Fitness briefs for Feb. 5
Fitness briefs for Feb. 5.
Small amounts of daily exercise add up for lifelong health
Don't have time to go to the gym? Don't despair. New research from Oregon State University suggests small bursts of activity scattered throughout the day can be as good for your overall health as a gym workout.
You probably won't get ripped abs or lose significant amounts of weight, but simple activities such as climbing the stairs a few times a day or pacing while you talk on the phone can prevent metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, researchers found.
The study drew on a nationally representative sample of more than 6,000 Americans. Forty-three percent of those who engaged in brief physical activity throughout the day met the federally recommended physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes a day, according to a news release. Less than 10 percent of people who favored longer workouts met those guidelines, perhaps because they run out of time to train.
“You hear that less than 10 percent of Americans exercise, and it gives the perception that people are lazy,” said Brad Cardinal, an Oregon State professor and co-author of the study, in the release. “Our research showed that more than 40 percent of adults achieved the exercise guidelines by making movement a way of life. … This is a more natural way to exercise, just to walk more and move around a bit more. We are designed by nature as beings who are supposed to move.”
Instead of driving to the corner store, walk or ride a bike. Use commercial breaks as an opportunity for some quick activity.
Those looking to lose weight may want to pair short physical activities with longer workouts; the study found a small correlation between structured workouts and decreased BMI, or Body Mass Index.
The study can be found in the current issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
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