Take the stairs test to see if you’re fit

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High intensity workouts not your thing? Walking the dog and yard work have health benefits too!

“The body doesn’t know if you are raking and bagging your own leaves or going to the gym to pick up medicine balls and throw them against the wall. The body doesn’t really care,” said Dr. Loretta DiPietro, a Southern Connecticut State University graduate. She was a member of the advisory committee which compiled the report the federal government looked at to issue the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

She said, “These guidelines are based on the most up to date information in the scientific literature.” 

New to the list is a minimum of 150 minutes a week of light-moderate movement, which breaks down to a little more than 20 minutes a day.

Dr. DiPietro said, “The majority of the benefits are accrued just by meeting the minimum guidelines, but the more you do the more health benefits you get.” 

This is evidence that she said is made more clear with the help of objective tracking techniques like a Fitbit. It comes down to moving more and sitting less for general good health.

Related Content: Experts say diet more important than exercise for losing weight

“Just walk. Just be a human. Humans were meant to use their joints and to walk around on their legs,” said Dr. Bill Lunn, Director of the Human Performance Lab at SCSU. 

He added, “If you have a sedentary job, if you accumulate a little more than 20 minutes a day of being active, that counts.”  

It makes heart sense. 

How fit are you?

A recent study suggests climbing four flights of stairs can help you figure it out.

Dr. Lunn explained, “If you can’t find climb four flights of stairs in under a minute or you are excessively out of breath, then you’ve got some work to do as far as making yourself more fit. It sounds rough, but you’ve got a weaker heart, your muscles are weak, but the good part of that is it’s reversible.”  

A flight of stairs is roughly 10 to 12 steps. 

When your heart is stronger, Dr. Lunn explained that there’s better circulation and more efficient muscles to allow you to move your body. 

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