Friday, July 1, 2011

Daily Fidgeting and Tinkering May Keep You Fit

It can be hard to fit in the recommended 30-45 minutes of physical activity each day.With a hectic work or school schedule, especially where a lot of sitting is involved, it is oftentimes embarrassing how little some people actually move around each day. But if anyone has ever given you a hard time for not being able to sit still, for choosing to take the stairs or for being neurotic about keeping the house neat, now's your chance to turn the tables on them! It turns out that those activities may accumulate to make a significant contribution to your overall daily amount of physical activity, which in turn, improves your health.

According to researchers at Queens University, non-structured activities like doing housework or climbing the stairs, which count as incidental physical activity, can help make up for a lack of structured physical activity that raises your heart rate, especially in abdominally obese individuals. This makes sense, since the thing that really matters is moving around, using your muscles and getting your heart rate up any way that you can. You can walk to and from the grocery store if it's close by, take a walk on the weekend, get up and walk around on your lunch break or take the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.

The researchers went on to say that recommending small changes like these may be encouraging for individuals who are intimidated by structured physical activity, but aren't sure how else to get their exercise in. Not everyone wants to fatigue themselves and sweat it out every day, so knowing that there is an alternative is helpful.

Ultimately, the more physical activity one can perform each day, the better for their overall health, but as long as the entire day isn't spent sitting down, that's a start!