Exercise Snacking

Exercise snacking refers to exercising in shorter bouts of time, such as two 5-minute exercises per day. The benefits of resistance training and routine exercise on improving overall health and strength are clear, but what happens if you choose to perform shorter bouts of training?

A recent study in the Journal of Aging Research found that exercise snacking may be a promising strategy to improve leg muscle function and size in older adults. Over 28 days, the researchers measured significant improvements in 60-second sit-to-stand test scores, leg press power, and thigh muscle size in older adults who exercises in two 5-minute bouts daily versus older adults who were told to maintain their habitual physical activity levels.

What does this mean for you? Well if you are finding it difficult to commit to a full exercise program, you may still be able to make improvements in functional mobility and muscle strength with just two 5-minute bouts of exercise daily. The exercises used in the study were as many repetitions as possible in 1-minute each of:

  1. Sit-to-stand from a chair

  2. Seated knee extensions (alternating legs)

  3. Standing knee bends (alternating legs)

  4. Standing march in place

  5. Standing calf raises

Don’t feel restricted to just those 5 exercises. Have fun with it and choose 5 new exercises each week. The body likes to have some variety.

Stay active and fight frailty!

Corey Hall, PT, DPT

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