Worried about gaining the quarantine 15?
Finding yourself snacking much more than usual? With easy access to the refrigerator, general anxiety of the state of the world, and boredom it can be hard to stay on top of your healthy diet.
You’re not alone. Many people are finding themselves stuck in a new snacking habit. While at FITIV we don’t believe in beating yourself up over changes in your body or diet, there are definitely steps you can take to keep yourself on track in these uncertain times.
Instead of trying to punish yourself for your new bad habits, why not try adopting a new healthy habit? Enter fitness snacking. Fitness snacking, like regular snacking, involves frequent but smaller episodes of physical activities. While your regular workout would be more of a fitness ‘meal’, 30 jumping jacks probably wouldn’t quite cut it as a workout on its own. Instead, these shorter, intense, and frequent bouts of physical activity are just additions to your routine that will help you rap some of the benefits of HIIT workouts while investing very little extra time and energy.
The key to fitness snacking is frequency, intensity, and enthusiasm. Try elevating your heart rate for a minute or two at a time to fully explore those fitness snacking benefits. Do this multiple times per day and you’ve suddenly found yourself with a new healthy habit. Here are a few fitness snacking routines you might want to try with your newfound time quarantined:
The Apple Watch Stand Ring
Whether you’re an Apple Watch fanatic or only use it to tell the time, chances are you know exactly what we mean by ‘Stand reminders’. One of the Apple Watch fitness tracking features is the Activity rings, which passively measure your calories burned, time spent exercising, and the number of hours each day that you stand up for at least one minute. The principle of the Stand ring is that because we — as a society — spend so much time sitting it’s helpful to at least stand up and move around periodically throughout the day. These brief standing breaks are good for your health. By standing up from your desk you can stretch, improve your posture, and increase your concentration.
Technically the normal ‘stand up and walk around’ routine is a fitness snack, but to really reap the benefits of fitness try elevating your heart rate slightly more during these hourly breaks. Run up and down some stairs a couple of times. Do some jumping jacks. Try one full minute of higher-intensity activity every hour. By raising your heart rate you can reap some of the benefits of HIIT-style workouts with minimal investment.
The Pomodoro Technique
Are you a time-management nerd? You might know about the Pomodoro technique already! This productivity hack is based on taking frequent planned breaks. By taking breaks you free up your total concentration in longer, less distracted, chunks of time. Suddenly finding yourself working from home may take away some of your productivity. Between the loss of routine, the change in your environment, or the addition of distractions like kids and pets it can be much harder to get work done. Maybe you’re also finding yourself sucked into reading news or are otherwise distracted.
The Pomodoro technique can help you in two ways: by helping you focus and freeing up short breaks for getting some activity in. Traditionally the technique involves taking a 5-minute break every 25 minutes. After four repetitions take a slightly longer break (around 15 minutes).
What do you do with your five minute break? Try some bodyweight exercises! Work up to a long plank, do some pushups, or situps. Squats? Lunges? There are dozens of options! And that longer break? Try a quick jog if you have the time and opportunity. Even a walk around the block and a change in scenery will refresh you and make you ready to work again.
The Literal Fitness Snack
Are you finding yourself constant snacking while unexpectedly working from home? You’re certainly not alone. Between boredom, anxiety, and the proximity of your kitchen it can be hard to resist the temptation of those periodic trips to the fridge. While this snacking is something you probably want to minimize, is there a way you can leverage them to help you get more fit?
Enter: the literal fitness snack. This is the most free-form and vague of the ideas here, but the easiest to implement. All you need to do is promise yourself that every time you get up for a snack you will also take a moment to get some exercise. Even stretching is better than nothing! Try to get the most out of getting up. Every little bit helps!
The Old Fashioned Alarms
Do none of these techniques work with your routine? Don’t have time to commit to hourly activities? Make a schedule that works for you! If you already follow an extremely regular schedule you may be able to find unique opportunities throughout the day to devote to a little bit of physical activity.
This method involves the most planning of any of the proposed solutions, but it might be the best option for you. All that you need to get started is to take a frank look at your schedule and carve out a few minutes a few times per day for some heart rate work. To really reap benefits with minimal time investment try elevating your heart rate high for a minute or two.
It doesn’t have to be hard to stay fit!
Even though quarantines and gym closures sure aren’t making it easier to stay fit, it’s not impossible. Try adding little spurts of activity into your day, get outside, and make sure to help motivate yourself and others by recording, posting, and tagging your workouts #fitivstrong to get connected to the FITIV Community.