on nothing at all, may not give you the gains you have been hoping for. Your fitness experience is incredibly personal to you and you should put together a programme based on what works for your body, not the latest celeb trend.
What’s your take on this new fitness buzzword? I would love to hear your views, so head over one of our social media channels and share your fitness snacking experience. Next week, we are getting back outside. With five reasons to take your workout outdoors, however cold and miserable it gets out there. I promise that autumn and winter workouts outside can still be a lot of fun! I’ll be in your inbox at the same time next week. Until then, keep being amazing!