I watched a recent PBS special on exercise, something that is an active part of my life. I would like to nobly claim this was due to my absolute commitment to physical health but I have a far more practical reason – the USAF tests me once a year with my physical fitness. Failing this test, which has grown in difficultly as I have gotten older, is not good if you desire to stay in the USAF. Suffice it to say, I have a strong motivator to stay in shape. And I keep my eye on media sources that might help me. And this PBS special had information I had not heard (at least fully) before.
In a nutshell, what the special asserted is that we all have a common enemy and that is the chair. Our health is largely dependent on movement and yet, for many of us, our jobs keep us sitting for long periods of time. Then what often happens after we are tired at the end of a work day? We leave work and sit in a variety of other chairs (at dinner, at the coffee shop, at home before bed). This is doing more damage than we can imagine and is a great contributor to the rising rate of diabetes in our country (when coupled with all the sugar we tend to consume and then not burn off). And for those who don’t have a sweet tooth, remember alcohol turns into sugar too.
So, if that is our common enemy, who is our friend? Exercise is, of course, but what they shared I had never heard. Many of us complain that we don’t have the time to exercise regularly. But perhaps a great deal of time isn’t needed. What they found is if they got their test subject to ride an exercise bike, as fast as he possibly could go, for two minutes, three times an exercise session, and then did this three times a week, that it made a huge difference with his health. All we are talking about is 18 minutes – a week! That exercise, coupled with a commitment to walk anytime he had the option to walk, made a huge difference in the level of fat in his bloodstream and how quickly his body was burning off sugar when consumed. Eighteen minutes of exercise a week and walking a bit more doesn’t sound too onerous does it? Just remember, in the exercise portion, in each of those two minute bursts, we need to be exerting close to our maximum energy. Of course, only do this if your doctor believes this to be good for you. Always check with your doctor before trying something new.
I hope to share this with my fellow military members who all have a vested interest in staying in shape. I also especially hope to share this in the church, where church activity more often than not involves sitting. I don’t plan for this to be my sole exercise. But I do plan to integrate those maximum bursts into my workout plan starting today.
God gave us these wonderful bodies and he did not create us to be idle. Our modern world allows us to work without exerting ourselves very often. Let’s see what we all can do to change this. It might just be good for both body and soul.
And for those who want to learn more, here is the link for the whole program from PBS: http://video.pbs.org/video/2364989581
What do you think?
Until next time,