MoreBurnLessTimeAnd so Fitness First play their part in the epidemic of stress, speed and resulting sickness that is blighting modern society, particularly in the big cities. This billboard greets travellers leaving Paddington station as they emerge through the acrid fog of tobacco smoke that shrouds the main exit of the station. ‘MORE BURN, LESS TIME’. It is this kind of nonsense that is filling our acupuncture clinics with injured, burned-out, prematurely ageing, unhappy people. The mantra ‘more burn less time’ promises … what exactly? It promises ‘burning energy, calories, or fat’. Who needs to burn energy, calories and fat? Those who have overindulged in excess food or the wrong foods, usually against the background of an overly sedentary daily life. And this workout method means you’ll ‘be back in the office before anyone notices you’ve gone’. OK so one might implicate a punitive employment culture and economy in this, where miserable office drones live in perpetual fear of taking a lunch-break lest they attract the searchlight of bosses looking to make cuts. Nevertheless there are big problems with this approach to ‘health’. What happens to the lunch-break with this exercise routine? The person’s Stomach is treated to a cold sandwich shoved down while they work. And so the vicious cycle of high stress, poor digestion, imbalanced metabolism, weight gain and subsequent depression continues. Add to this the inevitable injuries caused by rushing from a desk chair to a high impact workout with insufficient warm-up and warm-down, and you have the perfect storm for slowly and insidiously tearing the body and mind apart. Of course, the younger gym bunnies will be fine … for a while. But those in their 30s and 40s working long hours and feeling the need for health and wellbeing should avoid this kind of approach to training. The people attracted to the offer by Fitness First are exactly the kind of people who would benefit from an hour doing, well basically nothing. Just breathing, relaxing, letting their nerves unwind, their muscles soften and lengthen, their minds slow down and become calm. I can see the billboard now – LESS BURN, MORE TIME.

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