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Exercise snacking

November 5, 2010

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. Mark Twain

As was demonstrated on Wednesday, darn it, there is just no need for a special place (a gymn), clothes, or other fim-flam.  Gear freaks might be saddened, but Mr. Twain would agree. 


Thanks to everyone for their interest in, and contributions to, Wednesday’s event.  I hope that each of you learned something from the day that you can make use of in your own lives and workplaces. 

For those who want to develop a more robust exercise habit, please get in touch and let me know if there are any resources that you would like.  I would also be keen to hear any ideas for future events or even a programme that we could put together to support your efforts (and which might involve your staff too) – I have some ideas which I will float in the near future. 

Some of you may be feeling a little muscle soreness, which shows that you put some good healthy stress on under-used body parts.  If you are resolved to keep this up but can’t quite remember the simple circuit that Steve Cody led, then some variation on this are a good place to start:

  • Gentle warm up (the things Chris taught would be great for this), getting more vigorous
  • 30 seconds press ups or tricep dips off a chair
  • 30 seconds active recovery (walking, jogging, skipping (not so easy!))
  • 30 seconds squats or lunges
  • 30 seconds active recovery
  • 30 seconds crunches
  • 30 seconds active recovery
  • [only three minutes so far – this could be done while a kettle boiled]


Either repeat above one or two times more – total then only six or nine minutes

Or move to one minute chunks once through (adding another 6 minutes or 4.5 if you keep recovery at 30 seconds), maybe finishing off with another round at 30 seconds again.  The total time of going through as suggested, first 30 second intervals, then 1 minute ‘on’ and 30 seconds rest, ending with 30 seconds again is only ten and a half minutes.  As you will remember from the barn on Wednesday, that sort of duration can really ramp up our metabolisms. 

By varying the duration of the exercise chunks, adding in exercises, reducing rest periods, running through it all more times, and so on, you can construct almost limitless variations.  This ‘convict conditioning’ approach can be done in a very small space, needs no special equipment or clothing (sorry chaps, that comes later!), and shows that even if you only have ten minutes you can do some useful movement practice in this ‘exercise snack’ format.  We all know this, but it is worth re-stating here: frequency is the most important thing, i.e. doing this stuff most days of the week.  Two or three decent walks or runs, plus two or three runs through of a simple bodyweight circuit a week will build a great foundation of fitness.  Have fun, take is slowly, and let us all know how you get on.

I also personally love the philosophy of the 100 Reps Challenge movement.  Basically, that states that modern life has removed so much of what was once commonplace physicality from our lives that, regardless of what other exercise practice we undertake on any day, we should, as a bare minimum and in order to replace some of that lost ‘background’ movement and energy demand, do some movement every day. 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 27, 2012 05:22

    Good post. I definitely love this site. Continue the good work!

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