Boost your activity level in small bites

Incorporating brief spurts of high-intensity physical activity throughout your day can help you move to the next fitness level.

If you're not very active but looking to move more, a new strategy might help you get going. Called high-intensity incidental physical activity, or HIIPA for short, it's a new take on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) — only you might find yourself vigorously pushing a vacuum instead of going for a run.

HIIPA (not to be confused with the HIPAA health care privacy rule) is a term coined in an editorial published online Sept. 3 by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It borrows from the idea behind HIIT, which is a workout that alternates between high-intensity and low-intensity activity. But instead of performing these high-intensity intervals during exercise, HIIPA encourages otherwise sedentary people to add a few moderately strenuous physical activities during the course of their regular day. Anything that raises your heart rate counts — walking up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator, carrying in a load of groceries, or doing some heavy cleaning around the house. The editorial's authors, a team of international experts, say the goal is to perform an activity that gets you a little out of breath.

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