High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most successful workouts to help improve health, a new study has found.
The hugely popular exercise regimen involves doing short bursts of exercise followed by a recovery period, and these workouts usually last for around 30 minutes.
It's a quick and effective way to get fit, and researchers from the Physiological Society discovered that it was one of the easiest ways to boost fitness, with as little as four minutes of high intensity exercise per session needed to significantly improve health.
The current World Health Organization (WHO) physical activity guidelines are 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity per week, or 75 to 100 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
However, the researchers found that people who are doing a 20-minute low-volume HIIT workout per week are getting the same results as those who are following the WHO guidelines.
They previously discovered that doing as little as four minutes of HIIT three times a week was found to significantly improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, and now, they have found that low-volume HIIT can also improve heart function and heart health.
Dr. Angelo Sabag, co-author of the study, said that HIIT workouts are hugely beneficial for people who work late shifts, and don't have the time to workout in a gym.
"While the WHO guidelines may serve their purpose at a populational level, individualised and tailored low-volume HIIT interventions delivered by appropriately trained exercise professionals may be more effective at an individual level, especially for time-poor individuals," she explained.