How 4 minutes of exercise and change your health
The common myth of exercise is that a person must exercise for at least 30 minutes to receive the benefits of the exercise. The good news for drivers is that countless studies have shown that not be the case! We now know that you can see great effect from exercise lasting as little as three minutes! What’s the catch? Well, there really isn’t one. The only real requirement to achieve the benefits from such a short bout of exercise is that it has to be INTENSE! This means that your heart rate is elevated, you are using as much of your body as possible and you are going as fast and as hard as you possibly can! Obviously this is great news for professional long haul drivers due to the tight and demanding schedules of the industry. The only bad news is that now no one has an excuse not to exercise!
How exactly does this work though? How is it possible that you can really make that much of an impact in such a short amount of time? Well, the proof is in the (sugar free) pudding. Believe it or not, changes actually happen to the DNA! While the underlying genetic code of the DNA cannot be changed, exercise can cause structural and chemical changes to the DNA molecules within the muscles. This gene activation can lead to the genetic reprogramming on the muscle for strength and the metabolic benefits of exercise.
It can also increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the hormone that your body produces to help regulate sugars in the blood. Higher insulin sensitivity means that more of the sugar in the blood can be metabolized and used for energy as opposed to remaining in the blood stream causing elevated blood sugar levels, fat storage and diabetes. At some research centers, participants saw an average of 24 percent improvements in insulin sensitivity with a mere 3 minutes of high intensity exercise per week. This is the adaptation that can help people manage their diabetes and avoid fat storage which is important for everyone.
The type of exercise that we recommend for drivers is this exact kind of exercise. 4 minutes of high intensity activity, also known as HIT. BBC News reports, “When you do HIT, you are using not just the leg muscles, but also the upper body including arms and shoulders, so that 80 percent of the body’s muscle cells are activated, compared to 20-40 percent for walking or moderate intensity jogging or cycling.” Many drivers think that walking alone is enough activity to help them lose weight. Walking is a good start and it’s a good way to get blood flowing and get some movement, but in much less time you can accomplish so much more than just walking will ever accomplish. Walking also has a very small calorie burn and the metabolic effects of that activity don’t last after the activity stops. With HIT training, your metabolism is spiked up and remains active for a much longer duration of time after activity has ceased. This is vital for drivers who spent most of their time sitting. If you can get your metabolism spiked in a short amount of time and keep it going while you’re sitting behind the wheel you are effectively maximizing efforts and burning fat!
Keep these items in mind while you are driving to remember the importance and effect of only FOUR minutes of exercise and how such little time can have such large effects on the different areas of your health!!
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