As we get older, staying active is incredibly important. However, studies suggest that 40 percent of middle-aged adults do less than 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking per month. Dr. Michael Mosley joined BBC One’s Morning Live on Monday to discuss sports snacks and how it’s as beneficial as 30 minutes of uninterrupted exercise once a day.
What is sports snacks?
“It’s a great name – snacks workout.” said Michael. “[But there is] no food involved, these are short workouts only.
“We all know that we should exercise at moderate intensity for about 30 minutes a day and 150 minutes a week.
“But we often struggle to incorporate it into the day, so the idea behind snacking is that you can break it down into really, really short chunks.
“And it can only be a minute or two, it can be a five-minute walk,” he told BBC Morning Live hosts.
“There is research to suggest that it is as beneficial as doing it in one piece, and it can be more beneficial.
“It can be so easy – and I’m going to demonstrate now – to get up and sit in your chair,” added Michael.
But can short, moderate workouts really be as good as a longer workout?
In a previous Michael Mosley BBC Two episode: Trust me, I’m a doctor, he put snacks to the test.
For a short experiment, volunteers were recruited who did far less than the recommended amount of exercise.
They tried two different approaches; One day they do 30 minutes of brisk walking at once, and another day they try exercise snacks, where they break those 30 minutes into six bursts of five minutes spread over the day.
Four weeks later, the volunteers returned to find out if exercise snacks were more beneficial than traditional methods of exercise.
When the 30 minutes of walking took place, the blood sugar and blood lipids of the volunteers were monitored.
On average, they were around 40 percent lower than the day you did not exercise at all.
When compared to sports snacks, very similar results were found – it was about 40 percent.
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Weight training like lifting weights can also increase your heart rate.
If you don’t have weights, fill an empty milk jug with water and lift it up, alternatively take two tins.
But you don’t even have to necessarily increase your heart rate, sports snacks can also be based on stretching or mobility.
Some simple stretching exercises or grabbing a yoga mat to loosen up your body still count.