23 Jan Exercise: Take a Pill or the Real Deal?
An exercise pill? Sit on the couch and just take a pill? Apparently ‘the concept of taking an Exercise Pill to obtain the benefits of exercise without actually expending any energy has mass appeal for a large majority of people’. (John Hawley and John Holloszy, 2009) This also appeals to Big Pharma who view the huge profits to be made from a potentially enormous market of eager pill-takers. Sad state of affairs is it not?
…and when did this happen? ‘A sedentary life is now so prevalent that it has become common to refer to exercise as having ‘healthy benefits’ even though the exercise-trained state is the biologically normal condition.’ (Hawley and Holloszy) It is the lack of exercise that is abnormal and carries health risks.
What’s the pill appeal? Takes no time and no effort. Why do people view exercise in such negative terms? (topic for another post I think)
Let’s look at ‘no time’. Everyone has a minute even though it often doesn’t feel that way. We have work deadlines, kids to take to hockey games and music lessons, dinner to cook, houseguests coming, etc. etc. Feels overwhelmingly impossible to fit in exercise. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) protocols recommended by Martin Gibala show you how to fit exercise into that busy life. Intervals are variable; they are adaptable. They also apply to cardio and resistance training with weights. (best of both worlds)
I have previously blogged about Gibala’s book ‘The One-Minute Workout’. It is a treasure trove of ideas for anyone who wants an effective and time-efficient exercise workout. I especially like this personal example he shares. Gibala knows that short, individual sprints are able to provide large boosts to his fitness. Using what he calls ‘little gaps in action’, after putting dinner in the oven, he zipped to his basement and blasted through a sprint session on his exercise bike. He simply did 5 repeats of hard sprints for 60 seconds each (total of 10 minutes start to finish, including warm-up and cool-down). A brief but effective workout that likely served to maintain his cardiovascular fitness similar to what 50 minutes of moderate-intensity continuous-exercise would. I suggest you give that a whirl one day.
You don’t have to be a gym rat. Simply seize the moment and enjoy what could be called an ‘Exercise Snack’.
I hope this little post has inspired you to ‘get moving’. Would enjoy your comments.