Here's good news for folks who find it harder to squeeze in some time for physical activity in their busy days. A paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that incorporating high-intensity interval training into everyday life could be the key to help all of us get some high-quality physical exercise each day. Whether you're carrying grocery bags climbing up the stairs or running hard to catch a bus, you have been unknowingly doing a kind of exercise called high intensity incidental physical activity.
According to the study author, regular, incidental activities like these that get you huffing and puffing will provide health benefits, even if it's done in 30-second bursts, throughout the day. This goes in a long way in helping overweight and unfit individuals to get their daily dose of physical exhaust.
What is a high-intensity exercise?
The same thing happens in incidental physical activities. Even 20 seconds taken to climb stairs (60 steps), when done three times a day could significantly shoot up your cardiorespiratory fitness,i.e., fitness that indicates how well your lungs, heart, and other circulatory systems are working and making you less prone to develop heart diseases. Also, the intensity of exercise proves much more critical to middle-aged and old-aged people in improving health than the total duration.
How could you incorporate into your daily living?
Many people often get demotivated when they start exercising for many reasons including cost, lack of time, skills and so on. Some people find it overwhelming or unpleasant when encountered with heavy bouts of physical exertion.
However, there are innumerable ways to incorporate incidental physical activity in your everyday routine, including:
• Replacing short car trips with walking or cycling
• Climbing up the stairs at a faster pace instead of using an elevator
• Doing three or four 'walking sprints'- increasing your speed until you're out of breath, during long stretches of walking
• Vigorous walking at a pace of 130-140 steps per minute
• Parking your car many feet away from the supermarket and walking back with your groceries
This type of incidental activity will help achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity every day. It makes intense physical activity feel easier, helps boost fitness, even to those who are less fit.