Friday 14 March 2014

Fast Exercise

A few weeks ago when listening to the radio I heard an interview with Dr Michael Mosley. He was talking about his newly published book, 'Fast Exercise'. The interview was brilliant. It was one of those rare occasions where an interview actually prompted me to buy a product. When I bought the book I quickly realised that it was not going to be a difficult read. It is 208 pages long and includes pictures, diagrams and lots of references.

The book title 'Fast Exercise' is a play on words. The exercise described is fast because it takes very little time and fast because it includes some short periods of fast or high intensity exercise. This form of exercise is sometimes known as 'high-intensity interval training' (HIIT) or simply 'high-intensity training' (HIT).

Research shows that it is possible to get as much (or more) benefit from a short period of exercise which includes several short bursts of intense activity as you can from a longer period of more steady exercise. For instance, when compared to a steady 60 minute exercise session of cycling or jogging, a similar 20 minute exercise session incorporating 4-6 short (approx 30 second) sprints, can in just a few weeks:
                 - Improve lung capacity
                 - Increase cardiac size and strength
                 - Improve insulin sensitivity
                 - Increase weight loss (especially abdominal fat)
                 - Decrease appetite (at least in the short term)

The book is full of well explained supporting research. It also has a section dedicated to high-intensity exercise regimes that can be adopted by the reader.

Since reading the book I have started to change the way I exercise, and I feel good for it.

As a chiropractor I am always pleased to find resources that can help patients improve their health and I'm happy to recommend this book. In an era where many of us are extremely busy, fast exercise may just be one way to get us fitter and healthier, FAST. Click here to buy the book in our local Crosby bookshop.

You can watch a documentary by Dr Michael Mosley on this topic here.