Scientists have found an exercise that allows you to lose weight, sitting for 10 hours a day
The solution, of course, is simple – exercise, in any form possible. But if you are like me, then training is boring and hard, right? Most of us hate exercise. Besides, there is no extra time for it. The bonus hours each day will not magically appear.
But it seems that there is a way to speed up the metabolism in the body, even sitting at a PC. And definitely avoid problems with metabolism and obesity. Released a few weeks ago Work scientists led by Mark Hamilton from the University of Houston. They developed a technique that allows you to use an unexpected property of the calf muscles, and do a full-fledged workout for your body without getting up from your chair. It turns out that losing weight while working in IT is not so difficult. I test it on myself, the flight is normal. And what kind of pumped legs will you have!
The study is based on a technique called soleus pushups (SPU). According to scientists, it allows you to activate the unique function of the muscles in the lower leg and significantly speed up the metabolism with minimal physical effort.
The publication in iSience magazine, if interested, you can read here.
The main conclusion there is that soleus muscle can maintain an active metabolism in the body for several hours without getting tired, even when a person is sitting in a chair. For a “push-up”, it is enough to raise the heel to the maximum height, keeping the front foot firmly pressed to the ground, and then slowly lower the heel. When conducting tests, the team found that the soleus region is the most active site in the body for the breakdown of carbohydrates such as glucose.
A study conducted on volunteers with varying levels of physical activity, from overweight individuals to endurance athletes, found that no known drug can match the increase in whole body oxidative metabolism that can be achieved with soleus push-ups. The team claims that the SPU method has been shown to be more effective in regulating blood glucose levels than workouts such as treadmill running, dieting, and intermittent fasting.
By their calculations, simply lifting the heel for at least 15 minutes a day is better than almost any physical exercise.
Although the amount of energy spent on walking and even more so running is spent more (see Table 2 in their work), for some reason, the metabolism from training the soleus muscle turns on more strongly. And that is exactly what we want to achieve. Oxidative metabolism is the process in which oxygen is used to burn metabolites such as glucose and fats (triglycerides) in the blood.
Hamilton (who, if anything, is one of the world’s top human risk experts, with over 80 publications over decades of work) writes:
We never dreamed that this muscle had such an ability. It has always been inside our body, but so far no one has ever studied it with precision. It turns out that when properly activated, the soleus muscle can elevate local oxidative metabolism to high levels for hours, not minutes like other muscles in our body.
The dependence of the soleus muscle on glycogen is much lower than usual. Probably because we depend so much on it for walking. This helps her to work for hours without noticeable effort without getting tired during this type of muscle activity, because there is a certain limit to muscle endurance caused by glycogen depletion.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first concerted attempt to develop a specialized type of contractile activity aimed at optimizing human metabolic processes.
A muscle biopsy conducted by scientists showed that the contribution of glycogen to the nutrition of the soleus muscle is minimal. Instead of breaking down glycogen, she prefers to use other fuels such as glucose and cholesterol. What makes her workout ideal for those who want to keep the body in good shape and not get fat.
A find for those who like to sit at the computer
During SPU training trials, this method was found to result in a 52% increase in blood sugar while reducing insulin requirements by 60%. There was also a doubling of the body’s rate of fat metabolism and a decrease in overall blood fat levels.
Highlighting the enormous potential of this research, Professor Mark Hamilton writes in his paper:
Taken together, the body’s 600 muscles typically provide only 15% of the total body’s oxidative metabolism within three hours of carbohydrate ingestion. But despite the fact that the soleus muscle makes up only 1% of body weight, it can double the metabolic rate on its own!
During the SPU cuts, we have seen that it is easy to double and sometimes triple whole body carbohydrate oxidation. We are not aware of any existing or developing pharmaceuticals that could come close to increasing and maintaining whole body oxidative metabolism at this level.
The new approach to maintaining metabolism during soleus training is also effective in doubling the normal rate of fat metabolism during the fasting period between meals.
So, how to pump the soleus muscle correctly?
In short: you are sitting with your feet on the floor, your muscles are relaxed. Raise your heel while keeping your forefoot in place. When the heel reaches its maximum amplitude, the foot is passively released and the leg comes back down. The goal is to simultaneously shorten the gastrocnemius muscle while the soleus muscle is naturally activated by its motor neurons.
You can do this both at an average pace and very slowly, depending on the mood and situation. In fact, it seems to me that many have been doing this for a long time – I remember, out of boredom, sometimes I jerked my leg like that in school lessons. Didn’t know it could be useful for something.
Although this movement may look like walking from the side (although it is performed while sitting), in fact, it is the exact opposite, according to the researchers. Our body is designed to minimize the amount of energy used when walking due to the way the soleus muscle moves. The Hamilton Method turns everything on its head and forces the soleus muscle to use as much energy as possible, and for a long period of time.
The soleus push-up from the side seems simple, but sometimes what we see with the naked eye is not everything. In fact, it is a very specific movement, the practice of which can bring great health benefits.
Or here’s a video on YouTube:
Hamilton says it’s the perfect exercise for people who sit in the same spot for hours every day. It brings the necessary metabolic relief for the body. And this is not some new “unique” fitness tip or a new diet of the month. This is simply a powerful physiological movement based on the characteristics of the soleus muscle. Offering an effective alternative for burning fat and improving metabolism. In short, according to their tests, with regular SPU exercise, the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be largely negated.
I myself, after reading about this technique, have been doing such exercises for a little over a week. I can say that it is not difficult to make them, even if quickly. Indeed, after a couple of minutes the body feels more alive, as if you are not just sitting, but something is happening.
If you develop it in the form of a habit, it will be very cool. Well, in general, if you sit, it’s boring, you can pull your foot up and down for 10-15 minutes – already something. You quickly begin to feel how the blood accelerates. Indeed, the body wakes up.
The only negative of the whole process is that colleagues in the office or household can look with suspicion, not understanding what is happening. From the outside, it looks like you have a nervous tic. And explaining all this to them is somehow awkward, you yourself seem strange. But for myself, for now, I decided to twitch every day for 15 minutes, because the exercise does not bother at all.