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Happy Friday!  Our blog post today is with thanks to Amelia McKenzie, this blog post Amelia wrote for Vitalise Health last year and it is full of fantastic advise around HIIT exercising/training. I thought a great reminder for those on limited time frames and of course for Vitalise Health March it out March month. Happy reading and today’s challenge is within the post xx

Many years ago, when I worked in the corporate world, I would get up at 5.30 am every morning to attend a grueling 60 minute army style circuit training, then after work I would often run like a crazy person and clock up to 10 – 12 kilometres (or 20 k’s if in full-fledged training mode). Man, do I wish I knew what I do now….

You see the research is pretty compelling when it comes to just how long we need to exercise.  A new study showed that those who exercised for just half an hour a day lost a third more weight than those who did an hour long vigorous work-out.

Interestingly, the group that exercised less had increased energy and higher motivation for pursuing a healthy everyday life. In contrast, those who exercised for one hour or more, felt exhausted, demotivated and less likely to incorporate positive lifestyle changes.

There is even some evidence to suggest workouts shorter than 30 minutes can still be of great benefit.  Recent research from Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, found that just 12 minutes of intense exercise a week – in four minute bursts – could increase the body’s ability to take up oxygen and reduce blood pressure. What you have to remember from this research is that it is comparing duration for vigorous intense exercise, so best don’t abandon your leisurely 60 minutes walks all together!

Personally, I also believe the reasons why the shorter workouts are of benefit is due to the fact they don’t exhaust our adrenals, or cause excessive increases in cortisol the same way longer workouts do – cortisol is a sex hormone that enhances belly fat storage and blood sugar imbalance. Shorter workouts also don’t cause ravenous hunger, commonly experienced with intense workouts of longer duration.

Now days I am a bit more chilled with my exercise, I like to mix it up with tabata training of  no more than 12 -16 minutes or strength training at the gym of less than 30 minutes each time, as well as the occasional power vinyasa yoga session or a relaxed walk somewhere scenic or sometimes with my wee mate Doug (my in-laws jack russell).

So now you know the facts – you can get away with 4 minutes of HIIT a few times a week – no excuses not to move it! However, if we can even just incorporate more gentle movement into our day, like taking the stairs instead of lift, getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier, or doing a couple of star jumps after sitting at your desk every few hours, your health and life would definitely benefit.

Because we like to make life easier for you at Vitalise Health we have also provided below an example 10 minute workout kindly provided from my dear friend Kelly Rennie Fitness:

  • Mountain climbers
  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • High knees
  • Plank

Repeat twice, 45 seconds on/ 15 seconds off.

Lastly, Vitalise Health is also running a free “March it out to March” challenge, with a daily exercise tip/challenge for you to complete. We are giving away lots of spot prizes (trust me they are pretty awesome), all you have to do is  jump onto our facebook page or website to signup and tell us how you have been reducing your sitting time. Winner drawn every Monday for month of March.


Jespersen, A. et al (2013). Compliance with physical exercise: Using a multidisciplinary approach within a dose-dependent exercise study of moderately overweight men. Scandinavin Journal of Public Health, 42(1):38-44. doi: 10.1177/1403494813504505

Wisløff, U. et al (2013). Low and high volume of intensive endurance training significantly improves maximal oxygen after 10 weeks of training in healthy men. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065382

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