Ex­er­cise’s a snack

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFESTYLE - TRACEY JOHN­STONE

THERE’S a new way to snack and it’s go­ing to get you mov­ing and make you feel good about your­self; it’s called ex­er­cise snack­ing.

Be­fore you pick up a morn­ing bis­cuit or an after­noon piece of cake, for a few min­utes each time, try some sim­ple strength and re­sis­tance ex­er­cises.

If you haven’t done this be­fore, then now is a good time to start. If you think that just do­ing a daily walk is suf­fi­cient ex­er­cise, think again.

“Walk­ing doesn’t pro­vide enough stim­uli for ei­ther bone or mus­cle,” Deakin Univer­sity’s chair of ex­er­cise and age­ing Pro­fes­sor Robin Daly says. “There are car­dio­vas­cu­lar ben­e­fits from walk­ing. I am cer­tainly not say­ing ‘Don’t walk’. It’s good for your func­tional per­for­mance but walk­ing doesn’t pro­vide the stim­u­lus needed to help pre­vent mus­cle loss or im­prove bone den­sity.

“Mus­cles like stress and strain,” he adds. “What is needed are strength and re­sis­tance ex­er­cises.”

Adding into your daily “huff and puff” ex­er­cise pro­gram should be at least two mus­cle strength­en­ing ses­sions each week but prefer­ably ev­ery day.

Where to start? Pro­fes­sor Daly sug­gests start with ‘snack­ing’.

It’s prob­a­bly a bet­ter way of start­ing to add strength and re­sis­tance ex­er­cises into your day. It also makes it eas­ier to sus­tain them over a long pe­riod if they are done dur­ing the day when­ever it suits you.

“Wait­ing for the ket­tle to boil, let’s do some squats or lunges,” Pro­fes­sor Daly sug­gests.

“There’s a TV com­mer­cial, let’s stand up and so do some balanc­ing on one leg or heel­toe walk­ing.”

By the end of your day you could find you have com­pleted 15 or 20 min­utes of valu­able strength and re­sis­tance ex­er­cises through th­ese short ses­sions.

Queensland Health’s Over 60s Work­out has some great ideas and in­struc­tions to help you to get snack­ing; go to health­ier.qld.gov.au/fit­ness/

ex­er­cises/over-60s-work­out

Raid the pantry and grab two food cans or use two full bot­tles of wa­ter and prac­tise your bi­cep curls.

Hold the back of a din­ing chair if you may be un­sure of your bal­ance, and bend at the knees and hips, stick­ing your bot­tom out.

“Pro­gres­sively do a lit­tle bit more. You might progress from 10 to 20 or you might add a bit of re­sis­tance,” Pro­fes­sor Daly rec­om­mends.

Grad­u­ally in­creas­ing the speed of your ex­er­cises can help you im­prove your confidence in re­spond­ing to a po­ten­tial fall.

If you have con­cerns about start­ing snack­ing ex­er­cises, first con­sult your GP.

Pic­ture: iS­tock

IT’S A SNACK: The idea is to snack on ex­er­cises – do lit­tle bits of bite-sized pieces of ex­er­cise. And if you snack like th­ese women, ex­er­cise like the men.

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