Tabata Training – What is it and Why Should You do it?

If you are a working mum, or have just had a baby, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. You’re likely to be exhausted and struggling to balance your busy life and you most likely put yourself last after you’ve finished taking care of everyone else.

If you used to exercise, pre-children, you may think there are other more important things to do now and maybe you think it’s vain to bother about keeping in shape when you have other things you’d rather be doing with the little free time you do have.

If you want to stay healthy and look and feel younger for longer, you really do have to keep up a regular exercise routine.  Not having the time is no longer a reason now that there’s a new popular exercise program that has taken the world by storm. It’s called Tabata training.

You can get fitter, and maintain this fitness, by doing 4 minutes of intense exercise for only 2 or 3 sessions per week. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, I have been doing tabata and some HITT(high intensity interval training) combined. Tabata is a type of HITT training but it is characterised by its 4-minute duration and aerobic activities.

HITT can be longer and contain a mix of aerobic and resistance exercises. I am a qualified fitness instructor and, when I first qualified, we were told that you couldn’t gain any significant benefits from any exercise routine that was shorter in duration than 30 minutes. I now know they were wrong as I’ve not only lost weight but I’m more toned and have more energy. All this and I’ve got more time for me too! It’s amazing!

So how does it work? The idea is that you do high-intensity activities for 20 seconds and then take a 10 second rest. It is important to take your rest, but believe me, if you do it right you’ll look forward to your rest breaks! The whole session should take 4 minutes and this amounts to about 8 rounds of activity and rest.

So, if you want to take regular exercise without spending hours in the gym, why not give it a go? 

As with any new exercise routine, make sure you consult a medical expert first, especially if you have any underlying medical issues or are pregnant. If you have just had a baby wait at least 12 weeks before starting any intensive exercise program and get permission from your GP first, just to be safe. 

You can find some tabata exercises on Youtube if you want to give it a go.



Ten tips to help you lose weight this summer

Does the sight of your bikini feel you with dread or delight? If it’s the former, this is for you – Enjoy!

  • Try drinking Green tea. A few cups per day will help speed up your metabolism and provide you with beneficial antioxidants in the process.
  • Drink some caffeine an hour before exercising. Research has shown that this helps the body start using up stored fat immediately. Usually, during exercise, the body uses its glucose stores first.
  • If you like to snack between meals, try filling up on celery, carrot and cucumber sticks dipped in low-fat salad cream or cottage cheese.
  • Try doing some cross-fit or HITT exercise. I swear by these short, high-intensity workouts. They halve your exercise time and deliver twice the benefits. Just make sure you have a medical check first – you need to be fit to do these kinds of workouts.
  • Try having some soup before your main course. Research has shown people tend to eat less when they start with soup. Just make sure it isn’t one of the creamed varieties!
  • Drink lots of water. As well as keeping you hydrated in the heat, it can reduce your appetite. Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty.
  • If you enjoy savoury snacks, you can save calories by eating some of the low calorie crisps we have in the UK, such as quavers or Wotsits. If you live in America, I know how hard it is to find a small bag of crisps! Try scooping a handful of cheesy puffs into a freezer bag and eat these instead. Treat yourself, but keep the portions small.
  • Keep portion sizes of meals small. Use a smaller plate so it looks like you have a full plate. Make sure the biggest item on your plate is your portion of vegetables. A portion of meat is the size of your outstretched hand and your carbs should be the size of your clenched fist, as a guide.
  • Walk more. If you take the bus, get off two stops earlier or, if you use your car to drive somewhere local, walk instead. It’s a great fat-burning exercise if you pick up your pace.
  • Get enough sleep. It’s been proven that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. It could be for a variety of reasons, from metabolic changes to stress; either way, try to take as much time as you can to relax and make sure you get your eight hours sleep most nights.