• Thursday, December 01, 2022

Headline News

Do ‘soleus push-up’ at your desk to improve your overall health

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

The risk of developing serious diseases increases with a sedentary lifestyle and especially when we spend numerous hours sitting at a desk working.

Taking the time out for exercise during a tightly packed schedule is not always possible. However, there seems to be one easy exercise you can do at your desk to help improve your health, and mitigate the negative effects of sitting in one place for extended periods of time, the Mirror informs.

According to new research, one small movement can help enhance your health and improve your metabolism which is the chemical process of converting food and drinks into energy.

Experts state this is possible by keeping the metabolism of one muscle in our body up and running for hours.

Let’s take a look at this simple exercise and how it can help to improve our health.

The simple exercise is called the “soleus push-up.”

The soleus muscle is reportedly the large muscle on the back of our lower legs. This muscle is crucial for us to walk, run and jump.

Scientists have discovered that this one simple push-exercise can activate the metabolic potential of the soleus muscle.

Additionally, a study (through blood chemistry) has revealed that soleus push-ups led to a 52 per cent improvement in not only stabilizing blood glucose fluctuations, but a 60 per cent reduced insulin requirement as well – when participants were given glucose drinks.

The study participants’ lifestyle ranged from sedentary to active.

Participants were asked to perform soleus push-ups from a comfortable seated position and researchers used monitors and biopsies to interpret the results.

It was found that the pushup exercise keeps the soleus muscle energized by burning fat and blood glucose. This in turn enhances the metabolism of the muscle while also managing high cholesterol levels.

Experts are of the opinion that the soleus pushup’s magical quality is likely tied to the way this muscle keeps itself energized.

Marc Hamilton, professor of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston is reported to have said, “The soleus’ lower-than-normal reliance on glycogen helps it work for hours effortlessly without fatiguing during this type of muscle activity because there is a definite limit to muscular endurance caused by glycogen depletion.

He adds, “As far as we know, this is the first concerted effort to develop a specialized type of contractile activity centered around optimizing human metabolic processes.”

Instead of breaking down glycogen (the stored form of glucose for energy) like other muscles in the body, the soleus muscle uses blood glucose and fats so that it can keep working while we use the muscle for walking and running without getting tired.

Professor Hamilton is also quoted as saying, “We never dreamed that this muscle has this type of capacity. It’s been inside our bodies all along, but no one ever investigated how to use it to optimise our health, until now.

“When activated correctly, the soleus muscle can raise local oxidative metabolism to high levels for hours, not just minutes, and does so by using a different fuel mixture.”

To do this exercise all you need is to be seated in a comfortable position. While sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor and ensure your muscles are relaxed.

Also, while keeping the front of the foot planted on the floor, raise your heels. When your heels have reached the top of its range of motion, release your foot slowly to come back down to the starting position.

The aim of this exercise is to shorten the calf muscle and at the same time activate the soleus muscle naturally.

According to professor Hamilton, though this exercise may seem easy and simple to do – it is a very specific movement and may require experience practicing or wearable technology to optimize the health benefits.

At present, the research team is working on perfecting the instructions so that those who continuously work at desks may efficiently perform this exercise without any prior experience.

Related Stories