There are so many reasons for us to struggle with staying on track with our health goals and aspirations; busy lives, not busy enough lives, work, school, Covid, sleep issues, health issues, boredom, and the list goes on and on. Whether you are trying to introduce activity into your life for the first time, or because it’s been a long time, or looking to gain that competitive edge for your sport, we can all use this concept of “Movement Munchies” or “Activity Snacks” to help ourselves find success! Current research shows us that ANY ACTIVITY IS BETTER THAN NONE, so every bit counts. For those who are already very active but have that niggling voice that keeps suggesting that a strength routine or more stretching would be beneficial can also benefit from this model. I’ve started a list for you, but add to it or make your own. Be sure to focus on what you enjoy doing because research shows us that we will do more of it if that’s the case!
Starter or at work Movement Munchie Ideas
- Interrupt long periods of sitting by moving around every 20-30 minutes for 2 minutes
- Walk the long way for a glass of water or the washroom
- Walk up and down the stairs a few times
- Walk the long way to the mailbox or take the dog out on a little longer or more hilly route
- Stand up and sit down, or regular squats 10ish times
- Put on your favourite music and dance around for a song or two (Easier at the home office for most of us, though imagine the smiles if you did this at the office!)
- Do a few stretches/exercises while the kettle boils
- Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth
- Try to always get dressed while standing, and with as little support as possible (*safety first of course!) This could help you keep your balance and mobility significantly over the decades-imagine, what is relatively easy for someone in their 20’s or 30’s will stay possible for a long time if you just keep doing it-and you’re already doing this so no extra time required!
- Find a buddy or hire a professional for guidance so you have an activity accountability buddy
More challenging Movement Munchie ideas
- Use the ideas above for timing, but include more challenging exercises or specific stretches and exercises you may have on a “to do” list
- Take exercises from that great core or strength program you have which normally takes 45 minutes, that you never seem to have all at once, and break it into chunks. Insert those shorter chunks where you have 10-20 minutes. IT ALL COUNTS!
- Choose a specific Netflix/choice of platform series and use it as your stretching time. So that whenever you watch this specific show, it’s stretch time.
- Use an app for a 7 minute workout (or so)-there are many of them including chair based versions for those less mobile . Insert into “coffee break” time 2-3 times a week or right before your shower.
- Perform 5-6 Sun Salutations while the kettle boils in the morning.
- Trade coffee breaks for activity breaks sometimes, especially if you sit scrolling mindlessly further draining your tank.
I could go on and on because it is my experience that variety truly is the spice of life, including exercise! I would love to hear your ideas about how you integrate more activity into your day!
Here’s one of my current favourite super simple recipes for a healthy and tasty treat. It’s great for breakfast, a snack or dessert. The chia is loaded with omega 3’s and some protein, and the toppers are full of vitamins, and minerals and pure tastiness to suit your preferences!
½ cup your choice of milk, I like almond or oat with or without vanilla
2 TBSP chia seed
A bit of sweetener like honey or maple syrup to taste
Mix seeds and milk first. Stir quite vigorously to avoid clumping of the seeds. Add sweetener, mix. Cover and refrigerate all day or overnight. It has the consistency of tapioca or rice pudding. To serve add your choice of fresh fruits and toppings like toasted coconut, dates, granola if you like. It makes a good looking parfait if you layer the different bits! I quadruple this at least for my family for a weeknight dessert. You could also make a few in mason jars and then eat over the next few days. It will keep for the week though likely won’t last that long! Date, banana, pineapple and coconut is a good one, or something really fresh like blood orange and raspberry is nice too. Again, variety is the spice of snacks! It literally takes 5 minutes to mix then time does the rest.
Sue Cairns, B. Ed, B.PE, RYT