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Did you know that simply being active throughout the day can help improve your health and fitness? It’s true! High-intensity incidental physical activity, or HIIPA, is any type of physical activity that you do incidentally to your regular activities. This includes things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from the store entrance, or doing a few jumping jacks while you’re waiting in line. 

By incorporating high-intensity incidental physical activity into your daily routine, you can boost your overall fitness level and reduce your risk of chronic disease. Keep reading to learn more about HIIPA and how to get started!

What is high-intensity incidental physical activity or HIIPA?

Experts in health and fitness have frequently suggested adding more exercise to your daily routine by carrying several grocery bags from the car following errands or climbing a flight of steps instead of taking the elevator. Sometimes, they refer to “workout snacks” or “nutritious movement,” this approach is officially known as high-intensity incidental physical activity, also known as the HIIPA.

The idea of HIIPA was first introduced in 2018, arising from international research on the benefits of incidental physical activity and the latest research that supports the advantages of short high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions that are suitable for anyone at any level of fitness, from novices to elite athletes.

Although HIIPA is a new concept for improving health, the concept of incidental physical activity isn’t new. For 20 years or more, researchers have been studying the impact of incidental physical activity in improving cardiovascular health as well as losing and controlling body weight, particularly for those who do not or aren’t able to exercise for different reasons

HIIPA involves performing these incidental daily activities with enough intensity to increase the heart and breathing rate experienced in the HIIT exercise. According to international researchers advocating HIIPA, increasing the intensity of physical activities such that one is “huffing and puffing” for even a short amount of time could have health benefits.

What is an example of a high-intensity incidental physical activity?

These easy, anywhere workouts can be completed in just a few seconds. An average day’s HIIPA activities will consist of 3 to 5 brief (0.5-2.0 minutes) sporadic bouts of high-intensity physical activity (e.g. sprinting up the stairs, running at a fast pace, or clearing snow) distributed throughout the whole day. Consider HIIPA as “exercise snacks,” like taking a walk towards the bus stop, putting more effort into housework, or even carrying your bulky grocery bags around the house all in one go.

What is the difference between incidental physical activity and intentional exercise?

Intentional exercise is any type of physical activity that is done with the specific goal of improving fitness or health. This can include things like going for a run, playing a sport, or lifting weights at the gym which are typically more intense and provides greater health benefits. This is because they are working their muscles harder and raising their heart rate for a longer period of time. 

Most people are familiar with intentional exercise – going for a run, playing a sport, or hitting the gym. However, many people don’t realize that everyday activities can also provide significant health benefits. This is known as incidental exercise, and it can be just as effective as more traditional forms of exercise. 

Research has shown that even simple activities like walking and cleaning can lead to improvements in heart health, weight loss, and stress reduction. So next time you’re looking to get some exercise, don’t feel like you need to go out of your way to hit the gym. Instead, incorporating more movement into your daily routine can be an easy and effective way to improve your health.

Are there any benefits to doing high-intensity incidental physical activity?

The advantages of high-intensity interval exercise (HIIT) are nearly too numerous to enumerate: You’ll shed excess weight, ward off the effects of aging, increase your brain’s performance, and enhance your speed and performance. In the last 10 years, the benefits of this type of exercise have continued to add up.

According to an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers are convinced that high-intensity incidental physical exercise or HIIPA may be comparable to HIIT in regards to benefits for cardiorespiratory. The advantages may be more apparent in people who are sedentary. 

High-intensity incidental physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to the store instead of driving, can have many benefits. For one, it can increase your heart rate and help you to burn more calories. It can also improve your mental health by reducing stress and increasing endorphins. 

Additionally, high-intensity incidental activity can help to increase your overall fitness level. However, it is essential to note that this type of exercise should not be used as a replacement for intentional exercises, such as going to the gym or going for a run. Instead, think of a high-intensity incidental activity as a way to supplement your other activities. By adding just a few minutes of high-intensity activity to your day, you can make a big impact on your health.

Does HIIPA replace workouts?

You may have heard that high-intensity incidental physical activity, or HIIPA, can replace traditional workouts. But what is HIIPA, and how does it compare to more traditional forms of exercise? HIIPA is any type of activity that gets you moving and elevates your heart rate for a sustained period of time. This can include things like walking upstairs, carrying groceries, or even cleaning the house. 

People who are already active should consider looking at HIIPA as a supplement rather than an alternative to their routine. While HIIPA doesn’t necessarily replace more structured workouts, it can be a great way to get active throughout the day. In some ways, incidental activities are more important than exercise since for many it is the only type of physical activity that helps them in losing weight or recovering from weight-related illnesses.

Research shows that even small amounts of HIIPA can have significant health benefits. So if you’re looking for a way to get moving, HIIPA might be worth a try.

Achieve your Fitness Goals! Book a Professional Performance Coach Now

Are you looking to get in shape but struggling to find the motivation? A professional performance coach can help you achieve your fitness goals. Studies have shown that high-intensity incidental physical activity (HIIPA) is more effective than traditional exercise in terms of improving overall fitness levels. 

At Perform Coaching, we can design a HIIPA program specifically for you, based on your unique fitness goals. In addition, a coach can provide support and accountability, helping you to stick to your program and see results. 

Perform Coaching specializes in male and female body transformations with the following:

  • Personalised Action Plan
  • Customised Nutrition Plans
  • Weekly Check-Ins
  • Fully Bespoke Training Program
  • Daily Support and Accountability
  • A Thriving Community
  • Exclusive Coaching Hub

If you are serious about getting fit, then working with a professional performance coach may be the best decision that you ever make! Book a discovery call with a professional performance coach today and start working towards your fitness goals!



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