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New research is out from the same Canadian scientists that introduced us all to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and the “one-minute workout”. Their findings show that incorporating mini-workouts throughout the day helps improve one’s overall athletic conditioning while reducing blood sugar and blood pressure. In fact, they even found this approach to be more effective than one sustained 30-minute exercise session. Medium reports:

The McMaster scientists assigned a group of healthy, sedentary adults to “vigorously” climb up three flights of stairs three times a day, with a one to four-hour rest in between, for six weeks. Their fitness levels were tested against a control group of sedentary non-exercisers.

In terms of cardiorespiratory fitness — how efficiently your heart and lungs move oxygen to your skeletal muscles during exercise — the results were modest: an improvement of 5 percent. Exercise snacking doesn’t create as much metabolic stress as, say, boot camp. And it’s metabolic stress that moves the needle for cardiorespiratory health.

But the exercise snackers’ power output (or how much energy they generate) improved by 12 percent, their exercise tolerance improved, and their functional performance improved as well.

Exercise benefits the body, whether it is for 30 minutes or 60 seconds. It isn’t hard to imagine the allure of a regimen with short bursts of activity versus a deeper commitment to a gym regimen or team sport. Whatever works for you, just get out and move.

Read the full story at Medium.com.

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