Good article from the NY Times re putting into practice (via exercises) research about the efficacy of high intensity interval exercises in terms of metabolic advantage.
The money quotes from the article, for couch potatoes and people who hate endurance exercises like running and jogging (like me), include:
High intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time.
That even a few minutes of training at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity produces molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running or bike riding.
Did you get that?
7 minutes of high intensity interval training is equivalent to an hour (if not more) of running or bike riding.
Below is a really handy image of difference exercises that you can print out and stick on your fridge. The recommendation is to do 2 or 3 circuits of these highly intense exercises, with each exercise taking 30 seconds and 10 second interval rests, in order to gain maximum metabolic and hormonal advantages. Intensity should be at around an 8 on a 10 unit discomfort scale. Essentially, those 7 minutes will be hell but you’ll be one and done.