Don’t like exercise? – High-intensity incidental physical activity is HIIT

The commonly held wisdom is that activity had to last for at least ten continuous minutes to be beneficial, although there was no credible scientific evidence to support this.
New evidence, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, shows regular, incidental activity that gets you huffing and puffing is likely to produce health benefits, even if you do it in 30-second bursts, spread over the day.
Incorporating more “high-intensity incidental physical activity” or HIIT, whether by vigorously sweeping the floor or carrying groceries, could be the key to getting high quality exercise each day. Even if this incidental physical activity only lasts for a few minutes, it can result in significant health benefits. In this study, simply by adding more incidental activity, described as, “any activity that is part of one’s daily living that is not done with the purpose of recreation or health and requires no discretionary time” improved overall health.

Some examples of HIIT may include walking or cycling to the grocery store, performing daily chores with intensity, or using the stairs instead of the elevator. This kind of activity prevents far fewer barriers than the concept of “exercising” which is physical activity that is both structured and planned. This study answers the question of how incidental physical activity can be maximized to improve health conditions.

The length of time for incidental PA can vary and is not structured. It can be just a few seconds such as climbing the stairs, “or several minutes or even hours of active commuting.”

This focus on short bursts throughout the day, offers the opportunity to incorporate vigorous physical activity into a busy lifestyle while receiving major health benefits. Incidental vigorous physical activity has been shown to be synonymous with partaking in exercise lasting 20-30 minutes.

These new research has,”opened new horizons for physical activity and exercise medicine practice by recognizing that any bout of physical activity count toward better health.” It is highly recommended to work on incorporating a short bout of HIIT to experience numerous health advantages and outcomes.


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