Jump Into VILPA: Short Bursts of Exercise for Lifelong Health

VILPA at home - Habits & Health

Embrace VILPA: Unlock the Power of Short Bursts of Exercise for Lifelong Fitness

Ever stumbled upon a trend that made you chuckle and think, “Hang on, I’ve been doing this for yonks without even realising it was a ‘thing’?” Well, pull up a chair and let me spill the beans on Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity, or VILPA, as the cool kids are calling it. It’s like discovering you’ve been a secret agent of fitness in your daily life without the official title.

running up stairs - VILPA - Habits & Health

For a few years now, every day without fail, just before tucking into my main meal, I’ve been engaging in energetic skipping followed by a bout on the rebounder. Little did I know, my little pre-dinner routine was me tipping my hat to VILPA – before I even knew VILPA was a thing! This cheeky bit of VILPA movement might just be the secret sauce to my vibrant health and energy. 

So, let’s dive into the world of VILPA, shall we? It’s about squeezing in short bursts of vigorous activity into your daily life, no gym membership required. Think of it as the health hack that’s been hiding in plain sight. And who knows, by the end of this, you might realise you’re already part of the VILPA club, too!

VILPA Explained: Micro-workouts, Not Gyms

man squatting - VILPA - Habits & Health

Let’s get to the heart of the matter: what on Earth is VILPA? Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity, or VILPA for short, is not your traditional jog around the park or the gruelling hour-long session at the gym. No, it’s sneakier than that. VILPA is all about integrating short, sharp bursts of high-intensity activity into your daily routine. Think power-walking to the shops, taking the stairs two at a time, or, in my case, a quick session of skipping and rebounding before dinner. It’s about making the activities of daily living a bit more…vigorous.

VILPA is adaptable and can be modified for any fitness level, making it safe for beginners.

Start with low-intensity activities like

squats in the kitchen

brisk walking

or bodyweight exercises

and gradually increase intensity and duration as you get fitter.

Now, how does this differ from the usual suspects in the exercise lineup? Traditional exercise regimes often come with a side of “I really can’t be bothered today,” requiring dedicated chunks of time, specific equipment, and sometimes even a level of solemnity that can be off-putting. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), while closer in spirit to VILPA with its emphasis on intensity over duration, still usually demands a more structured approach and a readiness to don workout attire and sweat profusely.

Pump Up Your Heart: How VILPA Improves Cardiovascular Health

VILPA, on the other hand, is the undercover agent of the fitness world. It’s about seizing those little moments throughout the day to elevate your heart rate and strengthen your body without needing to block out time in your diary. It’s HIIT without the need for a gym, and traditional exercise without the monotony.

woman jogging - VILPA - Habits & Health

For folks in their 40s-60s realising health should be a priority, VILPA is a godsend.. It’s practical, adaptable, and joint-friendly compared to more intense workouts.

The benefits? Oh, they’re as plentiful as the biscuits in a British pantry. Improved cardiovascular health, better glucose management, enhanced mental well-being, and a more robust metabolism are just the start. Incorporating VILPA into your daily life can lead to improvements in overall health, energy levels, and even your outlook on life.

So, for those of us who thought our best metabolic rate days were behind us, VILPA offers a glimmer of hope. It whispers, “Focus not on time lost but moments you can seize now.” And honestly, who can resist such a charming proposition?

The Science and Benefits of VILPA

Let’s don the lab coat and peek through the microscope at the science behind VILPA, shall we? While the idea of injecting short, vigorous activities into our day might sound as simple as adding milk to tea, there’s a heap of scientific backing that makes it even more compelling.

First off, studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which shares DNA with VILPA, can significantly improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, lower blood pressure, and reduce body fat more effectively than more prolonged, moderate forms of micro workouts. But here’s where VILPA dances to its own beat: it suggests that these vigorous activities can be woven into the fabric of our daily lives, without the need for a dedicated workout session.

VILPA's Impact on Muscle Mass and Calorie Burning

This can be a powerful strategy for increasing muscle mass. Why is this important? Because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re at rest. Incorporating VILPA into your daily routine, through activities like quick, intense bouts of stair climbing or carrying heavy groceries, can help build and maintain muscle. This, in turn, boosts your metabolic rate, making it easier to manage your weight and improve overall body composition.

man using dumbbells at home - VILPA - Habits & Health

Improvements in mental health too

woman doing horse stance exercise - VILPA - Habits & Health

This approach has been linked to not only physical health benefits but also improvements in mental health and mood. Engaging in physical activity can release endorphins, those feel-good hormones that brighten our outlook on life.

