The One-Minute Exercise Approach Changed My Life  by@z3nch4n

The One-Minute Exercise Approach Changed My Life

Zen Chan Hacker Noon profile picture

Zen Chan

Interested in Infosec & Biohacking. Security Architect by profession. Love reading and running.

Imagine: Teeth Maintenance = Health Maintenance

What if there is another world where people do not brush their teeth but only visit the dentist when the tooth is in pain? In that world, the experts told you that you should put your teeth be your primary priority and give you recommendations on diet and teeth cleaning services.

As a result, you make time and come to visit the dentist three times a week. It works! (At least for a while) Your teeth are clean and healthy. No more smelly breath or swollen gum.

You know what happens next. You get off track. Time goes to zero on teeth maintenance. Taking three trips to a dentist every week is not sustainable on time and money.

An Idea — Less Beats More in the Long Run

What if we are doing it all wrong? Being healthy or staying fit is, in fact, not a thing at all? What if we do not need to spend a lot of time and resources simply becoming the optimal version of ourselves.

I am trying to solve: “The Problem of Time.”

It may be nothing comparing with the radical discovery in science, but the switch in thinking can save us money and time we spend on our health. I will also mention an experiment of myself at the end as an example of my solution.

Old Mindset: Keep Fit = Spend Time and Money

Back to Normal

Winter is here. And it is the end of the year when celebrations are coming one after one. It is an enjoyable moment for family and friends to gather and rejoice. In the meantime, we face the dilemma of gaining weight or illnesses after a long holiday.

We try to go back to normal; normal weight, normal strength, and normal mood…

As a result, people are so keen to remain fit at the beginning of a year, and thus the largest number of new members of a gym membership is in January. But can it last? Someone can, but most people will not use enough time as an excuse. I was one of them.

My Story of “The Problem of Time”

I start running since I was young, and I was always slim (~120lbs). Even after graduating from university, some of my teammates and I would go running every week. Although we slacked sometimes, it is part of our entertainment rather than practices like before.

Still, we told ourselves — as we aged, our metabolic rate decreased, and therefore, we gain weight. I gained some weight (from 120lbs to 140lbs) but still “normal.”

Until one day, I took a job that required working at night shift. It led to no time for running.

“I’m fat now. I need to go back to normal!”

Old Mindset: I do not have TIME for Exercise = I am not Fit

I worked at night for a year. As sleep quality was greatly affected, I was too tired to go running. Even though I want to, I had to run alone as I was living in the reverse timezone.

My weight climbed to 160lbs. I was often exhausted and in a bad mood. I felt like I didn’t sleep at all. Sometimes, there was a runny nose followed by headaches. At this moment, I was in physical fatigue.

I wrote about that painful experience before. If you read it, you know I recovered. The problem of time still comes and gone, although I now have more methods and tools to deal with it. But the truth is, I did not have more time to deal with the problem.

“The Problem of Time” — Explanation

Getting back on track is a ritual. Repetitive seasons of Groundhog Day for
“Going back to normal” is the new normal for the body. We share photos of social media victory laps, joining yoga classes again, writing about how we did it.

But sadly, in the long run, there is the inevitable competition of the time, weight rebound, and many other unexpected and expected things in life. Let’s take a look at the photos below:

Do you feel the same? The shifts from happy-go-lucky and free to roles and responsibilities, ageing and pains, drive real seasons of life. This is what life looks like, sometimes we are run out of time, but suddenly we have too much time and have nothing to do.

“TIME” often falls to ZERO, and for long periods of time

Here are some examples:

  1. If we do not have time, it is time for some time management, and we need to put fitness as a higher priority.
  2. We can always “make” time if we have a strong will.
  3. Getting in the best shape = the best health condition.

Let me tell you the uncomfortable truth:

  1. There will be a moment of “off track” — something unexpected happened and will keep you there.
  2. Our primary role in life always gets a higher priority, and it is not about willpower.
  3. If you get your best shape means nothing long term about health.

A research study also indicated the prime reason people fail to adopt a healthy lifestyle is time constraints. We “want” to keep fit but only with the “leftover” time from our primary role.

