Yesterday, I introduced a form of exercise which is ideal for your Nether Being (Slow Burn), and today I will introduce the counterpart for your Upper Being, called P.A.C.E. or Peak 8. Similar to the idea of Slow Burn, being a condensed and focussed form of exercise which delivers the essential benefits in a very short period of time, P.A.C.E or Peak 8 does the same for cardiovascular exercise.
The underlying idea behind P.A.C.E or Peak 8 is similar, in terms of engaging in short bursts of high intensity activity, interspersed with rest periods. This form of alternating high and low levels of activity actually provides benefits which are not generally obtained from more typical longer endurance cardio exercises, which can even produce more detrimental effects than positive. As some have explained, our ancient physiology would not have been built for running for extended periods of time under normal circumstances, unless we were under a severe degree of stress, and running for our lives from a sabre-tooth tiger.
The form of Peak 8 prescribes a brief warm up period of about 3 minutes to start, and then 8 repetitions of the following pattern : 30 seconds of high intensity cardio, followed by 90 seconds of a resting pace. The exercise itself can be anything of your choice, depending on what you like, and what equipment or terrain you have access to. The key idea is to pick anything which you enjoy, which will get your heart and breathing rate up for a period of time.
This form of exercises is just about the only way of increasing your natural human growth hormone (HGH), which is critical for maintaining strength, and contributing to longevity. A lack of exercise during the adult years will contribute to a serious decline in this hormone.
Doing this a couple of times a week, as well as your Slow Burn routine about once per week will maximize all of the positive benefits from exercise you can get, and only takes about 90 minutes per week to do a sufficient amount of all of these exercises.
If you have been away from regular exercise for any length of time (or in fact, for most of your life!), then it is a good idea to work with a personal trainer for a period of time to help you get started at a pace and intensity which is appropriate for you, and which you can gain progressive “wins” from as you work up to a state of being more in shape, and ready to manage your fitness routine yourself.
Speaking from my own personal experience, I only started taking regular exercise seriously in the last few years, and it is truly amazing how much more energy and general feeling of health I have when I am in a regular exercise routine. It can be really hard to take the first step, but every step towards more regular exercise builds momentum, and it gets easier and easier as you go.