The benefits of VILPA for ages 40-65 are extensive and impressive

How to improve Cardiovascular Health with VILPA

First, it improves cardiovascular health. Engaging in activities that get the heart pumping at higher intensities has been linked to reduced risks of heart disease and stroke. The heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood, and blood vessels improve their ability to manage blood flow, reducing the risk of plaque build-up.

a rebounder - Habits & Health

Can VILPA help me lose weight?

Next up, better metabolic rates take the stage. VILPA helps in It manages weight better than steady-state exercise by boosting calorie burn during and after the activity through the ‘afterburn’ effect. This can lead to improvements in body composition, reducing fat mass while preserving or even increasing muscle mass.

Enhanced mood

And let’s not forget the encore performance: enhanced mood. Regular participation in VILPA-like activities can combat feelings of depression and anxiety, improve self-esteem, and even enhance cognitive function. It’s like giving your brain a workout, resulting in sharper thinking and a more positive mental state.

VILPA exercise at home - Habits & Health

The science is clear: incorporating VILPA into your daily routine could lead to significant health benefits, making it a worthy addition to your lifestyle playlist. So, whether you’re bounding up the stairs, having a mini disco in the kitchen, or engaging in a spot of vigorous gardening, you’re not just having a bit of fun; you’re conducting a symphony of health benefits that could lead to a longer, happier life. Now, if that’s not a reason to get moving, I don’t know what is!

Personal Journey with VILPA

woman using dumbbells at home - VILPA - Habits & Health

Let me take you through a whirlwind tour of my own escapades with Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity, or VILPA, as we’ve affectionately come to know it. It’s been a journey of discovery, experimentation, and, dare I say, a fair bit of fun along the way.

My dalliance with VILPA began as an unwitting adventure, rooted in my daily pre-dinner ritual: a spirited session of skipping followed by a lively bounce on the rebounder. Little did I know, this routine was my first handshake with VILPA.

On the rebound

Over time, I began to spice up the mix with a variety of rebounding techniques—twisting my body side to side with each jump, leaning forward in a mock sprint, and then leaning back to bring my knees up as high as they’d go. Each variation brought its own flavour to the workout, keeping the excitement alive and my body guessing.

But why stop there? Inspired by the concept of rucking (that’s carrying a weighted pack on your back for the uninitiated), I decided to up the ante. Some days, I’d hold a dumbbell in each hand while rebounding, or strap on a backpack filled with weights before skipping and using the rebounder. The added weight not only increased the physical challenge but also amplified the benefits, turning a simple activity into a full-body workout.

using a rebounder at home - Habits & Health


Now, let’s talk results. Since incorporating VILPA into my daily life and those of my clients, the changes have been both felt and seen. Cardiovascular health has soared to heights people hadn’t reached in years, making those brisk walks in the Cotswolds feel like a stroll in the park.

One person’s energy levels have seen a significant uptick, with the mid-afternoon slumps becoming a thing of the past. Perhaps most importantly, overall mood and mental clarity have improved, making the daily rigmaroles more manageable and enjoyable.

It’s in the pudding

But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Regular health check-ups have shown significant improvements across the board: reduced body fat percentage, better blood pressure readings, and more stable blood sugar levels.. It’s as if VILPA has turned back the clock, gifting my clients not just a fitter body but a rejuvenated spirit to match.

weight training for dogs - Habits & Health

Incorporating VILPA into my own life has been a revelation, a testament to the idea that it’s never too late to transform your health and metabolic rate. It’s shown me that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or a time-consuming affair but can instead be a joyful, integrated part of everyday life.

Reignite Your Fitness: How VILPA Benefits Midlife Health

If you’re a midlife maverick navigating your 40s, 50s or 60s, see VILPA as a beacon of hope. As you stand reflecting with your morning tea, it’s easy to notice the toll career and family duties have taken on your health and wellness over the years.

