If you’re a motivated e-commerce entrepreneur — one of the 3% who succeed in online business — you know this happened to you at some point:

OK, it probably looked more like this:

Your impulse was to keep working until everything clicked.

Well, if you stayed true to our 3-step mantra, you made it. And now, you’re working smart and not hard.

Hopefully, what you now recognize is a reality you probably knew all along:

There’s no sense being successful if you’re not in shape to enjoy it.

You should never be too busy to ignore your health. And if you think you’re indestructible, take a stroll by the cemetery. Not everyone in there is 80 years old.

When it comes to omitting exercise — lack of time, money, or motivation — just know there is no schedule at any point in your pursuit of the Dot Com lifestyle that can’t accommodate it. You just need to pick an effective routine that works for you.

It’s still recommended that adults aged between 19 and 64 should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise a week. This roughly works out at about half an hour of brisk walking or cycling five times a week.

cycling for exercise

Maybe 30 minutes five times a week doesn’t sound like much exercise in the grand scheme of things, but research shows that you could actually do even less exercise and still maintain a good level of fitness with the use of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

A typical HIIT session involves doing multiple intervals — bursts of relatively short, intense exercise separated by rest or light exercise — and can last anywhere between a few minutes and right up to half an hour. It tends to involve many forms of exercise such as cycling, running, or even resistance based training. All of which can be completed in a typical gym or health club setting.

HIIT program

Although high intensity interval training has been around for a while, it’s receiving increased attention from researchers. This is because of its time-efficient approach and the many health benefits it can offer, such as increased cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure and improved blood results like glucose tolerance how the body deals with sugar throughout the day and good cholesterol.

The downside of the typical HIIT program is the intensity of the exercise. HIIT sessions usually involve maximal sprints such as running or cycling as fast as you can, for 30 seconds. These sprints can be tough to complete especially for a lesser trained participant. This means that although HIIT is effective at improving fitness, lots of people are put off actually doing it because of the intense levels of exercise required.

Here’s a different approach

The University of Hull in England we have developed a modified HIIT programme which offers the important health benefits often associated with prolonged exercise, while saving time and being easier to complete. In their research, participants used lower intensity, longer intervals for the protocol that are different to the short, very intense intervals of traditional HIIT.

The program involves a 28-minute HIIT workout on a stationary bike, featuring:

  • Five two-minute intervals with only ten minutes of hard work, and
  • The remaining 18 minutes of light exercise.

Over six weeks, researches compared three sessions a week of the 28-minute HIIT protocol with a continuous moderate-intensity cycling routine and a gym-based resistance exercise program, both of which were 55 minutes in length.

They discovered that the 28-minute HIIT program gave the same fitness improvements as the longer 55-minute moderate intensity cycling sessions.

This was shown as a fitness increase of 13% over six weeks and was measured by a VOmax test of participants before and after the six-week training intervention.

This exercise test allowed researchers to measure how well the body is able to deliver oxygen to — and use oxygen in — the working muscles during exercise. The higher the participants oxygen consumption (VOmax), the fitter the participant is.

So, it was logical to expect this value to increase after completing an exercise training intervention.

Getting Fit With HIIT

This training study adds to the growing body of body of evidence that suggests HIIT is effective at improving markers of health.

Although it’s still unclear why exactly HIIT works so effectively, researchers have been able to show that it activates similar biological pathways and mechanisms traditionally related to endurance-type exercise such as an increase in muscles’ ability to use oxygen.

But while HIIT appears to be effective at improving markers of health, more research is needed, especially larger studies looking at the safety, adherence rates and participant enjoyment.

These studies could examine the real-world potential and application of HIIT, as much of the current research is conducted under controlled laboratory conditions.

So, while it’s clear there’s still much that’s unknown about HIIT, what is known is that by using a modified HIIT protocol, you may be able to increase your fitness while spending less time at the gym. And in a time-poor world, where more people need to engage in regular physical activity, that’s definitely not a bad thing.

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