I promised an update on my exercise regime inspired by the Horizon programme The Truth About Exercise. My original plan had been to adopt the radical bit of the proposal, which is exercising at high intensity for just 1 minute three times a week. I was then going to use how quickly I completed my regular jog as a rough measure of my general level of fitness. That way, I hoped to be able to say whether or not it had any advantages.
Unfortunately things didn’t work out quite how I hoped them. What I found was that the intense exercise led to me pulling a muscle in my leg. It wasn’t a particularly bad injury, and I was able to keep up both my normal exercise and the intense exercise as well, but it has stopped me producing any hard figures.
This is a shame, because like all scientists I like quantitative data a lot more than qualitative. But nonetheless having been at it for over two months now I feel I can draw a few conclusions. My muscle is back to normal now, but I think I have missed the chance to assess the impact of the intense exercise now because there are too many variables.
As to the intense exercise, I definitely feel it is beneficial. First though, I should say that although it doesn’t sound much a full minute of flat out exertion is a lot tougher than it sounds. It might be easy for someone with a high level of fitness but I don’t have, don’t need and don’t want to be highly fit. I just want to be fit for my chosen lifestyle which is not a particularly athletic one. I think that despite it being hard work, getting out of breath and working up a sweat four or five times a week does pay some dividends. I feel better. The main thing is the buzzy feeling it gives me. It is sort of a warm glow from inside, presumably the energy being released as my body rearranges my still rather extensive fat reserves to take account of the depletion of my blood glucose. It is also fun observing just how long this effect lasts – it is noticeable for 20-30 minutes.
On the whole, I recommend it. Just take a bit more care than I did developing the habit so you don’t strain your muscles.
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