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Exercise Snack

Maulik Patel (Class of 2021)

Suzanne Harris, PharmD, BCPP, Director of Well-Being and Resilience

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

People have developed many different habits throughout quarantine. As the world slowly adjusts to going back to normal, some of these habits should be built upon. Just as you might grab a handful of chips or nuts to break the monotony of your day, an exercise “snack” is a short burst of movement you can enjoy at home or in the office or outdoors. It can last seconds to several minutes and can be done virtually anytime. Scientific studies show that a small burst of exercise can lead to meaningful gains in fitness and overall health. Here are 8 delicious exercise “snacks” that you can do throughout your day.

  1. Climb the stairs. This is the classic snack and can be done very quickly.
  2. Tap your feet to music, or just wiggle around in your chair. You don’t even have to get up!
  3. Get out of your chair and stand up. Then do it again. The classic “up, down, repeat.”
  4. Walk in place while you watch TV. It’s not just exercise, but entertainment too!
  5. Clean out a few items from your refrigerator or pantry. Who knows – you might just end up making a snack!
  6. Stroll through your living quarters. Maybe you’ll look at that old picture on your shelf or clean up some trash.
  7. Do any household chore. That way you’ll have a cleaner place to enjoy when you sit back down.
  8. Go check your mail every day. You’ll also be able to get some well-needed Vitamin D.


Doing small things like this every day will improve your overall health and give you a much-needed break away from your computer. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can try the 7-minute workout to help you keep moving your way into 2021. For an Exercise ‘Snack,’ Try the New Standing 7-Minute Workout.

To learn more about Exercise “Snacks” and other Functional Medicine, join Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum as she shares her thoughts on the Mindful Impact Podcast. Functional Medicine, exercise “snacks” and positive psychology with Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

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