Current advice from the NHS suggests that in order to stay healthy, adults should take either 150 minutes — that’s two-and-a-half hours — of ‘moderate’ exercise a week, or 75 minutes of ‘vigorous’ exercise.
But a growing number of studies — from proper scientists, not wacky weirdos — suggest that the benefits of exercise could be achieved in much less time if you go in for very short bursts of very high-intensity exercise.
How short? Well, just one minute, three times a week. Yes, you read that correctly.
It seems counterintuitive, but skipping meals helps you feel more energized, recover better from exercise, blast fat, and retain lean muscle mass, and even protects your body from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive decline – which is why NASA is interested in looking at fasting to improve the cognitive functioning of pilots and unmanned-aerial-vehicle operators.
How does skipping meals provide these types of benefits? Because we were once hunters and gatherers who sometimes went days between meals, our bodies were designed to survive in times of feast and famine. Most Americans now live off a constant drip of processed food, which keeps blood sugars elevated and immune systems depressed.
Here's why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
The effect is, apparently, nonlinear over the 115 or 120 systolic we're supposed to aim for, with the almost all of the harm coming from a systolic above 180. See Spyros Makridakis, "High Blood Pressure and Iatrogenics". See also, "There is a non-linear relationship between mortality and blood pressure".
If we can just keep the government from interfering too much, a lot of wonderful medical technology will be coming.