Don’t have an hour to work out — how about three minutes? Experts say high intensity is effective but warn that you may love it
10/04/2017 // Frances Bloomfield // Views

Squeezing exercise into a busy schedule is a struggle that many people are familiar with and grapple with constantly. If you're one of these people, then have we got news for you: a 180-second, high-intensity workout is all you need. Doing this five times a week is a guaranteed way to keep yourself fit and healthy, claimed sports physiotherapist Kusal Goonewardena.

According to, the workout would entail performing such feats as non-stop skipping, star jumps, or sprinting. People executing the workout should reach a minimum of 85 percent intensity during every routine. This may be exhausting, but Goonewardena notes that doing so will have the same effects as a low-intensity workout that takes up to 30 minutes.

And what effects are these? Lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, smaller waistlines, and enhanced fitness, to name a few. “Research has found all the indicators that showed problems with heart disease and heart attacks actually went down,” Goonewardena told

While doing the three-minute workout five times every week will suffice, “blitzing” through 21 days of this routine will encourage your body to itch for longer and more intense exercise sessions. Goonewardena explained: “It gives the body momentum to take it to another level, once you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and get the benefits, it becomes a habit for you and the body starts to crave more and more exercise.” (Related: Long Duration or Short Burst Exercising - Deciding Which Is Best for Health and Fat Loss)


Those who wish to up their exercise game without waiting for those 21 days to pass are more than welcome to mix things up. By this, we mean varying things by performing exercises of low, moderate, and high intensity. This will cut your time even shorter, as you can lessen your workouts to about two sessions every week.

The benefits of high-intensity interval training

As was already mentioned, the three-minute workout is good for your heart and your waistline, but did you know that there are many other health benefits associated with it? Goonewardena's program is essentially a form of high-intensity interval training or HIIT. Proponents and practitioners of this exercise theory believe that brief and intense bursts of exercise are better than longer and slower workouts. Just how and why HIIT is better is detailed below:

  • HIIT boosts your metabolism: High-intensity workouts create a shortage of oxygen and increase the body's need for it, especially during post-exercise recovery. This then leads to a hiked-up metabolic rate that can stay high, even several hours after exercising. What results is the metabolism shifting towards burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates, meaning that the body continues to burn calories well after the workout has finished.
  • HIIT builds up your endurance and speed: Consistently doing HIIT can bring about physiological changes that will allow you to do things faster and farther. One example is that HIIT will help your body learn how to use up lactic acid more effectively. Lactic acid, also known as lactate, is a metabolite that can cause you to feel a burning sensation in your active muscles when too much of it is being produced at a single time. HIIT can help you avoid this unfortunate feeling by getting your body used to the strain of exercise.
  • HIIT is quick, convenient, and easy: Those three minutes aside, HIIT doesn't need you to invest in pricey exercise equipment or a gym membership to get fit. All you need is the time and the desire to exercise. Look at this way: three minutes of intense exercise a day will translate into 15 minutes of intense exercise a week if you do it for five days. Keep this up for a month and you'll get 60 minutes or just a little over one hour of exercise. That's one hour of exercise a month that will impact your body in the biggest and best ways. What's more is that HIIT can be done anywhere: from your bedroom to your office to your office parking lot, any location can be used as your workout place.

Read up on more exercise news, tips, and tricks by going to today.

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