Some time ago my wife Heather bought me a book on exercise. It sat on my desk for many months. I thought to myself “Another book on exercise the last thing I need. I don’t really need any more info on exercise”
I was taking a break from work and I needed to take a book with me. I didn’t have anything that I particularly wanted to read at that time so I thought I had better at least look at the book. It turned out to be a gem.
Because the author Dr Al Sears MD supported his theory with excellent research as evidence, I was impressed enough to modify my exercise program to include it. The results were impressive. Within weeks I noticed improvement in performance and energy, plus it took less time to achieve more.
The object is to exercise at maximum lung capacity (breathing) for one to four minute intervals with a rest in between to allow for breathing and heart rate to return to normal and then start again. The total maximum exertion time is 12 minutes not counting warm up, interval rests and cool down. Dr Mears says 3 x a week is adequate. You could do 3 x 4 mins, 4 x 3 minutes, 6 x 2 minutes, 12 x 1 minute sessions as long as it adds up to 12 minutes total. The other thing you must do is to vary the pattern to keep the body adapting. That means you could do 6 x 2 minutes for 1-2 weeks then change it to 4 + 3 + 3 + 2 minutes the next 1-2 weeks then change it again. We call this Intense Varied Interval (IVI) exercise.
So you could conceivably achieve maximum benefit in 3 x 20 minute (total time) workouts per week doing any exercise you choose – walking, jogging, cycling, swimming etc.
If you can only walk then tackle hills or steps to get your breathing strenuous. A more complete program should include flexibility/ stretching and muscle/ strengthening exercises also. These could be done on the same or alternate days to IVI exercise. According to research this type of exercise has a major impact not only on disease prevention but also in recovery from major illnesses
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To your health and happiness,