En la segunda entrega de nuestra serie sobre 100 Health Hacks For 2020 , analizamos los pequeños hacks que puede hacer para incorporar más, y mejor, ejercicio a su estilo de vida.
Todos los consejos y trucos sugeridos en la serie están inspirados en Telegraph 365 + 1, nuestro boletín diario de salud que ofrece pequeñas ideas que pueden hacer un gran cambio en su vida. Haga clic aquí para registrarse .
1. Ponte en cuclillas
Ponerse en cuclillas es uno de los movimientos más fundamentales que pueden hacer los humanos, un poco descuidado desde la invención de la silla 2680BC, pero igualmente esencial para la salud y la movilidad.
“Simplemente ponerse en cuclillas cuando tienes la oportunidad varias veces al día es una de las cosas de mayor influencia que puedes hacer para la salud”, dice Ryan Hurst, un ex gimnasta profesional y entrenador en jefe de GMB Fitness.
Para los indicadores de forma, consulte a su niño más cercano: generalmente se ponen en cuclillas con una forma impecable (pies planos en el piso, cofres hacia arriba y caderas que se hunden muy por debajo del nivel de la rodilla). Idealmente, deberías poder hacer sentadillas mientras estás parado frente a una pared, sin que tus rodillas toquen el ladrillo, debes estar sentado, sin que tus rodillas se muevan hacia adelante.
C intuitivamente, es posible que le resulte más fácil sostener un peso, como pesas rusas, pesas o mochilas, frente a usted, lo que le permitirá empujarlo más hacia el estiramiento y contrarrestarlo para que no se caiga.
Una vez que tenga la habilidad, abrace la alegría de ponerse en cuclillas haciendo un puñado de repeticiones mientras espera que hierva la olla, o siéntese en la posición inferior durante programas de televisión no esenciales. ¡Incluso podrías probarlo con una barra! Pero realmente no tienes que hacerlo. Nadie en 2680BC se molestó.
2. ¿HIIPA no HIIT
¿Estoy intimidado por HIIT (entrenamiento de intervalos de alta intensidad)? No todo está perdido: un informe publicado en el British Journal of Sports Medicine el año pasado argumentó que el ejercicio “incidental” podría ser la clave para vivir una vida larga y saludable.
And all it takes to reap the benefits is five minutes, five times a day.
‘High Intensity Incidental Physical Activity’ (otherwise known as HIIPA) simply involves upping the ante on your day-to-day activities by going about them in a “hyper” (see what they did there?) manner. Experts believe that three to five brief, vigorous activities a day could improve your life expectancy – so long as you get out of breath while doing them.
– Cleaning the kitchen with extra vigour, perhaps while dancing to your favourite song.
– Parking the car in the farthest corner of the car park and power walking to and from the supermarket.
– When out walking, walk briskly to the next lamppost, then at a normal pace to the next one, and then briskly again.
3. Walk tall like a dancer
Dancers have some of the most challenging daily routines of any performers. As English National Ballet dancer Natalie Garry recalls, it’s a case of up at the crack of dawn and into the studio before 8am, often with little idea of when the day will end.
“You can always spot a dancer by their posture,” says Garry. Dancers hold their heads high, and walk with characteristic elegance and grace because, to put it bluntly, slouching is not acceptable.
The good news is that it’s actually very straightforward to master this striking, dancer-like posture and work your core muscles at the same time.
“Stand up straight, grind your feet into the floor, feel the tummy muscles pulling inwards,” recommends Garry. “Gently pull those stomach muscles in, not severely but, say, 20 per cent capacity.”
By simply working those abdominal muscles, in and up, you’re lengthening your back and actually making yourself taller. “It stretches your spine up. Your head should be raised high, but moving freely, not tense; and your shoulders should be relaxed. You’re extending through your back.”
Natalie Garry is the founder of danceSing
4. Learn how to ‘shoulder floss’
Shoulder flossing was first seen during New York yoga classes and involves standing up straight, turning your palms outwards, and then circling your arms behind and over your head, coming through on the other side of your body. Do it over again, in both directions
“It’s a great move for people who spend a lot of their day hunched over a computer,” says personal trainer Lee Mullins, who works with actress and model Cressida Bonas and Lady Amelia Windsor. “It really opens up the shoulders, because it moves them around in lots of different directions and gets the joints moving.
“It can also help release tension in your shoulder blades and lower back, which increases strength and joint flexibility and decreases tension in that area.” Like tooth flossing, just a minute or two a day makes all the difference.
5. Go micro-running
Here’s some heartening news from Victoria University in Australia: any amount of running is good for you and linked to a decreased risk of early death.
The research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at 14 previous studies involving over 230,000 people who were followed for between 5.5 and 35 years. They found even those who ran as little as once a month, for less than 50 minutes, or at a slow pace, still had a reduced risk of dying, compared to those who didn’t run at all.
“Any amount of running, even just once a week, is better than no running, but higher doses of running may not necessarily be associated with greater mortality benefits,” said the study authors.
“I’m a huge fan of micro-fitness, or fitness snacking,” says personal trainer Matt Roberts. “You need to move your body in a slightly vigorous way that raises your heart rate, every day. Yet so many of us fail to do this, usually because we don’t think we have enough time.
“Rather than having the mindset, ‘I must go for an hour long run before or after work,’ and then berating yourself for not going, simply go for a 15 or 20 minute run instead.”
