It is simply harder to avoid exercise. A few minutes of climbing stairs, at short intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular health, according to new research by kinesiologists at McMaster University and UBC Okanagan.
The findings, published in the journal. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism., suggests that practically anyone can improve their physical condition, anywhere, at any time.
"The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate exercise snacks in their day," says Martin Gibala, professor of kinesiology at McMaster and lead author of the study.
"Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, during lunch and at night and know they are doing effective training."
Previous studies have shown that brief episodes of vigorous exercise, or speed interval training (SIT), are effective when performed in a single session, with a few minutes of recovery between intense bursts, which requires a commitment of time total of approximately 10 minutes.
For this study, the researchers set out to determine whether SIT exercise snacks, or vigorous stair climbing episodes performed as individual sprints throughout the day would be enough to improve cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), an important healthy marker that is related with longevity and cardiovascular disease. risk of illness
A group of sedentary young adults vigorously climbed a ladder of three flights, three times a day, separated by one to four hours of recovery. They repeated the protocol three times a week for six weeks. The researchers compared the change in their physical form with a control group that did not exercise.
"We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the snack-on-the-ladder approach was also effective," says Jonathan Little, badistant professor on the UBC campus in Okanagan and co-author of the study. "Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs in the cafe or in the bathroom during the day seems to be enough to improve the physical condition of people who are otherwise sedentary."
In addition to being more fit, stair climbers were also stronger compared to their sedentary counterparts at the end of the study, and generated more power during a maximum cycling test.
In the future, researchers hope to investigate different exercise protocols with different recovery times and the effect on other health-related indicators, such as blood pressure and glycemic control.
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