Small Dose Fitness – What is it, Benefits, & How to Do it

Fitness encompasses many aspects of wellbeing, from what you eat and how you move. In theory, taking steps towards optimizing fitness should be about getting your body to move how it should, and feeling good in your body no matter the size. Even so, not many of us want to spend extra time at the gym or make complete lifestyle changes in our eating habits. Que intro music; here’s where small dose of fitness come in.

person lifting a weight in small dose fitness
Fitness is a journey – source

Eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, neither does working out. There are countless weights to bring fitness into your life in small tangible ways that make a difference. 

What is a Small Dose of Fitness

Small doses of fitness are a great approach to health for anyone beginning a fitness journey. Fitness can seem intimidating and insurmountable, especially if you are just starting. You might make common fitness mistakes like trying to go from not working out for months, to working out 6 times a week. That makes it more likely for you to quit.

Heck, half of us don’t even like working out (though there are ways to trick your mind into thinking it likes working out. Check them out here!). Plus, when it comes to healthy food, a lot of us think eating healthy means never touching dessert again, which can’t be farther from the truth.

Small, mini doses of fitness allow you to gain the benefits of a workout and are a great first step in a fitness journey. Check out everything you need to know about how to incorporate this type of fitness today!

What are Small Dose Workouts?

Exercise is simply putting the body under a healthy amount of stress to increase heart health, build strength, and boost overall fitness. There are numerous benefits of exercise, from increased heart health to increased mood. 

The concept of small-dose workouts is adding on attainable goals to your daily routine that increases movement. This can be as simple as adding a walk into your day, doing some jumping jacks, or adding push-ups and squats.

Any movement is good for health and research shows that short, consistent workouts give you benefits just as long workouts are done only once or twice. 

What are Small Dose Eating Habits

It would be difficult to wake up one day and say you’re quitting junk food cold turkey. Processed foods are designed to be addictive by food scientists, and the mentality of all or nothing is not helpful.

Instead, try small doses of healthy eating habits. Instead of thinking about taking away foods, think about adding foods. Add a green smoothie to your daily diet. Try to snack on healthier things little by little. Make salads and make them better than ever by adding protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs.

Small doses of eating healthy can help train your mind into craving more and more of that healthy snacking and meals.

Can This Apply to Mental Health in Any way?


Small doses of mental health are vital for the dimensions of wellbeing. You don’t need an hour-long meditation, especially if you are just starting. Start with 5 minutes, get comfortable with that, and move up to longer meditations if it feels right.

You can do breathing exercises, or even just a couple of deep breaths, to relax the body and calm the mind. Small doses of mental health can also include any self-care habit you add into the day, no matter how small. Maybe you treat yourself to a latte or give your dog a few extra pats on the head.

Is this Different from HIIT workouts?

High-intensity interval training is a trend that works because it pushes your body effectively and quickly. Small doses of fitness are not a HIIT workout.

If a term could be used, it would be high-intensity incidental physical activity (HIIPA). These everyday activities that push you a bit physically can have great health benefits according to research. HIIT is one of the best ways to improve heart health and fitness, and HIIPA just makes it more achievable for someone just starting.

Try for at least 10 minutes a day. Add a brisk walk in or go up and down your stairs. This does not have to be long and it doesn’t have to be back to back. Do five minutes now, and five in the future. If it feels a bit challenging, chances are that it is good for you.

HIIPA is a great first step to leveling up to HIIT workouts, bodyweight workouts, or even yoga

Quick Tips on Adding Small Dose Fitness Habits

Here are quick tips to get you started on small doses of fitness today.

Start Small

At least I think I’m funny. Starting small, even with a small dose of fitness, gives you attainable goals. Accomplishing goals is a boost of dopamine to the brain, an indication you can do this, you can do more, and be more. Make sure your first goals are achievable, like doing 20 jumping jacks. Increase the number as you feel comfortable.

Learn Calisthenics

Calisthenics is a bodyweight workout that requires little to no equipment. Any move can be made easier or harder with calisthenics. Check out the guide to a push-up and a pull-up for variations and a training guide. Even squats can be made easier or harder with no equipment!

Don’t Think All or Nothing

You don’t have to have an all-or-nothing mentality. That is detrimental to workouts and eating habits. If you feel low energy, do a less intense workout or even give yourself a chance to rest.

Practice an 80/20 mentality with food, eating well most of the time (80%) yet still allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite foods like pizza. Cutting out food groups or meals can lead to a restrictive mindset and overeating them when you get the chance, which is unhealthy.

The Takeaway

Small doses of fitness are a great first step in a fitness journey as they give you achievable goals that still have health benefits. Fitness is about moving and fueling your body in a way that feels good and allows your body to be stronger and healthier.

Never forget that health starts from within. These small steps and other micro habits are a great way to improve wellness and overall wellbeing. Remember to support microbiota health first and foremost too! Gut health is vital to be strong, as a balanced microbiota allows you to absorb the nutrients and benefits of the food you eat. Microbiota health even affects the immune system, your defense against sickness, and your mental health, as 90% of serotonin is created in the gut.

Even the skin has a microbiome that is essential in supporting healthy skin, which is also vital to wellbeing.

Learn how to support gut health for free today with these resources and watch how wellbeing flourishes!

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