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Exercise snacking an easy path to fitness

Let’s face it. Killer high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are not for everyone, but exercise snacking is. And, believe it or not, even the most mundane activities, like lugging heavy laundry up the stairs, can become a game-changer for desk-bound individuals.

Researchers previously asserted that a minimum of 10 minutes of continuous exercise was required to experience positive cardiorespiratory results. But new evidence suggests even incidental exercise makes a difference. Research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine touts the benefits of high intensity incidental physical activity (HIIPA), which includes activities like sprinting up the stairs throughout the day, for sedentary individuals.

Even one minute of HIIPA daily can improve cardiorespiratory fitness for the inactive person, researchers say.

It’s no secret that exercise matters. Physical inactivity is the major cause of most chronic diseases, according to a researched article in the journal Comprehensive Physiology. By 2025, one third of the world’s population will be obese, according to a World Obesity Federation report. In 2015, 61.3 per cent of Canadian adults were overweight or obese, according to Statistics Canada. And those numbers just keep climbing.

While HIIPA can provide modest improvements to cardiorespiratory fitness, kicking activity levels up a notch – by adding even two minutes of daily rebounding to the fold – not only flushes out the whole lymphatic system, but provides a much-needed muscle-maintaining routine.

After the age of 35 adults lose one-quarter to one-third of a pound of muscle every year, and gain the same amount in fat, according to Tufts University aging researcher and scientist, Miriam Nelson, PhD.

Since the 1980s, NASA scientists have hailed the benefits of rebounding for holding on to muscle, and its ability to restore rapid loss of muscle and bone mass in astronauts in space.

They dubbed rebounding as the most efficient, effective form of exercise devised by man.

Two minutes of rebounding also flushes the entire lymphatic system, and strengthens and cleanses lymph nodes, according to MedFit Network. The lymphatic system is critical to the immune system and the circulatory system. Two minutes of rebounding also triples white blood cell count, giving the immune system a boost.

Rebound exercise is simply non-impact vertical motion exercise on a rebounder – a specialized mini trampoline. Not all rebounders are created equal though. Most are designed for recreation rather than regular fitness use. Price points vary depending on quality. Cheap rebounders are made with low-quality springs or bungees that can be jarring on the joints and leave the knees and back feeling worse than before beginning exercise. If regular use for therapeutics or fitness is the aim, invest in a high-quality rebounder that has springs specifically designed to absorb the impact of a bounce, to protect the joints. Some rebounders also offer a stabilizing bar to hold on to.

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