One of the main problems with workouts, is the time that they demand can typically make them hard to squeeze into the reality of everyday life.
It might come as a relief, if not a revelation, therefore, that we actually need to do a lot less than we think to achieve the same fitness and health gains associated with spending hours in the gym.
The principle of Tabata - an exercise developed in the '70's for Japanese Olympians - works on this very principle.
Short and sweet is the order of this 4 minute success formula, and the discovery is that, in this time, you can potentially increase your aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, VO2 max AND resting metabolic rate.
The key to Tabata is to pick a cardio activity such as running, burpees, or skipping, and go as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Follow that with 10 seconds of rest and repeat seven more times.
A good tip is to pick a soundtrack that reflects the timing, and the ebb and flow of the workout, as this will not only help set the pace, but also the motivation when working out is the last thing you feel like.
A fitting song, if you’re of the 80s/90s era... might just be Tubthumping, by Chumbawamba.
The album version is 4 minutes 38 seconds (giving you 38 seconds to catch your breath!) and it’s got a chorus that can’t fail to inject some positivity and confidence into your workout. The ‘I get up again’ resonates not just with the agony of burpee sets on repeat... but moreover, the challenges that daily life throws at us, and which fitness provides just one way of helping us overcome.
(Small print: Please consult a medical professional before embarking on any new exercise endeavour)