I have had one of my periodic slumps in exercise again, the usual combination of work stress, stuff that needs to get done at home and no time to do all the things I want to do. On the other hand the weather has been GLORIOUS and I did manage to combine a trip to the beach with the kids and a bit of playtime in the new kayak.

The fact is, I would far rather exercise while doing a sport I enjoy than simply going to the gym or for a run. The gym especially is so boring. But when time is short, it can be hard to make the time for those sports, probably many parents are in this situation – if it’s either your kid’s swimming class, meeting a deadline at work or going for a nice long kayak or a bike ride, the work or kid wins out every time…

Then there is the inevitable effect of no exercise – too much eating and drinking, feeling stressed and overwhelmed and lounging around in the evening instead of focusing on the important stuff. I really find exercising, helps to keep me alert and motivated through the day. I am more conscious of how I really feel and what is going on in my mind and body after moving around a bit. As an extra plus, exercising makes me drink more water, which also often makes me feel much more alert and focused during the day.

I am therefore trying a new approach, HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. It’s been around for a while but has been popularised by Dr. Michael Moseley of Fast Diet fame, via a Horizon science documentary he put out a few years ago, see clip below:


For someone who is short on time like me, it’s perfect: A ten minute work out (yes really! TEN minutes) where 2 minute recovery periods are interspersed with short but furious bursts of exercise at maximum possible intensity. It’s also actually quite good fun, racing yourself and seeing just how sweaty you can get.

This means I can exercise for ten minutes, have a quick shower and can be back at my desk within the half hour I get for my lunch period each day. A sandwich and bowl of protein-rich skyr (my favourite wonder food) and a banana later and I’m ready to get back to work, fully alert and ready to go.

We have a (very) small gym at work with weights, exercise bikes and a rowing machine. I have chosen to use the rowing machine, largely because I cycle to work each day but don’t really exercise my arms. So here is my 10-minute work out:

2 minute warm up

20 sec sprint

2 minute recovery

20 sec sprint

2 minute recovery

20 sec sprint

3 minute cool down

I have done for it a few days now (I have put three half hour sessions a week in my work calender) and thought it would be fun to track my work progress so here goes the first one, I’ll update when I manage to do them.

16/09/2016 – Rowed 2074m at pace of 2:26/500m and burnt 115 kCals