It can be hard to carve out time for movement, especially if you’re very busy and not used to working out. If you don’t already have a routine in place, it might seem impossible to meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

“If you’re just starting out, it can be intimidating to hear that you need to exercise for 30 minutes a day,” says endocrinologist Shirisha Avadhanula, MD. But as the old saying goes, a little bit goes a long way. In 2023, add what she calls “exercise snacks” to your daily routine.

“An ‘exercise snack’ is 15 minutes of exercise twice a day during the weekdays,” Dr. Avadhanula explains. “Say, for example, that you have a desk job and get an hour for lunch. You can take the last 15 minutes of your lunch break to do moderate-intensity exercise, then do the same thing again at the end of the workday.”

Doing 15 minutes of exercise twice a day for five days a week adds up to … you guessed it — that recommended 150 total minutes of weekly exercise.

But what is “moderate-intensity exercise,” anyway? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines it as any physical activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. That could mean going for a brisk walk, riding your bike, getting in a quick cardio circuit or even pushing a lawn mower.

Regular and consistent movement has countless benefits for your health, including lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and more.

“Doing little bursts of physical activity throughout the day can make a big impact on your overall health,” Dr. Avadhanula says. Happy snacking!
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