Good news for the exercise-time poor

Starting and sticking to a regular exercise program can be challenging for many of us. We get busy, we get lazy… But research has shown that incidental, high-intensity physical activity can produce health benefits, even if it’s done in 30-second bursts spread over the day.

Carrying heavy shopping up the stairs, running to catch the train and even a vigorous vacuuming session all qualify as incidental high-intensity physical activity – and could be the key to helping everyone get some quality exercise each day.

As with high intensity interval training (HIIT) in the gym or fitness studio, regularly repeating everyday household chores at a vigorous pace boosts fitness and improves cardiovascular health. This allows our bodies to better respond to the physical demands of life. Even a quick 20-second bout of stair climbing repeated three times a day for three days over a six-week period can lead to measurable health improvements.

Research suggests that physical activity intensity may be more important for the long-term health of middle-aged and older people than the amount of time spent exercising.

So how does that help you as a PT? If you can point out to your clients the ways they can incorporate more high intensity physical activity into their day-to-day lives, you will have clients who are feeling more confident, fitter and more likely to engage enthusiastically with your training programs.

No time to exercise? A fitness routine everyone can squeeze in.
Emmanuel Stamatakis, The Conversation, 25/2/19.