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Four-second workout: Short bursts of exercise key to lockdown fitness

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the exercise we all need to combat our sedentary lifestyles - and all you need is a few minutes a day, the experts tell Eva Hall, in part two of our Reboot series

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Power house : Personal trainer Andrea Bracken working out at home. Photo: Mark Condren

Power house : Personal trainer Andrea Bracken working out at home. Photo: Mark Condren

Power house : Personal trainer Andrea Bracken working out at home. Photo: Mark Condren

If you were told that just four seconds of exercise, repeated five times throughout the day, might cancel out a sedentary lifestyle, would you try it?

A new study from the University of Texas at Austin shows that short bursts of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) over just 160 seconds in a day, can not only burn fat, but can have a huge impact on our metabolic responses.

In the study, published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, eight men and women showed 30pc lower blood levels of triglycerides - less fat in their blood, even after eating a high-fat meal - after cycling and sprinting for just four seconds.