Short bursts of exercise like walking up stairs or doing yard work are excellent for warding off health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, according to an article in the Daily Mirror.
This is fascinating news to me as Chicago recently succumbed to winter with snow, ice and vicious cold weather here. Because of the weather conditions, I was unable to ride my bike outside and had to opt for the health club. The good news is that I got some welcome weight work done as opposed to just cardio on the bike. However, there was something about riding the exercise bike and pumping the rowing machine indoors that felt unsatisfying. I missed the fresh air and general sights and smells of the outdoors. So, this news about short bursts of more generalized exercise were heart healthy was music to my ears.
NHS Choices said, “The news is based on the results of a cross-sectional study which suggested that even less than 10 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity, such as climbing stairs, ‘count’ and may be as beneficial as longer periods of exercise.
“This useful and well-conducted study measured the physical activity of more than 6,000 adults, in addition to measuring various health markers such as blood fats, blood sugar and blood pressure, that are known to be risk factors for chronic conditions including diabetes and heart disease.
“The study found that performing moderate or vigorous activity of any duration – either short bursts of less than 10 minutes or for longer – was associated with improved measurements of several cardiovascular risk factors.
“The study suggests that even people who do not have time to go to the gym or an exercise class can get many of the health benefits of exercise from adopting an ‘active’ lifestyle.
“While the study cannot directly prove cause and effect, it would suggest that any moderate or vigorous exercise you can fit in during the course of a day, benefits your health….”
In conclusion, “The results of this study suggest that even short periods of physical activity ‘count’ and are associated with improved levels of several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The study found that the strength of this association was generally as strong for short periods of activity as longer periods of activity.”
I also like these findings because they agree with what Oleda Baker told me when I interviewed her on her retaining her supermodel looks into her late 70’s. She said that she didn’t have much of an exercise program, but that she led an active life and worked in her garden. Clearly what works for this senior supermodel can work for you and me.
Eat less; move more; live longer. Words to live by.