Monday is going to be a great day. I just know it. At least I'm really excited about it. Of course I'm also sort of dreading it for a different reason.
Monday I will hopefully get both my wonderful, new microscope as well as the slides for it. That will be awesome and fun and keep me busy for a long time.
Monday is also my 40th birthday. March 2nd, mark it on your calendars. I'm going to thoroughly be middle aged. This one is really hitting me hard, for some reason. Should I have accomplished something by now? I think about other people my age and then I think about my life and I feel like I haven't done anything yet. I'm not ready for my life to be half over. I'm just getting started, in some ways.
Anyway, I'm trying to be positive about it all. The microscope is a perfect distraction for my woes.
On another note, I learned about a new study recently that sounded interesting and possibly quite helpful to me. I thought I'd share it with you.
I heard about it on a Canadian science podcast. The professor is James Timmons in league with other researchers in Scotland. It goes like this:
- Exercise really hard at 100% intensity for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 3 more times. (for a total of 4 sprints)
- Repeat 2 or more times a week. (3 times a week seems best)
They were mainly looking at the ability for helping people ward off type 2 diabetes and developing cardiovascular disease. The results were quite promising. They found that the metabolism of the people who did this for 2 weeks was dramatically improved. You can read all about it at ScienceDaily: Regular Sprints Boost Metabolism.
Something else, though that Jamie Timmons said in the podcast but didn't make it to the report at ScienceDaily was that the effects were long lasting. So they did the program for 10 weeks, if I recall correctly, and 3 weeks after it stopped the ability for the subjects to handle a glucose drink was still improved from before the study started. In the study the people used exercise bikes, but Timmons said any type of high intensity activity will work.
I hate exercising. I find it painful, tiring and boring. I've been trying to find something I could stick with for, well... for just about 40 years now, and I can't stick to any of it. I just keep failing. So maybe this will work. I started last night. It was hard, but the time commitment is so reduced from the normal exercise program that I think I might be able to stick to it longer.
I was afraid I was too out of shape, but I have a mini trampoline so I jogged in place at 100% effort for four 30 second sprints. I held 1 pound weights for the last 2 sprints. It wasn't easy. But it wasn't unbearable either. Knowing it was only for 30 seconds really helped make it easier to handle. By the end of the 4th stint I felt like I had really accomplished something.
In looking for the study to share with you, I found some others that are also quite interesting.
In No Time To Exercise Is No Excuse, The Journal of Physiology stated the same thing that Timmons is saying. Short, intense bursts of exercise can produce the same results as traditional endurance training. It helps you improve muscle health and performance. Which also means heart health, because that's your biggest muscle. This study says to do 4-6 bursts with 4 minutes rest in between. Timmons didn't seem to imply that you had to rest a certain amount of time, just until you felt recovered. After my exercise last night, 4 minutes does sound about right.
In another study, Brief Exercise Can Benefit the Heart, they found that this same regimen can improve function and structure of blood vessels. This can help with high blood pressure. This keeps our heart and blood vessels more supple and less stiff. This study doesn't say how many high intensity sprints to do, but did the exercise 3 times a week, which is in line with the other studies.
And here's another really interesting one. High Intensity Exercise Is The Best Way To Reduce Anxiety. This reduction of anxiety and stress helps lower risks of cardiovascular disease too. But for me, since I'm such an anxious person, I find this to be very promising. This type of exercise especially benefits women, they found. Especially middle aged women. The reductions of anxiety weren't necessarily immediate, though. So that is something to be aware of.
Anyway, I thought I'd share all of that with you. Your thoughts are welcome, as always!