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Micro fitness for doctors

Micro-exercising has become a popular way for people who are hard pressed for time to increase their cardiovascular fitness. Busy doctors and nurses and healthcare workers easily fall into this category. You don’t have to exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes to get the benefits, according to experts and there is a slew of new workouts which offer health and toning benefits for as little as 2 minutes effort.

In my opinion, these regimes should be approached with care. Of course, it is great to exercise throughout the day but to assume you are going to be super fit with a beach-ready body on the basis that you have down two minutes of sit-ups at double time is probably stretching things a bit. That said, several short bursts of exercise will have a cumulative effect, if you make sure you do multiple short bursts to build up your total exercise or combine micro-exercising with cycling or walking to work for example.

Short bursts of exercise should also always be preceded by warm-ups and followed by muscle stretching. Failing to do this could result in muscle strains and damage. In fact, the warm up and warm down could easily exceed the actual time exercising on some of the micro regimes which are gaining popularity.

It is good that micro exercising has encouraged people who are very sedentary to get up and move about – in the past the 10-minimum has been a barrier for some people. But it should be an additional bonus to an already active lifestyle. very unfit people who attempt to go into strenuous cardiovascular activity, maxing out their heart rate, from a standing start may even put themselves at risk of ill health, In the worst case scenario, someone who pushes their heart rate above their safe limits in a matter of a few seconds could even be facing the possibility of heart attack. I advise my clients who have already reached a good level of fitness to use short burst exercise to increase toning for example. These micro workouts are not going to build stamina, although they will get blood and oxygen moving around the body which may boost concentration and
make your feel invigorated. But for some, this is never a good idea. Just like there is never a single diet that suits everyone, there is not a single exercise regime that suits everyone. It is important to ask you fitness adviser or doctor if you want to start a fitness regime if you are unfit or have previous health issues.

Kathryn Freeland
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