It might surprise you to find me blogging about exercise. But it is something I’ve been paying a bit more attention to recently, and I found this to be quite interesting – so I share it with you in case it’s interesting to you too.

I’m quite lazy, and so I look for shortcuts and efficiencies.

Don’t get me wrong – I like to do a lot, and I like to do that stuff as well as I possibly can – but I also like to do it with the least amount of effort and time spent. That way, I can do lots of other stuff too. Or just hang out. That’s fun too.

I’ve been trying to get a little healthier and fitter recently, but exercise requires time and effort – things I like to minimise. Also, gyms can be expensive, and I travel a lot – so really, what I need is a workout that takes very little time, uses no gym equipment at all, and does everything I need it to – i.e. keep me alive, well and feeling good – with energy to spare for other, more enjoyable stuff.

Lifehacker, the New York Times and the Health and Fitness Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine to the rescue.

K bigpic

This interval routine takes around 8 minutes, and “science” says it works. Essentially, you spend 30 seconds on each of the above exercises in this order, with 10 seconds rest in between each.

Now, I’m already doing the 10,000+ steps a day walking thing, as well as having at least one fresh fruit & vegetable juice per day whenever possible (and not the full-on, slightly scary ‘juice fast‘ that people seem so keen on) – but I thought I’d give this a try as well for 30 days just to see how I get on.

So far so good. It’s not easy – in fact, it’s pretty full-on – but it’s over quickly.

However – looking at the chart and setting timers is a pain. It’s distracting and hard to manage while you’re actually trying to do the exercises or move from one to the next. So I came up with a neat solution.

With Jake‘s help, I recorded myself introducing the exercises (“Next: push ups…”), indicating the halfway mark (“15 seconds…”) and counting down (“10… 5,4,3,2,1… and stop.”). That way, I can just listen to my iPod and do the exercises without having to continually look at the charts and a stopwatch.

Jake added a house track, which times in nicely so that (at 120bpm) the countdowns are in time with the beats. Works very well.

If you’d find it helpful, here’s the audio. I’m not the greatest fitness instructor in the world and not everyone likes house music – but you may find it does the trick. I find it keeps me going and the repetitive beats take my mind off the unpleasantness of the task.

I can’t recommend the programme unreservedly, as I am no health scientist, and this is only day 2. But it’s worth a try. And it does seem to have been well researched by people who know far more about this stuff than I do.

Plus, I’ve had time to write a blog post about it rather than trudging back from the gym in the rain.