I felt a rush of childish excitement this week when I found out that Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in the fitness world. Like all men, if I catch a repeat of Predator while channel hopping, no matter how late it is, I am biologically compelled to watch it through. I'm fairly confident the shot of Arnie and Carl Weathers locked in a bicep bulging handshake/arm wrestle in the first moments of that film is responsible for about 30% of all health club profits since 1986.
Arnie said he'd be back and God damn it he is, and he's back with a simple message more in keeping with his status as the mature, elder statesman of fitness than the hyper-real muscle God of the eighties and nineties, famously described as a "brown condom full of walnuts" by Clive James.
Arnie doesn't expect you to do two hour calf workouts or have the dedication to "eat a kilo of sh*t to gain a pound of muscle", he just wants you to commit 1% of your day to your fitness.
His twitter campaign under the hash tag #spark encourages us to commit just 15 minutes of exercise a day, and he doesn't care what kind. Just get your heart rate up and get a sweat on.
We are prone to obsessing over minutiae when it comes to training, but the truth is most of the population needs to simply move around more, ideally doing something they'll actually enjoy, before ever concerning themselves with what is "the best" program.
If you like dance, swimming, walking your dog, fitness classes, yoga, hiking or even vibrating platform training (although typing that last one caused me physical pain and my writing hand attempted to strangle me like something out of The Evil Dead) then do it!
The benefits of this tiny amount of activity on everything from depression to blood pressure to illness prevention are well documented. So if you're reading this and wondering where to start, set the goal of 15 minutes a day for the next month of any activity that takes your fancy.
In keeping with the idea of branching out and trying new forms of exercise, last weekend I went to a dance lesson with my client and guinea pig in the Cheat Your Way Dateable project. Here's the video