We get it.
Fitting fitness into your life is hard. Setting aside an hour each day to go to the gym, break out your yoga mat, or go for a run can be a burden and a chore.
And even if you are consistent with your fitness, everyone has those days where it feels like you have back-to-back responsibilities and exercise just isn’t in the picture.
That’s where TikTok’s recent fitness obsession comes into play.
Micro-fitness (also known as exercise snacking) is the realistic and accessible fitness trend we need in these increasingly busy days.
Read on to learn more about micro-fitness—the fitness routine made to fit around your busy life.
What is Micro-Fitness?
Considered any workout or physical activity you do in short spurts, micro-fitness is made to fit into those in-between moments when you have nothing to do.
Squeeze micro-fitness in between meetings, waiting for your dinner to cook, or during your daily walks with the dog. Whether stair climbing or doing squats as you watch TV, micro-fitness is meant to get you moving and your heart pumping for as little as three minutes. And if you’re wondering whether micro-fitness actually works, you may be surprised at how effective short spurts of fitness can actually be.
The Health Benefits of Micro-Fitness
According to a study by Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers found that three bouts a day of vigorous stair workouts performed three times a week proved highly effective at improving cardiovascular health. While micro-fitness may seem completely contract to the hour-long workouts you see at the gym, it’s actually based on the same model as HIIT—short spurts of intense physical activities followed by an active rest period.
Micro-fitness, or exercise snacking, is also closely modeled after how “Blue Zone Populations” (also known as the healthiest and happiest populations in the world) structure their exercise. Rather than actively incorporating exercise into their routine, blue zone populations stay healthy by naturally moving throughout the day—whether it’s taking the stairs instead of an elevator or walking rather than driving.
Other Advantages to Micro-Fitness
Besides being science-backed as an effective fitness method, micro-fitness offers other advantages as well. It’s adaptable no matter where you are or how much time you have in your day, and it’s also accessible for people of all fitness levels. Whether you’re just starting to get into exercise or you’re a long-standing fitness fanatic, micro-fitness benefits humans of all fitness levels to combat sitting, the new smoking of our generation in terms of heart health and overall fitness.
Tips to Incorporate Micro-Fitness Into Your Routine
The best thing about micro-fitness is that you can (and should!) tailor it to you, your schedule, and what your body most needs. That said, if you’re not sure how to incorporate micro-fitness into your day-to-day life, explore some tips and tricks to get you started.
Tip One: Set Timers or Calendar Reminders Throughout Your Work Day
If you’re like me and live during the week off of your work calendar, then add calendar reminders throughout the day to stand up, stretch, and snack on a quick exercise. Ergonomic experts recommend standing five to fifteen minutes per hour of sitting, so use that time to do a quick burst of physical activity to keep your body moving throughout the day.
Tip Two: Leverage Your Body’s Natural Cues To Get Up and Move
Whenever I feel the post-lunch slump, my immediate reaction is to reach for a sugary treat or a cup of coffee as reset. Rather than relying on food-related energy boosts, try doing a minute or two of jumping jacks to increase alertness instead. Exercise is linked with endorphins, which boosts your mood and your focus in both the short-term and long-term.
Types of Micro-Fitness Workouts
I recently wrote an article about deskercise, and even several months later I’m still obsessed:
- See More Here: Try These Trending Wellness Practices For WFH Workers, From Fauxmuting To Deskercise.
The perfect exercise snack to do while working, deskercising involves moving at your desk throughout the day – whether through investing in a treadmill desk, under-the-desk pedaler, or standing and stretching.
Choose the Slow
As a society, we’ve created tools to get us places faster and more efficiently, often at the expense of moving our bodies. We take escalators instead of stairs, cars instead of bikes, and Zoom calls instead of in-person meetings. All of this leads us to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Although counter-cultural to our efficiency-first society, choosing the slow is actually better for our long-term health. According to UVA Health, taking the stairs burns approximately 5-11 calories per minute, more calories than jogging.
Add Micro-Fitness To Your Morning and Evening Routines
Start and end your days with movement to help with more consistent sleep and energy levels. Whether you start your day with a gentle morning flow or a quick ab workout, this movement will get your body ready for what’s to come in the day. End your day with gentle movement and stretching to prepare your body for rest.
Whether you’re new to fitness or looking to change things up, micro-fitness is the perfect addition to any lifestyle from moms-on-the-go to days filled with work-related travel. Adapt and adjust to fit your lifestyle needs, and get moving for a healthier, happier you.
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Photo: Karolina Grabowski via Pexels