Dr. Michael Mosley has an idea about exercise that deserves mention. He calls it the "Twenty Plus Campaign." He recalled it in one of his latest articles.
- 20 seconds of intense activity when I can (running up stairs, cycling like crazy for short bursts on my bike).
- A minimum of 20 minutes of walking every day.
- No more than 20 minutes of sitting at my computer or in front of the telly without getting up and moving around.
He says that sitting for long stretches, 20 or 30 minutes at a time, may be more detrimental to health than not regularly engaging in aerobic activity for 20 or 30 minutes. The 20-second energy bursts are familiar to me from the diabetes literature. Here's one study: Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males.
5:2 Intermittent Fasting
Mosley hosted a one-hour documentary on BBC last fall, Eat, Fast, and Live Longer, where he described the benefits of intermittent fasting. Here's Mosley a few days ago discussing the technique, which he outlines in his new little book, The Fast Diet:
BBC News - Diet Doctor Urges Intermittent Fasting
The 5:2 program involves eating normally (normally?) for 5 days and then fasting for 2 days. They can be any 2 days; they don't have to be consecutive. Fasting means eating about 25% of your normal intake, about 600 calories for a man, 500 calories for a woman, and drinking often throughout the fasting day. Mosley has lost 19 pounds over 3 months plus quite a bit of body fat by eating this way.