Three-minute exercise as effective as going to the gym for half an hour, claims expert

An intense three-minute workout is enough to stay fit and healthy, claims a Melbourne-based physiotherapist

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 29 September 2020 08:34 BST

[This article was first published in 2018]

Forget slogging away on the treadmill for hours on end, apparently all you need to get your fitness fix is 180 seconds.

An intense three-minute workout is enough to stay fit and healthy, claims a Melbourne-based physiotherapist.

Kusal Goonewardena told the Daily Telegraph Australia that exercising intensely for such a short period of time will enable you to reap the same benefits had you engaged in a moderate 30 minute workout at the gym, which the World Health Organisation advises us to do daily.

The professional physiotherapist, who regularly works with Australian Olympians at the University of Melbourne, suggests hitting 85 per cent of your maximum exertion levels for the limited window either by skipping, sprinting or by doing star jumps.

The theory is that people who subscribe to the unique regimen for three weeks will eventually feel compelled to engage in longer, and less intense workouts as their fitness levels increase.

30 min workout for your lunchbreak

It is aimed at those who want to get fit but might not have the time to squeeze in an hour-long gym session or exercise class, which is probably many of us.

Kusal’s plan mimics a common style of exercise known as HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training.

This short, quick-burst style of training is hugely popular amongst the celebrity fitness set, though it’s normally performed for a bit longer than three minutes in total.

The typical HIIT routine will consist of 20-40 seconds of high intensity exercise, followed by a short rest period. This will then be repeated 10 or more times.

It’s been proven to aid weight loss, speed up your metabolism and keep your body burning fat up to 24 hours after you’ve finished exercising.

Plus, a 2014 study found that people who performed HIIT rather than low intensity training, such as an hour-long jog, were more likely to enjoy their workouts.

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