Bust Snack Attacks with Quick Walk Tricks!

Are you constantly reaching for snacks to help get you through the day? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us rely on sugary treats to deal with stress, boredom, or just to give us a quick energy boost at work. The problem is, these mindless snacking habits can eventually lead to weight gain and other health issues. But don’t fret, because a recent study has revealed a simple solution to help you curb those cravings – take a short, brisk walk!

The power of a short walk

Researchers at the University of Exeter conducted a study to determine if taking brief walks throughout the day could impact snacking habits. They observed a group of volunteers who were instructed to walk on a treadmill for just 15 minutes, while chocolate was made available in a bowl for all of the subjects.

Interestingly, the participants who took a short exercise break consumed about half as much chocolate as those who did not take a walk. Even more encouraging, the treadmill walkers ate less of the sugary snack regardless of whether the work they were doing was high- or low-stress.

According to lead researcher Adrian Taylor, this study points to an easy fix for habitual snackers who struggle with mindless eating throughout the day.

Why walking helps

There are a few theories as to why walking, even for just a short time, helps reduce snacking. One possible explanation is that physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that help improve mood and combat stress. With less stress, the urge to snack may also decrease.

Another theory centers around the idea that taking a quick walk acts as a distraction from the cravings, helping you make smarter food choices and avoid overeating. Additionally, exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, improving your ability to focus and make better decisions.

How to implement walking breaks

Incorporating these short, brisk walks into your day is simple and flexible, allowing you to tailor the breaks to your personal needs, schedule, and surroundings. You don’t have to change your clothes, buy any equipment, or spend money to reap the benefits. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Set a daily goal – Aim for a certain number of steps or minutes walking every day. This can be broken down into smaller increments throughout the day. For example, if your goal is to walk for 60 minutes each day, try to take a 15-minute walking break every few hours.

  2. Use your surroundings – Utilize nearby parks, sidewalks, or even your office hallways if you can’t get outside. If you have a treadmill at home or access to one in a gym, this can also be a great option.

  3. Get a walking buddy – Enlist a coworker, friend, or family member to join you on your walking breaks. Having someone else to chat with can make the time fly by and help keep you accountable.

  4. Track your progress – Use a pedometer, smartphone, or fitness tracker to monitor your steps and walking time. Seeing your progress can be motivating and help you stay committed to your new habit.

  5. Turn it into a game – Why not make achieving your walking goal more enjoyable? Turn it into a competition with friends, or reward yourself for reaching specific milestones.

Regardless of your specific approach, the key is consistency. Make your walking breaks a regular part of your day, and you’ll likely find yourself snacking less and feeling better overall.

The broader benefits of walking

The benefits of walking go far beyond curbing your snacking habits. Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It can also help lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy body weight, and improve balance, coordination, and overall mental well-being.

The fact that such a simple activity can have such a significant, positive impact on your health makes it easy to understand why incorporating regular walking breaks into your day is an attractive option. So, the next time you feel that craving for a sweet treat, go ahead and lace up your walking shoes – your body and mind will thank you!