Bite-sized wellness

Stress, anxiety, obesity are key health problems and causes of many diseases, some of which can be fatal. Many can be avoided by moving more and creating a healthy lifestyle. When I founded Wellness on Time, the program was designed with lots of short workouts that can be easily integrated into your day – activities that be done at home or at your desk at work, without lots of planning. You can click and go! It came from an understanding of how difficult it is for people to plan and include wellness activities in their daily schedule.  

Time is a big factor, but so is not knowing what to do. You may have been told that you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes or more to get a health benefit – and when you can’t find that time in one block, you end up doing nothing.  

Studies show that integrating short wellness activities throughout your day will have a health benefit.  

Research published in The American Journal of Health Promotion showed that an active lifestyle that includes engaging in physical activity for less than 10 minutes multiple times a day can have the same health benefits as more structured exercise. Additionally, researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, studied 464 women who weren’t exercisers. After six months, a group who walked an average of 72 minutes a week (just 10 minutes a day), had significantly improved heart strength and general fitness, nearly matching the efforts of women exercising almost twice as long. 

‘Your body responds very positively, very quickly to even small amounts of exercise,’ says lead study author Tim Church, MD, PhD. ‘If you’re sedentary, you’ll see a lot of your greatest gains going from zero to 10 minutes a day. We’ve seen significant changes in the autonomic nervous system – fewer incidences of the fight-or-flight stress reflex being triggered – with even 70 to 75 minutes a week of exercise. A little exercise can do much more than people think, so there’s no excuse for not getting up and just doing something.’ 

Research has also revealed that those who sit for lengthy periods of time have twice the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even premature death compared to those who break up long sitting periods with regular standing or moving. Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. The muscles in your lower body are turned off. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 20 percent.  

Even if you went to the gym for an hour in the morning then sat all day, the earlier effort is negated by the prolonged inactivity. Our bodies are designed to move. 

The remedy is as simple taking five-minute breaks throughout the day to get things going again.  

If you discover that you have been sitting for long periods without moving it’s time to change some habits.  Taking breaks will not only improve your physiological wellness, but help you be more productive. 

Move around, go for a short walk, do some stretches at your desk. 

Short workouts are time efficient – you can integrate them into your day. 

They increase your metabolism, improve your heart health, improve muscle toning and strength, enhance mood and energy levels, alleviate stress, and improve mental clarity and focus. 

Making the time, finding something you like, and remembering what to do is the key. 

Other studies have shown that sitting less and breathing well can slow the aging process.  

People are embracing the holistic view of a wellness lifestyle. In 2021, the Global Wellness Institute identified ‘wellness snacking’ as a top trend. With increasing value placed on work/life balance and more remote working opportunities, the rise of regular, smaller bite-sized wellness activities and travel experiences is growing. 


You can access our ‘bite-size’ wellness activities in our 7 days or 28 days of wellness programs.

Natalie Pickett is the Founder and CEO of Wellness on Time – An online wellness program, books and magazine to help you to integrate wellness into your everyday. 

This article first appeared in the Wellness on Time Magazine – Women in Wellness edition. See the link here to purchase your copy.