Small bits in between meals can help keep our energy levels high, so healthy snacks can be a crucial component of a nourishing diet. It turns out that “active snacks” may also be beneficial for our muscles.
According to a recent study by scientists at the University of Toronto in Canada, small bursts of exercise, such as a set of squats or a short walk, can help the muscles’ proteins function at their peak.
Amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, hold the key, according to Dan Moore, PhD, a physiologist at the University of Toronto who participated in the study.
According to Moore, whose research was just published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, “when we eat protein in our meals, they give the building blocks that allow our muscles to rebuild themselves.”
We believe that, over time, breaking up these prolonged periods of sitting will help us use the food we eat to maintain muscle mass.
Moore and colleagues discovered that the greatest way for whatever protein we eat to assist our muscles is to incorporate “snacks” of activity into our daily routines immediately following a meal and throughout the day.
If people’s activity breaks fall during a meeting, Jennifer Childress, a health coach and personal trainer in Mesa, Arizona, advises that they switch off their computer cameras exactly like they would when eating.
It needn’t be a big deal, she asserts.
People might believe they must lift big weights or do a lengthy workout in order to tone up, but the latest study disproves that, she adds.
Childress advises individuals to set a timer as a gentle reminder to start moving. Additionally, exercise need not only consist of walks or squats. Pushups, planks, and other strengthening activities are also suitable.
Get up, saunter around, or descend
The 12 participants in Moore’s study consumed two meals separated by 7.5 hours that contained an equal amount of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. People either walked for two minutes at a leisurely pace for thirty minutes after each meal, or they performed fifteen body-weight squats, which include squatting from a standing posture and then rising again. They were seated elsewhere. Blood plasma tests revealed that muscles had greater protein activity after people consumed their “activity snacks” than they did before they typically got up and moved around.
According to Beth Frates, MD, “this is wonderful news for folks who must spend a significant portion of their day sitting.” (Frates oversees the lifestyle medicine programme at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, which equips individuals with the means to incorporate healthy practises into their daily lives, such as frequent exercise.))
To boost their glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association advises persons with prediabetes or diabetes to stand every half-hour. According to her, the current study confirms the benefits of regular standing intervals together with exercise for anyone who is able.
According to Frates, “having information like the ones offered in this new study sometimes inspires people. “They notice that their body is directly impacted.”
She advised trying out a couple exercise snacks with a friend or doing them with coworkers in the mornings.
Frates claims that she is personally inspired by this research.
She states, “Today, I’m going to do the body weight squats.”