How to Get Your Steps in When You Can’t Go Out

Story Highlights
  • What is a Soleus Pushup?
  • What are its Benefits?

According to the WHO, over a quarter of the world is failing to meet the minimum requirements for physical activity—150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week­—and this number has only grown since people’s jobs have become increasingly sedentary. This can lead to a variety of health complications.

However, there may be a solution to this problem for people who cannot find time in the day to do any physical exercise, and it is called a Soleus Pushup.

What is a Soleus Pushup?

The soleus is a small muscle situated below the calf, making up less than 1% of our body’s musculature. This muscle is composed of slow-twitch muscle fibers as opposed to fast-twitch fibers. This means that it is not meant to produce significant amounts of power;

rather, it is meant to provide stability and keep us upright. Thus, it is

designed to contract multiple times without getting sore. A person could walk all day long without this particular muscle getting sore.

A soleus pushup is a calf raise done in a seated position. It is done by keeping the knee at a right angle and starting with the foot flat on the ground, then raising the heel and dropping it down, and thus repeating this over and over again. 

What are its Benefits?

A study was published by the University of Houston, which found that performing the soleus pushup may reduce increases in blood glucose levels after eating by up to 52% and blood insulin levels by up to 60%. Keeping blood sugar and metabolism regulated is very

important for preventing diabetes. The study found similar results for people who perform any amount or kind of physical activity. The participants performed this exercise for varying amounts of time every day, with a maximum of four and a half hours and visible benefits at far less than that. This length of time can be completed with multiple breaks in between.

This is by no means a replacement for regular exercise. But walking every day is also a significant contributor to health, and for those forced to remain seated for the majority of the day and for longer than they would like, this is a potent substitute for that. Not to mention that it is also as easy to do for more extended periods as it is to walk. 

Those who spend most of their day at a desk for work or school or those with injuries preventing them from performing regular exercise could benefit immensely.

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