Simple, effective and over in a flash! High Intensity Interval Training is a form of cardio workout that alternates between quick, intense bursts of all-out effort followed by periods of complete rest.

A typical workout structure could be 20 seconds effort, and 10 seconds rest for a number of exercises, and the good thing about HIIT is you don’t have to spend hours doing it. Many workouts range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.

You can be flexible with the exercises you choose too: things like jumping jacks, running on the spot, skipping or bicycle sprints are great for getting the heart rate up, but be sure to include a warmup to get your body ready.

Why is it good for me?

HIIT is the workout that keeps on giving, and research has shown that the benefits are twofold. Firstly, because of the elevated heart rate during the intervals, it’s a more effective way to improve cardio fitness than a steady workout such as jogging, which is great for building a strong and healthy heart and lungs.

Secondly, your body actually continues to feel the benefits after your workout as its repair mode goes into overdrive. That fire in your belly after your morning HIIT fix? That’s no accident!

How much does it cost?

Potentially nothing – you can do this at home. You don’t even need a gym if you don’t want to.

If you think you’d benefit from the motivation of others you can either pay for a local class or gather a group of friends in the park and find a HIIT workout on YouTube to follow together.

What equipment do I need?

Running, rowing and cycling are all great exercises for HIIT but actually you don’t need anything at all – just your body.

High knees, running on the spot and any jumping exercises are perfect for raising your heart rate into that all-important anaerobic zone.