But fear not! VILPA offers a bridge back to vitality, a chance to rectify past neglect without magic potions. Here’s a dollop of motivation and a few tips on how VILPA can be seamlessly woven into the rich tapestry of your bustling life:

Recognize and Rectify

Firstly, it’s crucial to acknowledge the elephants in the room – those years of prioritising everything but your wellbeing. Recognising is the first step to rectifying. 

This means making peace with the past and understanding that today is the perfect day to start anew. Your health journey is not a sprint; it’s a scenic stroll through the countryside of life, with VILPA as your loyal companion.

Seamless Integration

VILPA’s beauty lies in its simplicity and adaptability. It doesn’t ask for your life to be put on pause but rather to turn mundane moments into opportunities for movement. While waiting for the kettle to boil, why not throw in a mini-session of squats? Or take the stairs two at a time, feeling the burn and smiling because you can. In essence making the most of what you’ve got, when you’ve got it.

Make It Enjoyable

using weights in the kitchen-VILPA - Habits & Health

Remember, the aim is to sprinkle a bit of joy into your day. If dancing in the kitchen while your pasta boils brings a smile to your face and your heart rate up, you’re doing VILPA right. The goal is to find activities that you enjoy, that make you laugh, and that you look forward to. This isn’t about punishing yourself; it’s celebrating what your body can do, one burst of activity at a time.

Build a Support Network

Embarking on this journey with like-minded individuals can make all the difference. Whether it’s a spouse keen to join in on your living room disco or a friend up for a challenge of who can do more garden sprints, having a support network can turn VILPA into a shared adventure. Plus, a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone.

home workouts - stretching - Habits & Health

Celebrate Every Victory

Celebrate every step, skip, and jump. Managed to do ten minutes of vigorous gardening? Bravo! Opted to run up the stairs over the lift? Splendid! Each decision to move is a victory, a testament to your commitment to reclaiming your health and fitness.

rucking in the woods - Habits & Health

To my fellow midlife mavericks, let VILPA be your guide back to a life brimming with energy and zest. It’s time to reclaim the narrative, to show that health and vitality aren’t just the domain of the young but a lifelong journey worth embarking on, no matter the starting point. So, lace up those trainers (or don’t, if you’re about to skip in the living room) and let’s embrace the VILPA way together.

Start Your VILPA Journey: Easy Tips for Daily Movement

Diving into VILPA doesn’t require a swanky gym membership or fancy equipment; all you need is a dash of enthusiasm and a sprinkle of creativity. Here’s a friendly guide to get you started on your VILPA journey, packed with practical tips and simple movements to weave into your daily routine. Let’s turn those mundane moments into opportunities for health and vitality!

Tip #1: Start Small and Build Gradually

Begin with activities that don’t feel too daunting. A brisk walk around the block, a few flights of stairs, or even a spirited session of vacuuming can kickstart your VILPA journey. As you grow more comfortable, increase the intensity and duration of these activities. Remember, the key is consistency, not intensity, to start.

Stair climbing for fitness - VILPA - Habits & Health

Tip #2: Use What You've Got

squatting in the kitchen - VILPA - Habits & Health

Look around your home and daily environment for VILPA opportunities. A sturdy chair can be your station for step-ups or tricep dips. Those grocery bags? They’re now weights for a few sets of arm curls before you pack them away. Get creative and make your surroundings work for you.

Starting Micro-Workouts:

  • Skipping: A fantastic way to get your heart rate up. Start with just 30 seconds and gradually increase as you feel more comfortable. No skipping rope? No problem! Imaginary skipping can be just as effective.
  • Rebounding: If you have access to a mini-trampoline, fantastic! If not, simulating the motion on the ground by bouncing on the balls of your feet can mimic the activity.
  • Stair Climbing: Find a set of stairs and challenge yourself to take them two at a time or simply speed up your ascent. Start with one or two flights and increase as you build stamina.

Tip #3: Keep It Varied

Variety isn’t just the spice of life; it’s also a fantastic way to keep VILPA engaging and effective. Mix up your activities to challenge different muscle groups and keep boredom at bay. Today, you might focus on lower body with some vigorous stair climbing; tomorrow, you could switch to upper body with some light dumbbell work or push-ups.