6. Try a mouth rinse for a performance boost
Towards the end of the north London derby between Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in 2019, Arsenal’s Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira cramped up. Nothing unusual there, it was an intensely fought affair, and Torreira is known for his combative style. He’d run himself into the ground.
What was more unusual was that Torreira then proceeded to not only swig on pickle juice, but to spit it out.
The technique is called mouth-rinsing (also known as carb-rinsing), and is common among professional sportspeople and endurance athletes.
Richard Brennan, managing director of Sport Science Consultants, explains: “Your body can only take in about 60-90g of carbs per hour, anything more will give you gastrointestinal distress.” By swishing an isotonic drink in your mouth, certain areas of the brain are stimulated, tricking the body into thinking carbs (and therefore energy) are coming in, thus allowing it to work harder. By not reaching the gut, the chance of an upset stomach during sport are dimmed.
Studies have supported the theory, with mouth-rinsing consistently shown to improve performance during trials.
7. An exercise to ease a tight back
Desk workers spend hours every day hunched over a desk, so it’s no surprise that many report feeling a tight back.
Personal trainer Keith McNiven recommends the Angel Stretch as a way of opening up your back muscles. The movement focuses on the trapezius muscles (the ones that run down the sides of your back, in case you don’t remember your school biology class) and the deeper rhomboid muscles (the centre of your upper back).
He says all it takes is three easy steps:
1. Begin by standing with your back against the wall and the backs of your arms touching the surface behind.
2. Take on a ‘surrendering’ pose, with your arms out to the sides, elbows bent and palms facing forwards.
3. Now slowly raise your arms so that your palms meet together in the middle, like you’re making a snow angel with your arms.
Try doing it a couple of times a day. It will help get the blood flowing to your muscles, bolstering your mobility, and loosen that pesky tight back in no time at all.
8. Learn Open Window Theory
The NHS politely asks that we all get “moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week”. But you can also exercise too much – as sports scientist Richard Brennan likes to remind people.
Brennan is an advocate ‘Open Window’ theory. While moderate exercise is good for the immune system, he says, too much can actually increase your likelihood of getting sick.
According to Open Window theory, for or up to 72 hours after rigorous physical activity, immunity is compromised, and viruses and bacteria can more easily invade the body. “That’s when you could pick up that cough your work colleague has, that you wouldn’t ordinarily,” Brennan said.
The theory was first published by Dr David C. Nieman of Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Nieman looked into runners who had participated at the 1987 Los Angeles Marathon. He discovered that 12.2 per cent reported an infectious episode in the following week; while just 2.2 per cent of runners of a similar level who didn’t run the marathon succumbed to similar ailments. The same study found a similar correlation between increased mileage in preparation for the marathon and infectious episodes.
In the 1990s Nieman presented a graph showing how those undertaking moderate activity had a below average risk of upper respiratory tract infections (common among ultramarathon runners); sedentary people had an average risk; but hardcore athletes had a heightened risk.
To help mitigate against Open Window theory, Nieman recommends that during the all-important 72 hours, you limit other life stresses, ensure a balanced diet, and keep your hands away from your eyes and nose as much as possible.
9. Be dumb-smart
Dr Rangan Chatterjee, a GP, author and TV presenter, keeps a dumbbell sitting about in his kitchen, “so when I am walking through, I am prompted to pick it up and do a quick 30-second workout.”
Provided you don’t do a Homer Simpson (who used his dumbbell on only one side and turned into a half-uber Rafael Nadal), a set of dumbbells can indeed provide an easy, quick workout. How? We asked Daria Kantor, founder and CEO of TruBe, an on-demand fitness and wellbeing app, to explain.
“The dumbbell is a versatile piece of equipment that you can use pretty much anywhere and everywhere,” says Daria Kantor, founder and CEO of TruBe, an on-demand fitness and wellbeing app. “They offer an unparalleled strength workout because they engage so many muscles in just one training session.”
They are also effective at isolating certain muscle types, like biceps and triceps. “Plus, the extra control needed to lift dumbbells are very effective in honing technique and building strength in a balanced way on both your right and left sides.”
Kantor suggests trying standing dumbbell marches. Start with 4kg dumbbells, or ones that feel comfortable, and do a few sets, whatever you have time for, with rests. “This exercise will not only help strengthen your shoulders, but also your legs and lower back muscles.”
10. Play tennis to live longer
Thinking of taking up a new sport this year? Well make it tennis, if a Danish study is anything to go by. Researchers have found that playing tennis may help to lengthen your life by up to ten years.
El estudio del corazón de la ciudad de Copenhague involucró a 20,000 personas y analizó los beneficios del corazón y la longevidad de varios deportes, como tenis, bádminton, fútbol, carrera, natación y ciclismo. “Sorprendentemente, descubrimos que los tenistas tenían la vida útil más larga esperada entre los ocho deportes diferentes”, dijeron los investigadores.
T oye supuso que dos rasgos de tenis pueden estar detrás de sus hallazgos – el aspecto social del deporte, junto con la cantidad de HIIT (entrenamiento de intervalos de alta intensidad) que participan en un juego típico.
Del mismo modo, un estudio japonés descubrió recientemente que los deportes de raqueta complejos, como el tenis, el ping pong, el squash y el bádminton, brindan beneficios cognitivos mucho mayores que los ejercicios como correr o andar en bicicleta.