I am so tired of hearing that Mississippians are the fattest and most out-of-shape in the country! Since my return to running three years ago, I have seen an increasing number of people out on the road just like me. They are walking dogs, bicycling, running, walking fast, etc. I am thrilled not to be alone.
One woman in Como who walks every morning has lost over 70lbs and one day I expect to see her break into a jog. Maybe, it is because of the bad publicity that we are out there, but we are getting out there. Give us some credit America!
The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds is ready to help. She wrote the book to inspire us to work smarter no longer and she provides the science to back her words.
In the first chapter Reynolds retells an experiment to prove her point. National Institute of Health and Nutrition, located in Japan, subjected two different groups of rats to a swimming test. Rats are not diverse swimmers. They basically do a dog paddle move until reaching land.
The first group endured three hours in the water swimming. The experimenters took them out for a 45 minute rest then exposed them to the water for three more hours. Afterwards their little feet and legs were dissected the muscle fibers showed an increase in endurance and fitness.
The next set of rats was subjected to the water, but this time they had to support 14% more of their weight. These little bodybuilders swam in short intervals of 20 seconds and rested for 10 seconds. The whole experiment for them took four-and-a-half minutes.
The shorter but heavier rats yielded the same aerobic and muscular growth as the seven hour rats. Reynolds provides other examples, but this one is very direct. Interval training works whether one is lifting weights, running, walking, bicycling, or forced to do a swimming test in water.
She sums up her call to the masses with this paragraph in the introduction: “We don’t, after all, have to be athletes to want to know how best to move. We need only to listen to the voice bred deep into our blood and bones that says, ‘Hey, let’s go for a walk.’ The body wants to move. Go with it.”