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Dr Michael Mosley , author of “fast exercise” highlights the fact that you can get fitter, stronger and better toned in just a few minutes a day and the simple secret is “high intensity training (HIT)”.  It’s not so much about how much time we have to exercise versus how efficient we are with that time.

He suggests that studies over the last decade have repeatedly shown that a few minutes of intense exercise, done 3 times per week, will give you improvements in line with benefits you’d get from doing many hours of slow-and-steady forms of exercise, regardless of your age or level of fitness.

I think this is wonderful news given that “I don’t have time” is the most common reason people give for not exercising and that 80% of our population are currently not getting enough exercise.

Studies have shown that HIT training sessions:


  •  Improve your aerobic fitness ie the strength of your heart and lungs
  • Gives a great chance to get fitter
  •  Improve your metabolic fitness ie your body’s ability to cope with high levels of blood sugar 
  •  Builds long and lean muscle mass
  • Produce hormones ie adrenaline and noradrenaline that are very good at burning fat, particularly the fat in your gut ie visceral fat

“Fast exercise” to get fitter – suggests that all we need is just 10 minutes and provides some tips on how to integrate HIIT into your life.  Dr. Mosley’s  preferred method of HIIT training is cycling on a stationary bike.  He warms up for a couple of minutes, then goes flat out for 20 secs,  catches his breath i.e. a minute to recover and then he goes again, incorporating 3 x 20 seconds  bursts in under 7 minutes.  However, other methods could involve running up a hill, climbing stairs,  jog/run or using body weight exercises i.e. jumping jack, mountain climber etc.

A recent article in July 2021 “Body and Soul” Magazine titled “ Can 10 minutes of exercise really do more than an hour- long run?”  highlighted a Canadian study that found 28.5 % more fat is lost doing HIIT than a less intense exercise such as running.

The author, Adam MacDougall, a former rugby league champion now promoting health and wellbeing to men and women, put forward his idea of the ideal 10 min workout as follows:-

  • 30 secs running on the spot  ( 20 secs rest)
  • 30 secs of bodyweight air squats ( 20 secs rest)
  • 30 secs jumping jacks (20 secs rest)
  • 30 secs of push-ups ( 20 sec rest) 

Do this set 3 times  for a total workout of 10 minutes.

Fitting exercise into a daily routine is something most of us struggle with from time to time so why not try a couple of these concepts to supercharge your training at home, during lockdown or in the workplace.

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