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This Quick & Easy Two-Minute Workout Tones Your Body Fast

Exercising for just two minutes at a time can help you achieve your health goals, according to an MD.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

In a perfect world, you could devote an hour daily to exercise. Unfortunately, many of us don't have a 60-minute chunk of time available for a sweat session. This is where "exercise snacks" can be a game-changer. In a new YouTube video, Darrel Gumm, MD, OSF Cardiovascular Institute, explains the benefits of doing mini-workouts throughout the day. Here is everything you need to know about exercise snacks and how they can maximize health benefits in a minimum amount of time. 


Mini-Workouts for Busy Lives

Doctor Darrel Gumm
YouTube/OSF HealthCare

In the brief video, Dr. Gumm emphasizes "the importance of cardiovascular toning and exercise. We hear this all the time: 10,000 steps and you have to get to the gym, but this is not possible for everyone to do," he points out. 

"What if I could give you a little tidbit where you could get some cardiovascular toning without all that exercise? It's called exercise snacking." He explains that it involves "little bits of exercise throughout the day, and it's so simple, you're just going to love it."

Related: The Best 20-Minute Full-Body Workout, by Selena Gomez's Trainer


It's Simple

Brunette woman in a yellow sweater climbing up the stairs.

"It's three flights of stairs three times a day, three days a week," he continues. "Now, of course, we've got to be able to handle stairs, but for everybody that can handle stairs, this is a great way to get a little bit of toning."


Add Them to Your Routine

Young adult woman walking up the stairs with sun sport background.

He added that at the end of six weeks, the group who engaged in exercise snacking "had better cardiovascular toning and strength, all things that really helped with our general health," he said. "It's really, really important to think about incorporating exercise into our daily routine. This is a great way to do it."


Scientists Agree: It Works

Stairs climbing running woman doing run up steps on staircase

The Cleveland Clinic elaborates on the concept. "It's a way of getting closer to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week by doing short bursts of intense activity — moving around vigorously for a minute or two at a time," they say. 

They define exercise snacking as "a brief period of high-intensity movement or exercise that typically lasts for no more than two minutes," comparing the concept to high-intensity interval training (HIIT). However, unlike HIIT workouts, which involve exerting your body for a short period followed by a short period of rest and repeating the exercise, "snacking" involves two minutes of exercise with an hour or more in between. 

Related: This is the #1 Carb You Could Eat For Your Body


Big Health Gains

A doctor is taking the blood pressure of a woman who is wearing sportswear.

Recent studies have found that exercise snacking can be beneficial in several ways, including improved cardiovascular function, increased endurance, improved flexibility, improved muscle strength, and reduced blood sugar levels.

💪🔥Body Booster: Exercising for just two minutes at a time – like climbing three flights of stairs — a few times a day can help you reach the recommended 150 minutes a week of exercise without having to put in hours at the gym. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more