A sedentary lifestyle (or “sitting disease”, as I like to call it) is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality.
Not to mention… diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and more.
But while research continues to uncover the many benefits of staying active, most Americans CHOOSE to lead an inactive lifestyle.
That’s why I’m hopeful this recent study will push you to get up and moving.
The best part? All it takes is SECONDS throughout your day!
Let me explain.
Regular spurts of exercise are key
I was quite intrigued when I came across a study called “Exercise Snacks: A Novel Strategy to Improve Cardiometabolic Health.”
While the title drew me in, so did the subject matter.
Cardiometabolic health consists of any condition that may affect your heart and metabolism. If you don’t take care of your cardiometabolic health, you could be in the crosshairs for a group of deadly conditions including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Now, researchers analyzed how “exercise snacks” may influence this important aspect of health.
Researchers defined an “exercise snack” as less than one minute of vigorous exercise performed periodically throughout the day.
(Genius! Especially since Americans like most things labeled as “snacks”… and always want a “fast” solution.)
For the study, researchers provided three “exercise snacks” to a group of sedentary, young adults, where they were instructed to climb three flights of stairs, three times a day.
The researchers compared the change in their fitness to a control group, which did not exercise.
Ultimately, they found those who climbed stairs were more fit—a sign of better cardiometabolic health. Plus, they were stronger in performing other exercises!
In other words, exercise “snacks” may be a simple way to use our time more efficiently, while reducing the negative impact of sedentary behavior on cardiometabolic health.
Incorporate these “snacks” into your daily routine
For those of us who like to exercise, we’ll continue to do so.
But considering we’re learning there are many benefits to breaking up our sedentary times with more frequent bouts of activity throughout the day… these “exercise snacks” may be what we ALL need.
With so many people still working from home, there has been a sharp rise in sedentary behaviors. Just think about the countless hours of inactivity simply by not commuting to your office these past two years.
Fortunately, “exercise snacks” don’t need equipment, special planning, gym memberships, or even dedicated time. They can easily be incorporated anywhere!
But here’s the key: You have to push yourself to truly take advantage of these short bouts of activity.
That will look different for each one of us, but that’s the beauty of this concept. The “snacks” will fit our individual fitness levels, which will keep us doing it long-term.
Exercise “snacks” can include stair climbing, jumping jacks, squats, and lunges. Or my favorite: Three, 20-second “all-out” cycling bouts with a two-minute warm-up and a one-minute cool down.
(I’m trying my best to make exercise palatable for all of us with these “snack size” portions!)
All that matters is you’re raising your heart rate at various times over the course of a day.
So now that you have come to the end of today’s e-letter, what are you still sitting down for?
Until next time,
P.S. To learn about more ways to improve your heart health and prevent cardiovascular disease, check out my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, simply click here.
“Exercise ‘snacks’ make fitness easier: Researchers find short bouts of stairclimbing throughout the day can boost health.” McMaster University, 01/18/2019. (brighterworld.mcmaster.ca/articles/exercise-snacks-make-fitness-easier-researchers-find-short-bouts-of-stairclimbing-throughout-the-day-can-boost-health/)