Outdated and flawed fitness strategies and practices and overly stressful classes such as spinning, HIIT, Body Pump, etc., are causing health problems with younger and older folks. If you’re interested in progress, you can replace these methods with new and simple yet more effective practices, which are less time-consuming and far more beneficial for your heart health and fitness progress. Focus on Micro workouts!
One of the most beneficial fitness strategies is “micro workouts.” One or more brief 5 to 15-minute bodyweight micro workouts performed throughout the day save time and yield great results. You don’t even have to change clothes, just bring along extra deodorant!
Your home, office, streets, and the general outdoors offer so many obstacles for us to use, free of charge!
Let’s check a few examples:
- If you are walking the streets of your city, you’ll most likely walk under a building scaffolding. Those bars are the perfect spot to knock out a couple of sets of pull-ups and leg-ups. Do your sets, and carry on your way.
- You can drop and do a few short sets of push-ups and planks in your office, home, or anywhere. Your desk (or coffee table) is an excellent object to perform challenging incline push-ups! Just get your toes up there and go for it.
- Stairs in your apartment building, house, office, or hotel are fantastic to perform “ steep step or hill-sprints” on. Just do a set or two, done!
More Benefits, Less Stress.
Micro workouts can deliver distinct benefits with little time spent.
The cumulative training effect these short bursts of strength training offer is a substantial bonus.
The micro workouts add a bunch of strength and power to your body and mind without dumping a whole lot of damaging cortisol (stress hormone) into your bloodstream. These types of exercise patterns are far healthier for your heart than long and hard workout sessions. These short but powerful sessions add a lot of mileage to your overall strength and fitness.
So, instead of going for five or six heavy lifting 1.5-hour sessions per week, where you’re busting out the damaging stress hormone, you’re following the natural patterns of our primal ancestors. Our ancestors didn’t have gyms, but of course, they had to lift and pull things or sprint from danger and maybe pull themselves up on a tree.
Combating the Effects of Inactivity.
Modern society and conveniences, great as they are, can cause extended periods of non-movement, which are extremely dangerous for your overall health. Constant stillness and lack of activity can cause long-lasting health hazards.
Repeating these short bursts of energy and movement the micro workout provides is a great way to keep yourself in shape and healthy internally.
Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement says the following on the destruction of cellular health caused by stillness:
“When you use a single position repetitively, such as curling your body into a comfortable work chair for hours every day, muscles, joints, and arteries will adapt to this repetitive positioning by changing their cellular makeup and becoming literally ‘stiff,’ with reduced ranges of motion and an actual hardening of the arterial walls in those areas.”
A lack of movement can significantly contribute to heart disease and other illnesses.
“Not getting enough physical activity can lead to heart disease — even for people who have no other risk factors. It can also increase the likelihood of developing other heart disease risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.”www.cdc.gov
The Importance of General Movement.
For me, the importance and benefits of plenty of simple daily movement have been obvious. Simple general activities are far more beneficial to our health than rigorous workouts.
“Do you want to get fit and lose weight but don’t have time for a formal workout every day? Try increasing your daily physical activity instead. Research suggests your efforts may pay off.”www.piedmont.org
For example, lots of walking, in combination with micro workouts, are far more effortless and yield far better long-term health results.
Let me give you a simple example; my mother is 77 years young and has walked her dogs for years and years, some three times a day, probably clocking 8 miles a day without knowing it. She’s the healthiest person of her age in her community!
In 2012 Time wrote about the benefits of the hunter and gatherer times, their daily (necessary) physical activities, and resulting health. Time studied the Hazda Tripe living in Tanzania, which closely resembles the lifestyle our primal ancestors lived.
“The Hadza maintain a traditional foraging lifestyle, hunting on foot using bows, small axes and digging sticks, and without modern tools like vehicles or guns. Their diet includes virtually no processed foods whatsoever. They live off of game that they hunt, and tubers, fruit and honey that they collect.”www.healthland.time.com
The conclusion is, it’s not about the number of calories you burn; it’s about the movement and how your genetics improve because of this.
The Last Round: How to Successfully Build Micro Workouts into your Daily Routine.
Think about it this way; every time you move, you conduct a little aerobic workout that burns fat and is good for your heart. Unless you move like a slug, of course! So, except if I’m in a purposeful resting mode (relaxing and regenerating), I’ll do my best to move quite fast.
So move with purpose, i.e., if you are going to the bathroom, just walk up and down your stairs once or twice before you get back to sitting. It all adds up!
As mentioned earlier, throughout your day, incorporate three or five sets of simple bodyweight exercises. Let’s say, 20 push-ups times 3 or 5 sets, and add 3 sets of squats (go to your maximum rep output).
Then, don’t forget to stretch the muscle groups you exercised, even if it’s two minutes. That’s all it takes.
Walk as much as you can daily and do it with purpose, dogs or no dogs at home!
Now, how effortless does this sound? And the best part? It works! Your body will feel great and your mind clear. Plus, the bonus, you save a heck of a lot of time in your day for other things life has to offer!
Thanks for reading.