Making time for fitness is one of the best possible investments, but so many of us find reasons not to make that time.
The excuses may now be wearing thin. It has now been found that a mere 600 seconds of effort per week makes a difference. Even better, the only equipment needed is a flight of stairs.
Carried out by researchers at a Californian university, two groups of female non-exercisers were asked to trial some stair climbing. Each session lasted 10 minutes and there were three sessions a week for six weeks.
All one group had to do was go up and down stairs for a minute, and then recover. They repeated this for 10 minutes.
The second group had to do three vigorous 20 second climbs, resting briefly between each set. Both groups included warm up and cool down in their ten minute workout.
Short strength workouts have been shown to be worthwhile, but is it the same for this type of cardio?
The results of the test were very positive. All participants showed an increase in cardio fitness, even with these very short workouts. The first group needed only a standard staircase as they were both climbing and descending. Most of us will have access to one of those, so no excuses!
High intensity interval training is an extension of this concept, exercising more muscles than just the legs and core which are needed for stair climbing. A short workout in this format provides the same gain as traditional moderate exercise, in far less time.
No ifs, no buts – all you need is 10 minutes. Find your nearby gym and book a short session. On days when you don’t even have time for that, just find a staircase!
Anything that makes you out of breath appears to be very good for you. It amazes me how different exercise advice is now compared to the 1980s/1990s, when it was all about long cardio workouts. This sort of quick workout is going to get more people fit as they really have no excuse not to do it.
This is a big incentive to exercise even if I can't do a long session. I do walk up and down stairs a lot at work, but maybe should start running up and down at home.
I like the idea of just using my own staircase, I can fit that in any time. 10 minutes continuous climbing will need a bigger building though!