Or is it? Such proclamations are regularly chimed from the merchants of the “Get-Fit-Quick” brigade, who appeal to the couch potatoes that there is a magical easy way that caters to their lazy habits.
Don’t be fooled. We all know that sitting is the new smoking. We feel guilty as the day closes and we realize we have been glued to our screens yet again. We resolve to move more, eat fewer carbs, intermittently fast, get 8 hours sleep. Then someone yells from a rooftop that jogging will kill you and they have the studies to prove it. So we drop our good intentions to get the fit the old-fashioned way and go back to our chairs. Or we buy an expensive routine at a gym where we pay someone to be our substitute willpower by barking at us “to feel the burn.”
No Quick Fixes
Sorry folks, there is no way to getting any lasting fitness other than to get committed to change that lasts. Blasting out of your horizontal position for a few vigorous jumping jacks for 5 minutes is better than nothing (if it doesn’t precipitate a heart attack). But, as the latest research proclaims, 90 minutes a week of intermittent high-intensity gym work is unlikely to lead to lasting effects let alone establish a lifetime exercise habit.
Nor are the eyeballs-out, thigh-burning workouts that have you gasping for air – the same type of workouts that have typified college athletic training for quick results that result in talent burn-out. These sorts of routines quickly turn the Treadmill into the Dreadmill. Beware of any routine that requires someone to yell at you to get the task done. Your body in its infinite wisdom would not do it otherwise. Anaerobic Vs Aerobic is a tired old debate that gets dragged out over and over, yet it is not even a close competition. In a program worth its salt they should be viewed as teammates, not competitors. But if you have to choose, it is the anaerobic system that is dispensable to a sustainable fitness routine – not the aerobic system. Why? Because the body is an oxygen machine.
Mother Nature is our Best Reference
As nature intended, the default energy system of human beings is aerobic metabolism. Our ability to utilize oxygen determines our vitality and general well-being and is the single biggest determining performance factor in any activity over a minute or so in duration. The efficiency of this system is what enables us to exercise, recover and adapt to reinvent ourselves into a faster, stronger individual who can stay the distance.
The truth is the best way to go about exercise is to start out easy and slow and go for distance. Walk first then jog, then run. Build up the distance gradually. Forget the teeth-gritting, mind over matter, hard-work ideas. Relax, enjoy. Once you get some endurance under your belt the speed comes naturally, all on its own. Then get a sound program to guide you. I recommend Running Wizard based on the proven principles of the master New Zealand coach, Arthur Lydiard. Whether you are a reforming slug or a competitive running machine looking for the extra edge, the programs are the most sophisticated online running plans available using the method that is the basis of modern-day endurance training.