There are dozens of apps available for download that claim to offer an effective workout in just seven minutes. They usually guide you through high-intensity interval training (HIIT): 30-second bursts of intense exercise followed by a 10-second rest. They include cardio exercises like high-knee running in place and star jumps as well as strength training such as press-ups and planks. They’re enough to get you working up a sweat before long and HIIT has been proven to improve your overall athletic performance, as well as boosting your body’s metabolism and fat-burning capacity.
Most apps encourage you to complete just one 7-minute workout per day by praising you if you manage it and reminding you if you don’t. A study that looked into the benefits of such brief exercise sessions has found that this ultra-convenient approach might not be for the best. The American College of Sports Medicine’s article recommends ‘high-intensity training of at least 20 minutes,’ so you’d need to do three circuits each day to see any significant improvement in your fitness.
Every second counts
The idea that just seven minutes of your time is enough to get you in peak physical condition is tempting. HIIT is an effective way to enhance your overall fitness and apps like these can be a fun, easy way to complement a lengthier training plan. If you’re relying on the app alone try to ignore the tempting titles and practise a fat-busting “21” challenge instead.
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