With gyms limiting capacity and more time spent on conference calls from home than ever thought possible, it is more important than ever to get creative with workouts. In many cases, the “new normal” has not allowed for longer fitness sessions, but that does not mean losing sight of a fitness lifestyle. Micro workouts are perfect for those who have limited time and space.
Most everyone benefits from light activity and bodyweight exercise a few minutes every hour, and it does not need to be a structured exercise to improve health. Sarah Roberts-Lewis, Neurological Physiotherapist at King’s College London, suggested that adults greatly benefit when they engage in activity for 5 minutes each hour during the day and spend 30 minutes doing some light activity, like chair exercises or yoga. Her insights are noted in the article “Why “Micro-Workouts” Are the Key to Battling Lockdown Inactivity.”. The article emphasizes starting with only a few burpees, jumping jacks, or toe-touches and increasing rep tolerance.
Micro exercises are ideal for those long zoom calls or meetings. Resist the urge to pull up social media on your phone. Keep hand weights near the computer and do a few curls, lunges, or squats. Sitting all day is not healthy. Go wireless for your next call and pace around the room, do wall squats, or calf lifts. Consider stretching shoulders by leaning side-to-side or release the muscles in the back by bending slightly bending forward at the hip. Only perform exercises that do not cause discomfort.
Short walks are also considered micro exercises that increase caloric output. Get creative, pace around the driveway or living room. Walking is a great way to lose weight and is extremely easy to get started with minimal gear such as shoes and comfortable clothes.
An added benefit of micro workouts is that no added equipment is needed. Bodyweight exercises or picking up the pace of walking can add challenges if desired. Some choose to incorporate hand weights or resistance bands. Both take up minimum space and travel well.
Finally, if you have a smartwatch, try setting a reminder to move a minimum number of steps each hour. As with any workout, the most challenging part is beginning and sticking with it. Creating enhanced sustainability and small habits everyday will lead to a healthier lifestyle. Micro workouts are effective in building muscle, weight loss and sustaining a fitness lifestyle.