New Yorkers tend to walk more than people in other cities. While the Big Apple isn’t the healthiest city in the US, it’s usually in the top 10. One of the main reasons is the amount that people move around during the day.
It’s not hard to walk a mile in the city. A walk to work, to the grocery store, or perhaps a walk through the park can total a mile or more. However, even a New Yorker might not move enough to prevent sitting from hampering their progress in the gym.
A new study published in Exercise and Sports Science Reviews revealed that people who sit too much during the day burn less fat than people who walk at least 8,500 steps. Most research looks at the amount of energy people burn when they walk vs when they’re inactive. This study took a different approach.
The researchers had test subjects perform a workout in the morning. Then, they monitored how much fat they burned during the day. People who sat around for most of the day burned less fat than people who walked around. Another group even did a few short cycle sprints throughout the day (4 seconds in total) instead of walking.
Both of the groups that were active during the day had a more powerful response to their workouts. This discovery is important because it’s a reminder that low-intensity activity is important throughout the day, even if you exercise.
Keep in mind that this study was performed using aerobic exercise, not weight training. This might not be as true for people who lift weights. Still, it’s important to avoid falling into the mindset that not being active is OK as long as you hit the gym a few times per week.
A good place to start is trying to get 8,500 steps per day, everyday. Chances are you won’t do sprints on your exercise bike during the day, but if that’s more your style, then go for it. Even if you don’t want to track your steps, you should try to get into the habit of moving as much as you can throughout the day.
Cleaning your apartment, using a standing desk, and even doing random bursts of exercise (10 squats per hour, a few pushups, or situps) can make a difference. The key is to keep moving, even if it’s just a little, to maximize your results in the gym.