you feeling too tired to exercise, even though you know how good it is for you?
Or are you frustrated with poor workout results? Most folks are either too
fatigued to get a good
workout in, or they work hard, sweat a ton, and invest a
lot of time—with little benefit.
The cause may
be related to how you exercise.
More than 100
million Americans eat a diet that decreases muscle strength and energy,
undermines the motivation to exercise and the effectiveness of their workouts.
(1) Are you one of them?
exercise can boost your muscle strength, and give you the energy and vitality
needed to exercise regularly.
Join me as I
teach a simple workout that can give you the vigor of a teenager.
Article-At-A-Glance When your
blood sugar levels are too high, you will become too fatigued to exercise,
will struggle through your workouts.
of exercise are better than long workouts because they raise your levels
Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which:
below to learn my Twelve Minute Workout, and why keeping your blood sugar levels
balanced is essential.
Fatigue = Less Motivation to Work Out Your muscles
fatigue when your blood sugar levels are too high. When the hormone
insulin rises to an unhealthy level, the muscle cells resist the
function of insulin, which is to uptake more sugar. As sugar is fuel to muscle
cells, they essentially starve and cannot function properly . This is similar to
flooding a car with gasoline, yet the engine just won’t start.
is called insulin resistance, and unless fasting blood sugar levels are
below a healthy 85mg/dL, the muscles will continue to reject sugar from the
blood. Without sugar for energy, the muscles grow weak and tired.
in, desire to exercise wanes, and the blood sugars continue to
that 85% of Americans have fasting blood sugars greater than 85mg/dL, which can
weaken your muscles, cause fatigue, and hamper your motivation to exercise.
to converting the excess blood sugar into fat and cholesterol, which causes a
host of weight-related issues, the sugars stick to proteins in our blood through
a process called glycation. This creates sticky blood that sticks the
muscle spindles together, making muscle contractions during exercise more
Muscles Work Every muscle
is made up of spindles that slide amongst each other during activity. They are
like the twines of a rope that intertwine to make the rope strong. Blood is the
lubricant for muscular contractions and strength. If the spindles stick together
due to clumpy or sticky blood, the muscle weakens.
muscles require much more energy to slide or contract. Exercise then becomes a
chore, rendering most folks just too tired to
Solution The solution,
of course, is a multi-pronged approach of diet and exercise.
The good news
is: research has shown that with the right combination of proper exercise,
healthy lifestyle, and balanced diet, the function of the muscles can be
restored in as little as 12 minutes a day!
Were Designed To Sprint Historically,
exercise was essential to our survival. However, hunting a rabbit wouldn't
require 45 minutes in your heart rate training zone three times a week, the way
fitness authorities today advise us to exercise. Instead, it would require
multiple sprints using fast twitch muscle fibers that would last about a minute
each, followed by periods of rest while you wait for the rabbit to show again.
muscles, as opposed to slow twitch muscles, are muscle fibers that generate
short bursts of strength, but fatigue easily.
in this way, alternating between periods of sprinting and recovery, a natural
fitness level was achieved.
Move like a
you ever asked a child of 10 or 12 years when the last time was that they ran as
fast as they could? They would most likely respond by saying, "All the time, I
On the other
hand, if you ask a 50 year old the same question, what do you think would be the
most common response? Probably something like, "I can’t remember when I last ran
as fast as I could."
sprint, fast twitch muscle fibers are activated, forcing the big muscle groups
to contract and demand more fuel in the form of sugar, glucose, or glycogen. The
more you use the muscles in this way, the more energy they demand. Via this
process, insulin resistance can be slowly reversed.
