It’s known for being hellishly hard, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s an awful experience! The somewhat surprising findings of a new study show how high-intensity interval training works wonders on many levels.

Sticking to an exercise plan requires finding the time to exercise, but the exercise itself must also be enjoyable. We know that about half of the people who drop out of any exercise regime do so because of the lack of time. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is increasingly being recognized as being as, if not more, beneficial for health than the traditional moderate continuous exercise (MICT). And, as HIIT compresses the amount of time required, HIIT might also be more enjoyable.

Over a series of different exercise classes, healthy volunteers complete a questionnaire known as the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES). In this study 92 percent of the participants enjoyed the HIIT workouts more than traditional MICT exercise.

Exercising hard and fast, then, is scientifically proven to bring health gains and a smile each day.

Professor David Cameron-Smith is a regular Fit Planet contributor. A transplanted Australian living in New Zealand, he obtained a PhD in nutritional biochemistry from Deakin University, and undertook postdoctoral training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. His research interests include the importance of nutrition in the maintenance of optimal health in an ageing population, and the impact of nutrition in regulating the function of muscles.

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