Getty Images Zeljkosantrac
Walking makes you feel tough, But let's face it, we're talking about less than a minute of work , Is that really enough time to improve your fitness?
According to a new study, yes. Research at McMaster University suggests that the steps of climbing fast – even for just a few minutes – can improve cardiorespiratory fitness.
How "snacks" could help your fitness
In the study, researchers recruited 24 young sedentary adults to study the effects of "snacks" on maximum oxygen uptake, a measure used to determine aerobic ability during intense exercise Exercise is used to see if this is the biggest excuse that many people give for non-training: time constraints.
The researchers assigned half to a "stair-climbing intervention program" and the other half to a control group without training. Members of the first group sprinted up a three-tiered staircase six times, three times a day, three times a week.
These sprints were done with at least one hour between sessions, and included a dynamic warm-up of 10 jumps, 10 squats, and five lunges on each side before sprinting.
At the end of six weeks, participants in the workout-snacks group showed better cycling results and showed a higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness compared to the control group. (It is also possible that the warm-up contributed to this, as this could have contributed to strengthening the legs).
Is this only suitable for beginners?
Could these achievements, however, help those who are already athletic?
The strategy of creating regular workout snacks is a great way to get fit, but you probably will not get the same benefit if you're already very active, says study author Martin Gibala, Ph.D., chairman of the department Kinesiology at McMaster University.
"In my opinion, more active individuals do not have the same benefits, but sprint snacks could still serve as effective 'preventive maintenance doses' of activity, he said Runner's World . "In other words, you could maintain your fitness but not necessarily increase it."
Whether you want to use snacks as a couch-to-5K starting point or just want to maintain a robust level of fitness If your schedule does not allow your regular training, Gibala found that the strategy used by the researchers was to climb stairs , represents an ideal way to maximize the training snack.
"Stair climbing is generally more metabolicly strenuous than brisk walking and results in a greater load on the cardiorespiratory system, which promotes greater response," he said.