Tip #4: Listen to Your Body

While VILPA is about incorporating more activity into your life, it’s also crucial to heed your body’s signals. Start at an intensity that feels challenging but doable, and always allow for recovery time. If something hurts in a not-so-good way, pull back and consider a different activity.

Tip #5: Make It a Habit

The ultimate goal of VILPA is to integrate these bursts of activity into your lifestyle so seamlessly that they become second nature. Pairing VILPA activities with daily tasks can help. For instance, doing a few squats while waiting for the kettle to boil or opting for a brisk walk while chatting on the phone are excellent strategies to make VILPA a part of your daily routine.

having fun using a rebounder - Habits & Health

By following these tips and gradually incorporating more VILPA into your day, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, more active lifestyle without the need for drastic changes. Remember, every bit of movement counts, and it’s the accumulation of these efforts that will lead to significant health benefits. 

VILPA workout Plans for Busy Mums

For busy mums looking to incorporate VILPA into their daily routine, the key is finding quick, effective workouts that can be easily slotted into a hectic schedule. Here are some VILPA-inspired ideas:

Morning Madness: Start the day with a 5-minute burst of activity. This could be a quick skipping session, high knees, or fast stair climbing before the day kicks off.

Playtime Plyometrics: Turn playtime with the kids into a workout. Engage in activities like hopscotch, jumping jacks, or even a mini dance-off to get your heart rate up.

Chores with a Twist: Make household chores work for you. For instance, lunges while vacuuming or squatting while picking up toys. It’s about making every movement count.

Park Bench Workout: Use a park visit as an opportunity to incorporate some VILPA. Try step-ups on the bench, push-ups, and tricep dips for a quick full-body workout while the kids play.

wearables for VILPA - Habits & Health

Evening Wind Down: Before dinner, take a few minutes for some high-intensity activities like burpees, mountain climbers, or a brisk walk around the block.

These plans are designed to be flexible, allowing busy mums to fit in VILPA without it feeling like a burden. The aim is to integrate these activities into daily life, making fitness both fun and achievable.

Why Choose Health Coaching for VILPA

Embarking on the VILPA journey, while exhilarating, can sometimes feel like charting unfamiliar waters. This is where enlisting the support of a health coach can be akin to having your very own fitness compass, guiding you through the maze of making these lifestyle changes stick. Allow me to illuminate why choosing health coaching services, especially for integrating VILPA into your life, could be the game-changer you’ve been seeking.

Personalised VILPA Guidance

The beauty of VILPA lies in its flexibility, but the question of “Where do I begin?” can be daunting. A health coach provides tailored advice, crafting a routine that aligns with your current fitness level, preferences, and life circumstances. This bespoke approach ensures the activities you engage in are not only effective but also enjoyable, increasing the likelihood of long-term adherence.

exercise at home - VILPA - Habits & Health

Overcoming Barriers

rucking in the woods - Habits & Health

Each of us faces unique challenges when trying to incorporate more physical activity into our lives. A health coach is like a skilled navigator, helping you identify potential obstacles and devising strategies to overcome them. A health coach helps you overcome barriers like limited time, physical limitations, or lack of motivation with practical, sustainable solutions.

Accountability and Support

One of the most valuable aspects of health coaching is the accountability it provides. Knowing you have someone to report back to can be a powerful motivator. Health coaches offer encouragement and celebrate your victories, no matter how small, while also providing a gentle nudge when needed. This support system can make all the difference in transforming VILPA from a fleeting interest to a permanent fixture in your life.

Expert Insights and Resources

Health coaches are treasure troves of knowledge, offering insights into the latest health and fitness research, including VILPA. They can provide resources, tools, and techniques to enhance your understanding and execution of VILPA activities, ensuring you’re not just moving more but also moving smarter.

Holistic Approach to Health

Finally, health coaching addresses more than just physical activity. Coaches look at the big picture, including nutrition, sleep, stress management, and more, offering a holistic approach to wellbeing. This comprehensive view ensures that your VILPA efforts are supported by other pillars of health, leading to more profound and far-reaching benefits.

mum and daughter dance - VILPA - Habits & Health

In conclusion, choosing health coaching is about investing in a partnership that nurtures your journey towards better health and fitness. It’s gaining a mentor, motivator, and guide all rolled into one, ensuring your path to a more active lifestyle is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. So, if you’re ready to take your health to the next level with VILPA, consider health coaching your secret weapon in achieving those goals.

