Mini steppers keep your feet moving even when you're sitting down.
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Mini steppers let you pack a cardiovascular workout into a portable unit. These small machines fit under your desk, in front of your couch or in the back of your car so you can exercise when and where it's convenient for you. They help you make the time to exercise, even if it means spreading short sessions throughout the day.
Pumping You Up
Mini steppers help you build muscle in your legs and hips, including the gluteus muscles and the quadriceps in the front of your thighs, the hamstrings in the back of your thighs, and the gastrocnemius and soleus in your calves. Some steppers have built-in clips to hold resistance bands so you can build muscle in your upper body as well, such as your biceps, triceps and the deltoid muscles in your shoulders, depending on the type of arm exercises you perform. Even without the clips, using dumbbells can provide the same benefit.
Sitting or Standing
A benefit of using a mini stepper is that it fits in small spaces. You can stand on the machine for traditional stepping movements, or slide it under your desk or in front of your couch to keep your feet and legs moving even when you're sitting down. For example, you could stand and exercise on the machine while you're returning phone calls, then continue to use it under your desk while you check your email. Even while seated, the continuous movement of your feet on a mini stepper keeps you continually burning calories through non-exercise activity thermogenesis, reports Oregon's KCBY-TV. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis includes fidgeting, gesturing and simply standing up. Any type of movement that replaces what would normally be sedentary time, including using a mini stepper under your desk, can bump up your calorie burn.
Mini stepper machines work to help you burn calories, which can lead to weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. Using the machine while standing burns the most calories; a 155-pound person can torch 223 calories in 30 minutes when using the stepper vigorously. A 125-pound person can burn 180 calories, while a 185-pound person can torch 266 calories in a half hour. When you use it while you're sitting down, you're still burning calories -- up to 100 more calories per hour than when you're sitting still, James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, tells KCBY-TV.
Upping Your Cardio
The main function of a mini stepper is to get you moving so you can raise your heart rate during cardiovascular exercise. You should get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio each week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That equals 30 minutes per day for five days each week. Those 30 minutes don't have to be all at once -- breaking up the exercise into three 10-minute sessions might make it more manageable. The mini stepper enables you to grab those 10 minutes in the corner of your office or while you're watching TV at home without taking up valuable floor space.
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