A while back, the New York Times published an article that pushes the interval training to what was then the max (there is of course now a 4-minute workout for those who can’t spare 7, but I was too proud to check it out).
The scientific 7-minute workout is a collection of 12 exercises that you do at top intensity for 30 seconds each, with a 30 second rest in between. It was developed from the latest science on the benefit of interval training. It is not a pleasant 7 minutes, but it is after-all less then 10 minutes out of my day. Even I have time for that.
After working at it for a month or so I thought – finally! A workout I can stick to.  And it does work – muscularly, I could see the change.
Then, blasted injury. I tweaked my back. Not enough to stop me from working or getting through my day. Just enough to sideline me from physical activity for a couple weeks, initiate a month and a half of limp-along level of physical activity, and in me, the 3-4 pounds of dough that means. Hmm. Not so convenient  and time-efficient now. I’m als0 a little nervous to get rolling on it again – to get rolling, that is, on a still-effective-but-modified version.
May I remind you that I am a health professional and therapeutic yoga teacher? I knew that the 12 exercises in the scientific 7-minute workout were not for everyone. But I’m in that usually-healthy active lower risk quintile that doesn’t think they need to be careful yet do. When I injured myself, I did so on a day when I had not been active for a couple, and was overloaded at work. So, in thinking about it, the set-up was right in front of me, but of course I was just aiming to take care of myself by being active. In a short intense burst. Of push-ups, sit-ups and other cantilevered movements done at the highest intensity you can muster. What could go wrong?
The scientific 7-minute workout is great – worthwhile and I’m crazy about it. The science is fascinating. But as I ponder weaving it back into my life, I’ve learned that it needs to be part of an overall plan rather than my one manic (OK, seven manic) moment of activity in an otherwise stressed and relatively sedentary day. I’ll do it on occasion when I’ve been walking, working along physically in my daily yoga practice, or dancing more and would benefit from the muscular conditioning that a modified 7-minutes would give me.
This episode also reminds me that science is great – science is good – but science is often wrong. When it comes to weaving scientific recommendations into your life, best to be fully aware, conscious and experiment with a little before taking on a lot.
Fitness and food go hand and hand. If you are just getting started with healthy eating, check out this post:
Getting started with healthy eating