Steps and Bursts is a simple concept for exercise that is designed for real life, in real time – that is, life outside the gym, as you move from home to work to school or however or wherever you spend your days.

It combines step counting with “Bursts,” periodic, brief (3-5 minute) spurts of cardio activity throughout the day.

The overall goal is to work up to a total of15-30 minutes of Bursts every day.

You can “Fit it In” anytime, anywhere.

If you think that the Steps and Bursts approach is second best to a longer once-a-day workout, think again. In reality, it may be far better than conventional workouts. There is a growing body of scientific research that supports the notion that smaller bouts of exercise performed more frequently throughout the day is as beneficial, if not more, than one longer, steady state workout. This makes perfect sense in light of the latest research that links long periods of sitting everyday (like at your desk or in your car) with some unexpected and catastrophic health implications, even if you workout regularly.

In other words, your health and your life depend upon how much physical activity you can fit into your typical day, not just the days that you can get to the gym or exercise class.

Steps and Bursts is the solution for people whose busy lives may not be able to fit in formal exercise, but who can find a spare 5 or 10 minutes a few times a day to keep their bodies well tuned.

What is a Burst?

A Burst can be as simple as running in place, doing jumping jacks, climbing steps, dancing around your living room, or a combination of activities depending on where you are, and what exercise tools are at hand. The purpose of a Burst is to give your heart and lungs a good work-out.

A Burst is an adaptation of interval training, a fitness regimen that has been proven to be as effective as 30-minute “steady state” work-outs. Interval training entails repeated, short bursts of strenuous activity accompanied by longer rest periods. It’s favored by athletes because it gets them out of the gym faster, but doesn’t compromise their fitness. It doesn’t have to be done at a gym, and can work for just about anyone.

The point is to find activities that suit you based on your current fitness level and your fitness goals.

We understand that when and how you do your Bursts will depend on how you spend your day. Those of you who commute to work aren’t going to want to work up a sweat on the way to the office, so you may choose to do your most intense Bursts before you leave home in the morning or after work.

If you have a gym membership, you can do a brief set of Bursts on an exercise machine before or after work. If you work at home, you can do a Burst anytime you need to clear your head and feel energized.

Frequent Bursts of activity fire up the fat burning muscles, and ultimately boost metabolism.  Do this often enough and over time, you will create and maintain new muscle, while burning off excess fat. And now that we can actually track our steps, level of intensity and calorie burn, it is easier than ever design a plan of steps and bursts that seamlessly fits into your life.

Given the short nature of a Burst, you may not notice a rapid increase in calorie burn for each one, but if you work up to 20-30 minutes of Bursts daily, you should notice an overall increase in calorie burning.

Go at Your Own Pace

Everyone has varying levels of fitness and experience with exercise. The first rule is that you should do what feels right for your body. You should work hard, especially when you’re doing your Bursts, but don’t push yourself to the point of pain.

If you experience any discomfort in your chest, dizziness or have difficulty catching your breath, you need to stop and contact your doctor.