Is 3 Minutes All We Need?

I think this sums up why you should sprint! Image found here. There is a new theory emerging that 3 minutes of exercise is all we need. But wait for it, not 3 minutes a day, not 3 minutes a week, no, just 3 minutes every month! Imagine only exercising for 3 minutes a month... wouldn't life be a breeze.

There is one catch though, the 3 minutes of exercise is at your max, 110% effort, no holding back. Say for example you go out once a month and sprint as fast as you possibly can for 3 minutes, or basically until you collapse with exhaustion. It seems quite backwards really, but according to this new theory, for weight loss and maintenance 3 minutes a month might be all we need.

This theory is based on our ancestral heritage, we have evolved from cave men and women, and these men and women didn't go out and just jog around because they had a muffin top, they didn't ride their bikes either, and they certainly didn't go out and exercise simply because someone told them thats what they had to do! No, cave men and women hunted and gathered, which mostly involved just wandering around in the forest (or wherever they happened to live), so nothing too tiring. But every now and again these poor cave people may have encountered trouble, perhaps there was a rockfall or a bear decided to chase them, now these cave people had to run for their lives, quite literally. And so the theory of 3 minutes a month was born.

How this theory works is that our subconscious minds are very good at telling our body what to do; to breathe, to excrete waste and to fight infections and so on and so forth. All of this subconscious we don't think about, and how much fat we store is also a subconscious decision. Furthermore, our subconscious mind has not developed very much since the times of cave people and so it still tells us to eat lots and store fat in case of a famine (which of course doesn't happen to first-world, affluent people) and so we end up storing more fat than is needed or desirable. But, if our subconscious mind thought we needed to be lighter, say to run faster to escape a bear attack, then it would make the decision to rid our bodies of some of this fat. So by running away from an imaginary bear or imaginary rockfall (or perhaps a real one, but I truly hope it is only ever imaginary) once a month our subconscious believes that we must be lighter so that we can run faster so that we don't die. It's that simple, our subconscious wants us to stay alive, and if that means being thinner then it will tell our bodies not to store so much fat.

Now, hopefully you understood my attempt at a simple explanation of this theory, however it isn't quite all that simple. This method is good for weight maintenance and loss, but it doesn't really help much to lower day to day stress levels or increase muscle tone by much, so 3 minutes a month at your max, combined with some strength work and yoga for total wellbeing and you should be looking as fine as those hairy cave people!

Keep healthy and run from those bears!

Erica :)

P.S. To all you marathon runners out there, I truly admire you because I could never even imagine how hard you train to run that far!