Benefits Fast twitch
muscle activation also stimulates the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
This hormone decreases significantly after 50 years of age. Activated by fast
twitch muscle exercise, like sprinting, HGH helps restore the youthfulness and
elasticity you had in your twenties and, in itself, offers all the benefits of
Be Calm and
Lose Weight The benefits
of this kind of exercise are compelling. Nasal breathing during this Twelve
Minute Workout naturally creates a safe governor for monitoring how much
exercise is good and how much more can be potentially harmful, as indicated
above. The sprint/recovery training offers many health benefits in just 12
minutes a day (without the wear and tear of a long, slow duration workout), such
nervous system and mind
glucose and insulin levels
sleeker, stronger, and more toned physique
lymphatic drainage leading to healthier skin and detoxification
exercise endurance and performance
growth hormone – which may be responsible for all of the above
Dangers of Over Exercising There is an
increasing amount of research indicating the damage of long, slow training on
the heart. In one study, 80 marathon runners were tested for the kind of heart
damaging chemicals seen after a heart attack. Prior to the marathon, runners
were free of these chemicals. Right after the marathon and three days later,
all of the runners showed the kind of early stage cardiac damage seen
after a heart attack. (5)
Below is a
simple, 12-minute workout routine that I recommend to reverse insulin resistance
and give you all the benefits of fast twitch muscle activation.
minute routine can be performed daily, or a minimum of 3x/week, for
cardiovascular improvements. You can use this as your entire workout or as a
cardiovascular warm up before yoga, a bike ride, or hiking. In these twelve
minutes, you will build your cardiovascular base.
Warm up Slowly begin
exercising. You can choose one of the exercise options listed under the “Sprint
Alternatives” section below, or pick something else that appeals to you. Stick
to this activity throughout the entire routine.
slowly for 2 minutes while breathing in and out through your nose as deeply as
you can. Check out my book, Body,
Mind and Sport, to learn more about why nasal breathing is important.
Also, in a recent video
newsletter, I discussed all the truly amazing benefits of nasal
breathing during exercise, compared to mouth breathing. Nasal breathing is a
skill that may take some time to master. Don’t worry if you have to breathe
through your mouth. Do the best you can and, in time, the nasal breathing will
exercising faster, like a mini sprint, for 1 minute. Use the nasal breathing
during the sprint if you can, as it will slow you down and not let you do too
much. Don't push it here. Start slowly and build yourself up to a faster sprint
over time. Try to find a pace that you can maintain for one minute. In a couple
of weeks, you will be sprinting like a pro.
Recovery Slow the
exercise down to the warm up pace for one minute, maintaining the nasal
breathing if you can. Nasal Breathing during the recovery will force air into
the lower lobes of the lungs, allowing for more efficient release of CO2 and
activation of the calming parasympathetic nervous system that predominates in
the lower lobes of the lungs. This will help you release toxins and
Second Sprint Start another
sprint for one minute. Make this a little faster if you can. Continue nasal
breathing if possible.
Second Recovery Recover from
the sprint with one minute of deep nasal breathing at the warm up pace.
If you cannot maintain nasal breathing during the recovery, it’s an indication
that the sprint was too hard. It will get easier each
Continue Sprints and Recoveries Continue
sprints and recoveries for a total of 4 sprints and 4 recoveries. Follow the
nasal breathing if you can.
Step 7: Cool
Down Repeat Step
1. Exercise at the warm up pace, slowing down gradually, with deep
nasal breathing for 2 minutes.
In the beginning, you may need a 90 second recovery period after each sprint
instead of just one minute. If this is the case, then just do a 2-minute warm
up, followed by three 1-minute sprints with three 90-second recoveries and a
2-minute cool down, for a total of 12 minutes.
Alternatives: Sprinting can
be running as fast as you can, running up and down the stairs, jumping jacks,
jumping on and off a curb, anything that gets the exertion levels up. However,
if sprinting scares you, here are some options:
up and down your stairs for 1 minute as fast as you can
Step up and
down on the first step in your house as fast as you can
Hold a can of
food in each hand and raise your arms up and down as fast as you can for
joining a fitness facility and start a weight training program. Weight training
causes the big muscles to slide and demands that more energy and sugar is
received by the muscle, which reduces insulin resistance.
you are weight training, use lighter weights and do fast (and safe) reps for one
to activate your fast twitch muscle fibers.
Less Is More
It is clear
that long, slow workouts in your heart rate training zone are not
necessarily healthy. In some cases, they can even be damaging to your
heart. In just 12 minutes, you can get your cardiovascular base and be free to
enjoy a fun bike ride, hike, or some yoga. Less has been proven to be