Dr Michael Mosley's 'best single way' to exercise, lose weight and live longer

Dr Michael Mosley speaking on This Morning
Dr Mosley said HIIT workouts 'build your muscles and boost your brain power' -Credit:Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Celebrity health expert Dr Michael Mosley has shared his opinion on the 'best single way' to exercise and lose weight. The health, wellness and diet guru, known for his version of the 5:2 and Fast 800 eating plans, spoke on his Radio 4 show Just One Thing.

He revealed that taking part in high intensity interval training (HIIT) was one of the most profound ways of helping you live longer, improve heart health, lose weight and reduce the risk of getting diabetes, as reported by Gloucestershire Live.

Dr Mosley said he likes to do a blast of exercises involving squats, planks and star jumps - adding that people don't need expensive gum equipment, encouraging them instead to just use their own body weight.

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He said: "We know exercise is good for us, but many people struggle to fit it in. If this sounds like you, it could be the answer.

"Not only can you burn more calories in less time, but it can build your muscles and boost your brain power. What’s more, you can introduce intervals of more vigorous intensity into almost any exercise...It’s really about adapting it to your current level of fitness, and in the long term, it can have big benefits, increasing muscle strength, fitness, improving your heart and reducing your risk of type two diabetes."

Dr Mosley said something like high intensity walking was a good way to up the tempo - for example fitting in a 20 minute walk on your lunch break and introducing intervals of walking fast for three minutes, and then returning to a normal pace.

He has also suggested replacing a walk with a short workout later in the week, as reported by Gloucestershire Live. Dr Mosley continued: "You do five lots of one minute intervals. These are either running on the spot or going up the stairs, so you do a little bit of gentle warm up. Then you go fairly hard for one minute. You have a breather for one minute until you’ve done a total of five minutes of fairly vigorous workout. That should get you done within 15 minutes."

Dr Mosley said high intensity exercise has a big impact on the body's mitochondria cells which 'tend to become less effective as we age'. He said: "In a recent study, volunteers were asked to do hit cycling at maximum intensity for four lots of four minutes. They did this three times a week. After three months, they’d not only improve muscle mass and strength, but increase their mitochondrial activity by up to 70%."

Exercise can also help to improve brain performance. Dr Mosley added: "A Norwegian study randomised 1500 adults to either doing hit moderate excise or a control group, and they were asked to stick to this protocol for five years. It turned out that he had the biggest impact on both quality of life and fitness. It also led to the biggest reductions in death from all causes."