An Exercise Snack Can Do Wonders For Your Body
By Neil Wagner
Exercising can be tough in cold winter weather. Slippery conditions and frigid temperatures are definitely disincentives. But there is an easy way to get some exercise in your life without braving the outdoors.
It's called an exercise snack. All you need are stairs.
Inspired by the mindset that when it comes to exercise, everything counts, researchers looked at the effects of vigorously climbing three flights (60 steps) of stairs three times a day for three days a week for a total of six weeks.
Sedentary young adults who followed this prescription were more fit afterwards than their counterparts who kept up their sedentary ways. This showed up as improved peak oxygen uptake, a good measure of cardiorespiratory fitness — heart and lung health. The snackers were also stronger and generated more power during a cycling test.
The best part is that these were people who hadn't been exercising at all. And they were able to get measurably fitter in just a few weeks.
“Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout,” said senior author, Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada.
No sweaty gyms, expensive outfits or gawking crowds. Just a quick climb three times a day.
An article on the study appears in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.
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