Consistent and vigorous exercise is well-known to help with reducing the risk of developing a bunch of diseases, plus keep your body and bones strong and healthy into old age while also making sure your brain stays sharp and nimble throughout your life. But it’s sometimes too much for a lot of us to regularly make the commitment to engage in physical activity. Recent research has shown, however, that just making a plan to get up and walk around your office every day can lower levels of fat in your blood.
The new study, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, featured 36 people engaged in a variety of activities over four two-day experiments. They were tasked with either sitting for a long time, sitting with 30 minutes of walking at the end of the day, sitting with two minutes of moderate-intensity walking every 30 minutes, or a combination of the protocols with amounts of triglycerides—fatty acids—glucose, and insulin in the blood measured over five hours on the second day.
Researchers discovered that both the short, regular walking breaks and 30 minutes of continuous walking lowered fats in the blood, and a combo of the two was even better for helping people get their metabolic health back on track. "We believe there is an important health message here—the traditional half-hour block of moderate to vigorous activity is important, but so is limiting long periods of sitting by undertaking regular short bouts of activity throughout the day,” said study head Meredith Peddie, Ph.D., of the Otago Department of Human Nutrition in New Zealand. "This approach, if maintained over months or years, may be enough to explain why individuals who regularly break up sedentary time have better cardio-metabolic health outcomes."
To break up your work day, try out one of these quick walking workouts you can easily slot in after a meeting or before you head to the break room for a snack. Even if you already make it to the gym a few days per week, getting up and taking a brisk walk during work hours can only help hone your health.