Thursday, October 29, 2009


One day recently, I caught the tail end of a news report on the benefits of interval training. For those unaware, interval training means taking whatever exercise one is doing and pumping it to an extreme for a small amount of time. So, if you're walking at your regular pace, you'd push yourself to walk much faster for, say, 2 minutes out of every 10 minutes. This is an idea I've used for myself.

The aerobic benefits of interval training are well established. Such bursts of activity increase heart rate, expand our lungs further, and improve endurance overall.

So, what's different about what I recently learned? The 'expert' indicated that all these health benefits can be obtained in just 6 minutes. Yep, SIX MINUTES. That sounds great. Six minutes during my walk and I'm a new person. What's the catch?

The catch is that the 6 minutes must be continuous and IT MUST HURT.

That's not what I want to hear. Pain accompanies many forms of exercise. You've heard the expression 'No Pain, No Gain'. But, pain is often an indication that one is overdoing, that there is some physical problem that needs to be addressed, or that the exercise is being done incorrectly. In arm curls, for instance, the arms must be held tightly next to the body, especially if holding any weights. Having the elbows away from the body during curls increases the dynamic weight of the held objects and works muscles not intended to support such weight. What do you get for that? Pain - either now or at some future time.

I must look further into this Six Minute interval training - that for me would be a sustained six minute sprint. Not sure I'm willing to do that. But, I AM willing to work up to that six minutes if an investigation reveals that the benefits are really as described in the initial report.

What about you? Are you up for a 6 minute burst?

Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.

1 comment:

Kathy G said...

When I started exercising, a "burst" for me would be a 15-minute mile (4 miles/hour). Now that I've been doing it for a while, that's my normal pace for getting my heart rate up.

I've experimented with increasing the speed for a little bit (usually on a treadmill at the gym, where it's easier to quantify things like speed or incline). I started out sprinting (doing 5 miles/hour)for 30 seconds, and now I can do it for a couple of minutes...or more if there's a good song on my MP3 player!