A spark of excitement?

As we wrap up our exploration of Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity (VILPA), I hope you’re feeling a spark of excitement, perhaps a bubbling curiosity to give this approach a go. VILPA isn’t just another wellness fad; it’s a realistic, adaptable way to weave more activity into your life, no matter your age or fitness level. Here’s turning intention into action, one vigorous burst at a time.

The balls in your court

Now, the ball’s in your court. The first step towards a healthier, more vibrant life is just a skip, jump, or bounce away. Why not make today the day you start? Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, or in the case of VILPA, a single burst of activity.

For those hungry for more insights into leading a healthier, happier life, I invite you to dive deeper into my blog. Each post is a treasure trove of tips, tales, and tidbits designed to inspire and inform. And for real-time updates and nuggets of wisdom, don’t forget to follow on LinkedIn.

But perhaps you’re craving a more tailored approach to your health and wellness journey? My health coaching services offer personalised guidance, support, and accountability to help you navigate the path to wellness with confidence. Whether you’re looking to integrate VILPA into your routine or seeking a holistic overhaul of your lifestyle, I’m here to support you every step of the way.

So, dear reader, are you ready to jump, skip, and bounce back to health? The VILPA way is not just a path to better physical health; it’s a journey towards rediscovering the joy of movement, the exhilaration of pushing your limits, and the satisfaction of achieving your health goals.

mum and son workout - VILPA - Habits & Health

Cheerio, and here’s to taking that first exhilarating step on your VILPA journey. Remember, every burst of activity brings you closer to the healthiest version of yourself. Let’s embark on this adventure together, with hearts full of hope and trainers ready for action.

Get in touch

Ready to transform your health with VILPA? Dive deeper into my world of fitness and wellness by reading more blog posts and articles. Follow me on LinkedIn for the latest tips and insights. Consider enlisting for my personalised health coaching services to guide you every step of the way on your VILPA journey. Start today!

Contact me here


What is VILPA?

Vigorous Intermittent Lifestyle Physical Activity (VILPA) involves integrating short bursts of high-intensity activity into your daily routine, without the need for structured workout sessions.

How does VILPA compare to traditional workouts?

Unlike traditional workouts, VILPA doesn’t require dedicated time slots or equipment. It’s more about making the most of everyday activities and turning them into opportunities for exercise.

Can VILPA really improve my health?

Absolutely! VILPA can enhance cardiovascular health, boost metabolic rates, improve mood, and contribute to overall physical and mental well-being.

Is VILPA suitable for everyone?

Yes, VILPA is adaptable to all fitness levels and ages, particularly beneficial for individuals aged 40 to 65 looking to improve their health and wellness.

How can I start incorporating VILPA into my routine?

Begin with activities you enjoy and can easily integrate into your daily life, like taking the stairs, skipping, or even gardening vigorously. The key is to start small and gradually increase intensity.

Further Reading and resources on VILPA

Related Posts

360 Degrees to Healthspan: A Proactive Perspective-episode 250

Tony Winyard

In this grand finale episode, host Tony Winyard is interviewed by talented Helena Holrick as they nostalgically reflect on the podcast’s 6-year journey and give an exclusive sneak peek into Tony’s health-focused rebrand and upcoming podcast. This heartwarming celebration overflows with captivating conversations guaranteed to leave you feeling informed, inspired, and eager for what’s next.

Mapping Your Wellness Journey: Navigating Health from the Inside Out with Izabella Natrins episode 249

Izabella Natrins

Get motivated by a trailblazing leader as the CEO of the UK and International Health Coaching Association, Izabella Natrins shares the visionary white paper “Towards a Healthier, Happier Britain” – revealing how integrating health coaching into public health can empower lifestyle changes that prevent chronic disease on a society-wide scale. You’ll be inspired as she draws on her personal journey from high-powered business consultant to her current mission of passionately working to enable health creation through coaching.

The Secrets of Qi-Gong: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Wellbeing with Andrew Kenneth Fretwell

Andrew Kenneth Fretwell

Unlock the secrets of Qi-gong and harness your vital lifeforce. Ancient Chinese wisdom reveals the path to balance, energy mastery, and enlightenment. With special guest Andrew Kenneth Fretwell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *