Chewing gum while walking increases your heart rate, making this the perfect time for Hubba Bubba bubble tape

If you’re a pro at multitasking, your exercise routine could benefit from doing two specific things at once. A new study published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that chewing gum while walking can boost your heart rate. The study also found that men who chew gum while walking can even burn extra calories.

46 male and female test subjects between the ages of 21 and 69 were divided into two groups at Tokyo’s Waseda University. The first group was tasked with chewing two different sizes of gum while walking for 15 minutes. The second group also walked for 15 minutes, but rather than chewing gum, they ingested a powder that contained the gum’s ingredients.

According to the Waseda University write-up, researchers collected the test subjects’ average resting and walking heart rate, their distances walked, walking speeds, steps, and energy expenditures during the experiment. The before and after calculations proved that chewing gum increased the heart rate in both male and female subjects.

Researchers also found that middle-aged and elderly male participants benefitted more from chewing gum while walking. This demographic’s heart rate and energy expenditure increased in the process, therefore helping them burn calories.

Waseda University’s Professor Masashi Miyashita, who headed the study, noted that cardiac-locomotor synchronization (CLS) — the synchronization between your heartbeat and locomotor rhythm — is most likely the mechanism behind their findings.

"The physiological significance of CLS is believed to arise from an increase in the maximum blood flow to active muscles, reduced cardiac afterload, and increased systole volume accompanying increased venous return," Professor Miyashita said. "Additionally, CLS is more likely to occur in the elderly."

Professor Miyaskita concluded that the combination of gum chewing and CLS is most likely what caused an increase in the “physical functions” of walking and steps.

Researchers hope to continue to study the effects of chewing gum in relation to energy expenditure. But for now, we certainly have enough evidence to stock up on gum and hit the sidewalk.

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