Keep Moving

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on July 4, 2019 · 0 comments

For a person who weighs 150 pounds, 10 minutes of lying on the couch watching TV burns about 15 calories. If you simply sat up, you would burn 20 calories. Walking in place for 10 minutes burns 40 calories, jogging bumps you to 90. Adding a leisurely 10-minute walk a day can burn 14,600 calories a year! Getting the picture? And burning calories is only part of the benefit.

A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology demonstrated that physical activity of any intensity provides health benefits. The study looked at close to 8,000 middle-aged and older adults and found that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting with low-intensity physical activity lowers the risk of early death by 17%. Step up to 30 minutes of moderate exercise and the risk of early death drops by 35%.

Even short bursts of activity, as little as a minute or two, provided some health benefit. A study done at McMaster University found that a few minutes of stair climbing, at intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular fitness. The study group was asked to vigorously climb a three-flight stairwell, three times a day with the rest of an hour to 4 hours in between. After 6 weeks the stair climbers were more fit and also stronger than the group that did not climb stairs. It is estimated that every flight of stairs burns 10 calories.

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