Exercise Snacking: Lose Weight Whilst Watching TV! (Honest).
Millions of people around the world are currently undergoing weightloss battles. Millions of us are overweight and obese, and struggling to reach a healthy weight. This article is about "Exercise Snacking," a technique you can use to help with your weight loss journey. It should be practised in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise regime.
Follow the steps to start your own exercise snacking regime!
What is Exercise Snacking?
Exercise snacking involves a person participating in short bursts of exercise throughout the day, and can be done whilst watching tv, using the computer, or relaxing at home. It is best described using an example. Instead of watching tv for an hour and doing no exercise whatsoever, you can get active and lose weight, without needing to turn the tv off! When the commercial breaks are on during the show, get up and spend the few minutes of the ad break doing brisk exercise. You may do star jumps, jog on the spot, or do stretches. As extra motivation, time yourself. At the end of your program, add up all the exercise you have done, and you may surprise yourself! Whilst watching a few hours of television, you may have completed 45+ minutes of exercise, and you didn't even have to leave the room!
1. Choose a Time
Sit down and think about a time of day when you are not very active. This may be whilst you are watching your daily soap operas, listening to a long radio program, or sitting at your computer for long periods of time surfing the Internet of completing work. Try to think of one such time period for each day.
It is best if the chosen time is at home, or in a private place where you feel comfortable exercising. You may sit at a computer for long periods of time at work in the office, but you may not feel comfortable exercising in front of your work colleagues!
2. Work Out a Schedule
Once you have chosen a time period each day for your exercise snacking, think about how long this time period actually is. I'll use the example of a one-hour television program.
When you've worked this out, you need to develop a schedule. Some people may like to write it down, but this is not necessary. Doing this during a television show is easy. Your schedule may be that you will do your exercise snacking during the ad breaks. You can do the same thing with a radio program. If you are choosing to do your exercise snacking whilst using the computer, you may set a timer to remind you to do your exercise every ten or fifteen minutes. Think about what would be good for you. This may change over time.
Your schedule will indicate to you when you will be doing your exercise. If you are watching a tv program, you will get off the couch and exercise for the five or so minutes of the advertisements. Then you will sit down, and watch more of your program. This system repeats when the next ad breaks start. If doing exercise snacking whilst using the computer, when your timer goes off every ten or fifteen minutes, you may choose to exercise for five minutes, then get back to your computer work.
3. Choose Exercises
The next thing you need to do is come up with a list of exercises you will complete during your exercise snacking session. Here are a list of quick and easy exercises you can do:
- Running on the spot
- Star jumps
- Sit-ups/stomach crunches
- Using a piece of exercise equipment, e.g. exercise bike
- Skipping with a rope
- Step-ups (e.g. on phone books)
You may choose to alternate the exercises, e.g. do a different exercise each ad break, or you may want to do one exercise each day. I would recommend varying the exercises so your whole body gets a workout.
4. Time Yourself
As you complete each exercise snacking session, time yourself. For example, you may exercise for 5 five-minute ad breaks. Add this up to get a total exercise time of 25 minutes. To motivate yourself, record this on a chart so you can keep track of how much exercise you are doing each day.
5. Convert the Calories
Each day, you can visit a calorie-counting website (here's one I found after a quick search: http://www.alfitness.com.au/exercise-calorie-counter.asp) and you can easily work out how many calories you have burned. This is an extra motivator, and again you can record this and try to improve each day.
6. Tell Me How You're Going!
I'd love to hear from anyone trying exercise snacking. Tell me how you're going, whether you are motivated to do this every day, and whether you are losing weight or not.