Easy Exercise, Massive benefit; Is this for real?

Today we are going to talk about the _Soleus Push-up_

The soleus push-up is an excellent exercise technique to learn about. It’s extremely easy to do, but research shows its benefits are massively disproportionate to the effort required to do it. It can be thought of as a mini exercise, especially good for those busy patches when you find you are unable to do a regular fitness routine. Also great for when you are travelling. For example if you or on a long car journey or long-haul flight.

It focuses on the Soleus muscle, which is a part of the calf and is used continuously for activities like standing and walking. The Soleus muscle has slow twitch fibre’s which makes it slower to fatigue. The exercise involves lifting the heel while seated, engaging the Soleus muscle, and is recommended to be performed often throughout the day. Especially if you are spending a lot of time seated.

The benefits of this exercise, as highlighted by a [study from the University of Houston](https://stories.uh.edu/2022-soleus-pushup/index.html), include dramatic improvements in blood sugar utilisation and overall metabolism.

Even though the Soleus muscle constitutes just 1% of your total musculature, engaging it through this micro-movement can lead to significant health benefits. Specifically, the study found a 52% decrease in post-meal blood glucose spikes and a 60% reduction in hyperinsulinemia (more simply known as excess insulin levels). And in earlier videos we looked at why that is so good.

Additionally, despite the Soleus being a small muscle, this exercise led to substantial improvements in systemic metabolic regulation. So this simple exercise helps combat both the development of insulin resistance and metabolic disease. Wow. Wonderfull stuff. What is there not to like?

So it serves as a practical tool that can be easily incorporated into daily routines, including while working at the desk. It provides an accessible way to contribute to metabolic health and fitness without needing to significantly disrupt daily activities. It can be developed as a habitual movement that can be done while concentrating on other work.

Of course all such activities do distract a little, and we promote single task focus wherever possible, even on mundane and otherwise boring tasks.

But we aren’t fundamentalist about this. This is a matter of balance, and, on balance, this simple exercise has such disproportionately beneficial up-side, it is definitely worth making it exception to that rule. Do it while, for example while undertaking mundane repetitive tasks, such as entering expenses.


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