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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.