Good – fast – cheap. Individually, I like all those adjectives. When they can be used consecutively in a sentence, I’m in heaven. This triple triumph has rarely been achieved, experienced or witnessed in any sphere (product/service/activity) – kinda like a unicorn.
But finally, I’ve experienced something that meets that criteria. We’ve often heard that if it’s fast and good, it’s not cheap (like lunch-time plastic surgery). If it’s cheap and good, it’s not fast (like subsidized transport/medical services). And if it’s cheap and fast, it’s not good (like lunch-time plastic surgery).
So what is this unicornic ‘thing’ that is good, fast and cheap – Interval Training! I’ve never enjoyed activities like jogging (reminds me of being punished in primary school – having to run laps around the school field). And most joggers never look happy to me. They look stressed. I mean, I have caught sight of myself when I am jogging – it’s not pretty. But I needed to exercise. I read all about the feel-good chemical neurotransmitters that would be released and I wanted some of them. So I tried other forms of exercise. I tried arm-swinging, walking backwards, but those neurotransmitters never came. Probably because they were hiding from embarrassment. Although I still believe those activities have benefits, they didn’t meet the good, fast and cheap criteria.
So back to interval training, which is basically a period of high intensity activity followed by a period of low intensity. Some people recommend a 1-minute high, 2-minute low intensity schedule. That’s what I do now, slowly transitioning into a 1-1 ratio, and my aim eventually is a 2-1 ratio. So far, all I’ve needed is 9-12 minutes to complete the training, it makes me feel good, I can do it anywhere, and I don’t need to spend any money. See, good, fast and cheap. That what life should be – simple …. good, fast and cheap. So if doing interval training helps me to burn more calories, increase cardiovascular health, increase metabolism rate, within 12 minutes, then ding ding ding, we have a winner. And because after doing that I felt good, I went on to do the backward walking and it didn’t even bother me that people were staring and snickering. The happy hormones really lasted.
If you are interested in more information about the ‘Whys’ and ‘Hows’ of Interval Training, this is where it all started for me, the Village Green blog. It’s something that works for me, maybe it will for you. But of course, always check with your health professional before commencing any exercise program.