Yoga Snacking

Yoga Snacking

Looking for a convenient way to workout with a busy schedule? Try exercise snacking — or yoga snacking — where you can dip in and out of any kind of movement without too much commitment. By Dean Zweck

Reading time: 4 minutes

Okay, so what is exercise snacking — or, in this case, yoga snacking? Exercise snacking is the phrase for bite-sized workouts you can perform throughout the day. These bursts of exercises can be as brief as a few minutes, and they add up over the day. The idea of exercise snacking is to keep your body moving consistently, even if it's just for a few minutes at a time.

The benefits of exercise snacking are manifold, and could yield a huge, positive impact on your daily life, especially if you’re tied to a desk during the day, or otherwise struggle to fit yoga and movement into your day. Here are some key benefits and examples:

  • Breaking up prolonged periods of sitting, which is excellent for overall health and keeping your body active
  • Aids in weight management and improves posture
  • Quick sets of squats or push ups between tasks can boost productivity, fitness and raise energy levels
  • Boosts metabolism, resulting in additional calorie burning
  • Elevates mood and provides an energy boost even with a few jumping jacks or a couple of rounds of sun salutations
Yoga Snacking

NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and revolves around the calories burned during everyday activities that aren’t planned exercise. Simple choices like taking the stairs instead of the lift or tidying up the house all contribute to NEAT. In fact, it plays a more significant role in calorie burn than exercise itself, with 5% coming from exercise and a substantial 15% from NEAT.

Yoga snacking and NEAT together can both help achieve fitness and weight loss goals. Exercise snacking is an excellent way to incorporate exercise into your daily life, especially for those unable to go to the gym or yoga studio every day, or for those who are super busy. It’s an ideal approach for people looking to increase their daily activity levels, whatever their schedule. Longer term, it can contribute to improved fitness and weight loss by keeping you more active throughout the day. Whatever movement you’re doing, these mini-workouts can engage various muscle groups, leading to improved muscle tone and increased calorie burn. It can also help control cravings and boost energy levels.

Duration and frequency
The fantastic thing about yoga and exercise snacking is that it's totally flexible. You can start with just a few minutes a few times a day and gradually increase the duration and frequency as you get more comfortable, or whatever your timescale permits. The key is consistency – get used to these impromptu ‘snack breaks’ and aim for several ‘snacks’ a day, as long as you can fit them into your schedule. So, no matter how busy your day, load up on those yoga snacks!

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First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.