Can 12 Minutes of Exercise Get You Fit?

For busy people on the go, there's a style of exercise that can whip you into shape in no time flat

High Intensity Interval Training could be the workout for you

A recent study in Norway claims that only four minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) three times a week is enough to improve your fitness level. While this may be true for the 24 people in the study who were previously inactive, there has been no follow up to find out whether the improvements (measured by testing the uptake of oxygen) could be sustained.

HIIT is not new, and proponents claim that it offers greater benefits than the traditional workout of jogging or riding a bike for an hour. HIIT workouts take less time, burn more calories, stimulate your metabolism and can be done anywhere, with little equipment.

What is High Intensnity Interval Training?

The basic idea is that you work out at maximum effort for a short while, then have a recovery period and then repeat. One common excersize is Crossfit.

An example of a starter HIIT workout would be (after warming up, of course) to run as fast as you can for one minute, then walk for two minutes (recovery) then repeat four more times. There is no one formula for an HIIT workout, but they generally last between 15 and 20 minutes.

There are several free apps for timers specifically for interval training that beep to signal the end of each segment of your workout. But remember, no workout program should be started without checking with a medical practitioner first.