What's the biggest barrier to working out? It's not necessarily the difficulty of exercise, or a lack of equipment: thanks to the internet, we can follow along with lots of beginner workout routines at home without any kit necessary. It's most often a lack of time that's said to affect our ability to work out every day.
Not everyone has the ability to take 45 minutes to go for a run, or an hour to complete a weightlifting session in order to lose weight and get fit. Fortunately, we don't have to: one study found people who do short bursts of high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), taking just ten minutes each time, find it easier to fit exercise into their daily lives.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia (opens in new tab) examined 30 inactive people's enjoyment of exercise, including hit. The participants completed a four-week course of HIIT exercises taking 10 minutes, three times a week. The participants were then left alone for four weeks free to do as much, or as little, exercise as they liked.
Unsurprisingly, the group who had taken the course of 10-minute HIIT sessions for four weeks reported exercising more in their free time after the session ended. Because it only takes thirty minutes a week, the participants were happy to do more exercise because it was split into manageable chunks and could be done anywhere with a bit of floor space.
Matthew Stork, PHD candidate and one of the authors of the study, said: "There's research evidence showing that negative feelings experienced during traditional forms of exercise, like going for a long run, can lower your likelihood of completing that exercise again in the future. We anticipated the same would be true for HIIT, but as it turns out, it's not so simple."
Taking ten minutes out of your day to complete some exercises has serious health benefits, not the least of which includes weight loss. Dozens of studies have found HIIT training to be beneficial for those looking to lose weight due to the intense nature of the exercise, and the effect it has on our metabolisms.
However, it'll also help those looking to get fit for performance reasons, improve the health of our heart and other internal organs, and exercise even reduces signs of ageing in our skin (opens in new tab).
This study is bound to help those looking for an easy way to fit exercise into their daily lives. Storks study shows that people who tried HIIT on a consistent basis were willing to stick with it due to the lack of time commitment it requires, which is great news for everyone from busy mothers to stressed students.
Need somewhere to start? This HIIT workout from expert PT Joe Wicks, AKA the Body Coach, is a great way to get started.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.