You need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, but how do you exercise when you don’t have time or a gym membership?

When was the last time you had a good workout?

According to expert guidelines, adults need a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week – that means working out so that your breathing and heart rate go up.

But what if you don’t enjoy the gym, can’t afford a gym membership, there’s no gym where you live, or you simply don’t have the time to spare?

A 20-minute workout at home vs the gym

The answer could lie in setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier and doing a 20-minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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A new study published in The Journal of Physiology looked into how home-based high-intensity interval training programme benefitted clinically obese people at risk of heart disease.

Putting quick home workouts to the test

In the study, 32 obese people completed a 12-week programme of either:

  • A supervised, lab-based cycling HIT programme
  • The recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise
  • A home-based HIIT programme of simple bodyweight exercises suitable for people with low fitness and low mobility and performed without equipment

For all of these regimens, the exercise was performed three times per week.

Three 20-minute HIIT workouts are as effective as 150 minutes of regular exercise

The researchers found that the three 20-minute home-based HIIT bodyweight workouts (total of 60 minutes a week) were as effective as both the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise, and the supervised, lab-based HIIT programme for improving fitness in obese individuals.

Source: The Journal of Physiology

Could this be the best workout for people with type 2 diabetes?

Try a low-impact 20-minute HITT workout

If this time-saving approach to exercise appeals to you, try this 20-minute low-impact HIIT workout by Daniel and Alexander, the husband and wife team behind the ‘Team Body Project’.



As parents of three children, Daniel and Alexander understand all too well the need to fit a great workout into a short space of time, and that’s exactly what you’ll get by following this equipment-free workout.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.