Imagine You are Getting Ready to go Running.

Then you get a text saying that your son was bullied at school and got into a fight. You can either run or drop everything and deal with your child.

Your child wins, hands down, right?

Here is what it looks like:

  1. Fitness experts provide you with advice about fitness and a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Their primary role is about fitness.
  3. You try to apply the strategy with your leftover time.
  4. You gain some benefits at first but cannot keep up.
  5. Back to “Normal” or try again.
Everyone in the real world, the world of having a job, family, pressures, age, knows this is what’s really true in the long run. We all have long periods of telling ourselves, “ I gotta get back on track. I need to go back to normal.”

The Real Problem of Time

The reason all the expert's advice fundamentally sums up to “You gotta make the time” is no one has a real solution that works without time. The answer to The Problem of Time going to zero shifts, “Don’t let time go to ZERO.”

But time does go to zero. Repeatedly. That is, “leftover” time goes to zero, keeps resurfacing. And for long periods, sometimes years. That is the real problem of time.

Less Beats More in the Long Run

What we need is a practical strategy even though leftover time goes to zero. Let’s go back to the story at the beginning. We have a daily maintenance routine for our teeth (teeth brushing), and so do our bodies.

New Mindset: Health Maintenance = Teeth Maintenance

Experts are not wrong; putting our health at a higher priority would have a higher probability of being healthy. But in long-term consideration, having something like brushing our teeth, something integrated into our daily routines, should provide greater sustainability.

Introduction of One-Minute Exercise

It is not necessarily done within One Minute. You do not wait for your body to decay until it is too late. Every day, without fail, you use this 1-minute exercise to maintain your body.

The first thing to start with is flexibility exercise at bedtime.

1 Minute BEDTIME

WHAT: 2 sets of full-body stretching or yoga flow

WHEN: At bedtime, after brushing your teeth.

Try it tonight!

By integrating this flow into your bedtime routine, you gain more flexibility each day. You sleep better at night and feel more refresh the next day.

1 Minute WAKEUP

If you want to see performance improvement, spending one more minute in the morning could be an easy way to start. In this study in 2014, it concluded the effectiveness of this approach:

"… the potential for very brief, intense bursts of exercise to elicit physiological adaptations that are associated with improved health status in a time-efficient manner."

WHAT: Wim Hof Breathing exercise finishing with pushup at last breath-hold.

WHEN: Wakeup time after brushing your teeth.

By integrating this flow into your morning routine, you gain full awareness quicker. The blood acidity could be lowered after a few sessions.

I will introduce more alternatives in my next article.

My Experiment — No Running for 6 Months

Out of curiosity, I want to put a control test on this idea by myself. Since July, I stopped running but started doing the One-Minute exercise twice a day before brushing my teeth.

Just liking someone take better care of their teeth would floss. I also add something more to my routines, such as Coldwater Shower and occasional HIIT workout.

  • I have more energy in the morning.
  • I sleep better even if I sleep late sometimes.
  • My bodyweight is constant.
  • My blood test and biomarkers are in the normal range or better in some.
  • My 400M time is still good, 55 seconds.

I spend less time on exercise, but I feel better. I am satisfied with the experiment and would continue doing it.

The Better Version — The New Normal of Fitness

My conclusive opinion why I got fat is why a lot of humans tend to get fat: time constraints, age-related decline, real-life pressures, accumulated wear, and tear. Let me leave you with one key idea at the end of this article.

New Mindset: Until you face the Real Problem of Time, you will never really solve the problem of staying fit and healthy.

I will definitely start running again, but it is solely entertainment alone or with friends. Surely running gives me health benefits other than the One-Minute exercise. Keeping fit should be embedded in our daily life without a huge demand for mental effort and time.

One-Minute exercise, on the other hand, can be in any form and do in any place. Thus, fitting it into your daily activities should be much easier than squeezing two hours for a yoga class. The strategy of non-time intensive for your body should be more practical and long-term.

Thank you for reading. (Remember to try it out tonight!)

Previously published here.


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