Catherine DeMayo

Personal Trainer/Group Exercise Instructor

What can Fast Exercise do for you?

You’ve probably heard about High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, the concept of short, hard intervals of cardio vascular exercise that are being publicized as effective for getting fit fast. To quote Dr Michael Mosley, medical doctor and BBC journalist who has popularized the concept (he does it himself, at home), “Some of the proven benefits of High Intensity Training include:

  • Improved aerobic fitness and endurance 
  • Reduced body fat 
  • Increased upper and lower body strength 
  • Improved insulin sensitivity”

Whatever your age or level of fitness, and whether you prefer to cycle, run, swim or walk, there is an exercise regime for you.”

Whether you do HIIT on a machine at the gym, or as part of your outdoor walking, running or cycling, the concept is the same: short bursts of intense exercise (you should feel, by the end of each burst, as though you can’t go any longer) interspersed with longer periods of recovery (during which you keep moving, but at a slower pace, allowing you to recover enough to try another short burst).

Trials of HIIT have used short bursts of anywhere from 12 to 90 seconds; I recommend most people start with intervals of 20-30 seconds. So a short (even five-minute) session can give you time to do two or three hard intervals.

Of course, if you have any heart or other health conditions that may affect your ability to HIIT safely, speak to your doctor.

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