New research suggests it is possible to improve some measures of fitness with just 3 minutes of exercise a week using one single bout (one round) of the High-Intensity Training (HIT) program protocol below. But first, let’s uncover some core truths about exercise so you are not misguided about what else you can do to enhance your health.
#1 Truth: One size does not fit all when it comes to exercise. Genetic variations explain why some individuals never seem to outwardly benefit from a strict exercise regimen while others seem to benefit from much less. For those that don’t benefit from exercise, there is hope in the following two truths.
#2 Truth: Three 20 second bursts of extreme cardiovascular exercise three times a week may be all most individuals need to lower levels of blood lipids, glucose and cholesterol while increasing aerobic capacity. Try it yourself for 4 weeks and see how you feel. While three short bursts may seem ‘not enough’, it must be taken in context with the third truth listed below to be effective.
#3 Truth: Overall health and longevity are dependent upon continually daily movement. As long as one stays moving throughout the day their body and mind have a much greater opportunity to remain healthy. The challenge is finding opportunities and strategies that can keep an ever growing sedentary population in motion. As Aristotle says “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
References: Exercise Is Medicine, BBC TV Horizon program broadcast in February 2012
7-minute Road Runner Program
This is a simple 7-minute HIT protocol broken up into 3 separate intervals of 120 seconds’ rest to 20 seconds’ effort. 120:20 repeated three times, can be done on an exercise bike, treadmill, or stepper. If you don’t have the equipment, try the wall, ground, jumping or the stairs to load the lower body. I liken it to the Road Runner, because of the transition from slow to fast explosive change in speed as well as the intensity that is required to shift your body in overdrive motion.
Here are the short videos for the types of movements you can do using this program
- 120 sec (2 min) Slow: First, you warm up for a couple of minutes with to get the muscles warm.
- 20 sec Fast: Then like “Road Runner” through a brick wall, go as fast (“Flat Bickie” as I call it) as you possibly can for 20 seconds.
- 120 sec (2 min) Slow: Then, gently/slowly again for a couple of minutes while you catch your breath.
- 20 sec Fast: Then do another 20 seconds “flat bickie”. This time run through 2 walls.
- 120 sec (2 min) Slow: Then, for a third and final time take two minutes of gentle moving to catch your breath before the finale.
- 20 sec Fast: Last sprint of 20 seconds at “flat bickie” leaving nothing in the tank. After that last 20 seconds, slow down for a few minutes and cool off with some light stretches.
You should leave the session feeling a bit wobbly and probably so speechless that the only words you can manage to speak are…” Beep Beep’!
Let me know how you go and contact me if you have questions.
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