Exercise snacking: Walking up stairs three times a day could be enough to keep you fit

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Walking up stairs three times a day could keep you in shape. [Photo: Getty]

Many of us struggle to find the time or inclination to go to a gym class, especially during the winter.

And yet, it is hard to shut down that niggling feeling – and wealth of scientific proof – that getting active is good for us.

Thankfully, there seems to be a middle ground of getting fitness into your day in a simple, informal way. It’s all to do with something called “exercise snacking”, a concept whereby you fit short bursts of exercise into your daily life.

In a study conducted by McMaster University and the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Canada, a group of sedentary adults climbed a three-flight staircase three times a day – with a one to four hour break between each climb. 

This was then repeated three times each week for the course of six weeks.

At the end of experiment, subjects were fitter and stronger compared to the control group, who did not partake in the exercise.

“The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate ‘exercise snacks’ into their day,” said Dr Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, who co-authored the study. 

“Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout.”

For those looking to lose weight this year, personal trainer Ben Goodman has provided Yahoo Style with a number of simple tips.

His advice includes eating vegetables with every meal, adding weights to your work out and cooking from scratch.

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