Working out can be, well, so much work. Nowadays our lives are so filled up with work and family and responsibilities – we’re lucky we have time to eat. We’re active in so many ways except in ways that keep us healthy. Many people work long hours then head immediately to their children’s sporting events, music or dance lessons, volunteer placements or appointments. When is anyone supposed to find time for exercise?

It is believed that adults should get approximately one hour of exercise each day to maintain a healthy body, but oft times there isn’t an hour available in the day to devote to fitness. But for fitness wannabes with tight schedules there may be a remedy. McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario recently conducted a study to determine whether short bursts of intense exercise were as beneficial as one or two hours of moderate exercise. The results proved that individuals could do intensive 30-second workouts over 20 minutes just three times each week and reap the same benefits as someone who did regular workouts for as much as two hours each day.

Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill. This mean setting the treadmill at its highest setting and running as fast as you can for 30 seconds at a time or set the exercise bike to a level where you can barely move the peddles, and pump your legs as hard as you can. This type of workout is extremely intensive, but is not just for individuals who are in peak condition. Researchers say that interval training can be done by even the most inactive individuals. They do, however, recommend that interval training be combined with a regular workout regime. Those with medical conditions are encouraged to consult a doctor before starting interval training.

Here are a few pointers for interval training.

  • ^Warm up before starting the workout.
  • ^Know your limits. When the burn becomes too much, stop.
  • ^Don’t try to do too much too soon.
  • ^Take breaks between bursts to let you heart rate to slow down.
  • ^Stretch your muscles for several minutes following the workout.

About the Author

Anna Fleet is a certified personal trainer. When she is not working out or helping others achieve optimal health, she is the face and voice behind – an excellent online resource for information about fitness equipment brands, weight benches and more. She also has an informative fitness blog.