We all know that staying healthy and fit demands regular exercise. But let's face it, life moves at an increasingly insane pace. How do you realistically crunch in those crucial workouts? Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and the University of Birmingham claim to have come up with a "time-saving solution" to the ubiquitous exercise conundrum.

According to an article in Science Daily, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UK Department of Health's recommended three- to five-hour stints of endurance training per week are hardly achievable for many of us. 

So a new study published February 1 in The Journal of Physiology has found that interval training offers optimal results in "less than a third of the time."

Both High intensity Interval Training (HIT) and Sprint Interval Training (SIT) were found to make a considerable impact on health and aerobic fitness—with just 90 minutes per week being "as effective as five sessions of traditional endurance exercise, taking five hours per week." Researchers further claim HIT and SIT can go a long way to preventing "blood vessel disease, hypertension, diabetes and most of the other ageing and obesity related chronic diseases."

Sound too good to be true? Here's how it works: SIT balances 4-6 30-second 'all out' sprints with 4.5 minutes of very low intensity cycling. Repeat. Obviously the high intensity of the workouts makes SIT more suitable for "young and healthy individuals." 

HIT, on the other hand, which involves 15-60-second bursts of high intensity aerobic activity followed by 2-4-minute low intensity intervals. 

The workouts are recommended for spinning bikes available in gyms or at home. I've been trying HIT on my stationery bike at home and it seems to be working and is much more fun than pounding the circuit. At least until spring, when running season resumes...

A fan of interval training? Or does basic bootcamp do it for you?