The next time you are sitting around wondering if you have enough time for a workout, ask yourself if you have 4 seconds. After the start of the pandemic, as people across the globe find themselves huddled indoors due to self-quarantine and stay-at-home orders, getting physical exercise may seem daunting to many.
However, a new study suggests that even small bouts of intense exercise can help offset some of the harmful effects of extended periods of sitting.
Additionally, these micro workouts also appear to offer different benefits than some longer workouts when done throughout the day.
"Incidentally 4-second sprints conducted five times per hour helped to improve fat metabolism and lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream," says a general physician practicing in a reputed private hospital of Guwahati. "The key thing with fat metabolism is that you have to activate your muscles; you cannot let them be too inactive for very long. These sprints are just a very effective way of doing that," he informs. .
The dangers of extended periods of sitting and a sedentary lifestyle associated with technology usage and screen time are becoming increasingly known in recent years.Incorporating exercise into the workday, as opposed to just waiting for a specific time to hit the gym for an hour, is vital according to fitness experts. Having a simple piece of equipment makes such a routine more viable.
Going to the gym after work is still a good idea as any exercise is better than none. However, researchers in the domain of physical fitness suggest that specifically in the realm of fat metabolism, intermittent exercise throughout the day could be more beneficial.
The dangers of extended periods of sitting and a sedentary lifestyle associated with technology usage and screen time have been increasingly highlighted in recent years.
Among other things, health problems associated with sitting down too much include weight gain, increased risk of metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes.
"While short bursts of intense exercise may be more beneficial in accelerating metabolism of fats and reducing insulin resistance (after a high caloric or fatty meal), any type of exercise including a brisk walk or climbing a few sets of stairs would be beneficial. The key is simply to get moving," says Nandini Chaliha, a young doctor and fitness enthusiast.