Exercising at higher intensities can halve your weekly recommended time for exercise, according to experts

Exercise experts are seeing the interest by Australians to choose high-intensity training methods to get fitter faster, with personal trainers suggesting all it takes is 15 minutes a day.

University of Queensland professor in exercise physiology Jeff Coombes says high-intensity interval training (HIIT) methods have shown improvements in fitness and health markers, enjoyment levels and psychological functions.

“Having no time is the biggest sited reason for people not being active,” he says.

Professor Coombes adds that short exercise may be a positive thing to help people stay active, as almost 60 per cent of Australians are obese or overweight and 50 to 55 per cent of people are not performing enough physical activity per week.

The approximate recommendations for physical exercise per week according to Professor Coombes is 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.

He adds if you were doing 15 minutes of HIIT workouts, you would only need to complete four or five a week to reach the recommended 75 minutes.

“Being fit is so beneficial. It improves your mind, heart, musculoskeletal system, strength and coordination,” he says.

Jarrad Sullivan, personal trainer from 24/7 fitness group Jetts says that working out doesn’t have to be an hour-per-day commitment, with 15-minute sessions gaining popularity rapidly.

“People prefer this style of training as it suits their busy, fast-paced and at times stressful lifestyle. A 15 minute workout will help with fat loss, increasing cardiovascular capacity and increase in muscular strength.

“Regular short training sessions of 15 minutes are so much easier to stick to and you can create a lot of variety to keep it interesting and most of all fun.”

Sullivan says high-intensity exercises produce a unique metabolic response in the body, causing it to continue to burn fat for up to 24 to 48 hours post-workout.

“If you commit to consistent training at high intensity and maintain a well-balanced healthy diet you will receive results that will keep you encouraged and motivated,” he says.

Here are Jarrad’s hot tips for a cardio/ strength based 15 minute workout:

Choose five full body exercises ( repeat twice)
– Dump bells squat press
– Lung rotations
– Burpies
– Chin-ups
– Russian twist

Beginners – have 30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest.
Advanced – have 1 minute on and move straight onto next exercise.

Finish with 5 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), alternating between 20 seconds of maximum intensity and 10 seconds rest.

Do you feel time-poor when it comes to fitting exercise into your daily routine? Would you consider trying the 15 minute HIIT workout option?