According to a recent study by researchers from Bellarmine University and Oregon State University1, climbing the stairs quickly or vigorously raking the lawn are among the kinds of short bursts of exercise you can do at home that may help to protect you against health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and raised blood pressure. The findings indicated that frequent vigorous activity, even if it lasts for only a few minutes, can be of significant benefit to your health.
By measuring specific health markers including blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood fats, together with the physical activity of more than 6,000 adults, the researchers determined that any period of regular exercise was associated with improvements in cardiovascular risk factors.
The results support what other research has also demonstrated - that being physically active for even ten minutes can greatly help an effort to drop your levels of body fat. However, they also suggest that if you take an active approach across your lifestyle generally, particularly if you spend shorter periods of time doing activities at vigorous intensity, this is also significantly beneficial - especially if you were previously extremely inactive.
1. Loprinzi PD, Cardinal BJ. Association Between Biologic Outcomes and Objectively Measured Physical Activity Accumulated in >10-Minute Bouts and <10-Minute Bouts. American Journal of Health Promotion. Published online January 2013.