How much time do you set aside to workout each day? Not much? Me either! Back in April, I interviewed Kelly who is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and Certified Personal Trainer. She shared 8 tips for getting fit for summer.
One of her tips was to start moving. Duh! Yes, but she suggested we don’t need to kill ourselves in the process (I love Kelly!). She mentioned that High Intensity Interval Training is a good option. So guess what? I tried it and I’m sharing the 7 reasons I’ve loved adding it to my workout regimen (Note: in full disclosure, my “regimen” is not so much a “regimen” – it consists of a 30-40 minute walk 3-5 times a week)…
1. It’s scientific
Like oat bran, no-fat diets and all the other crazes I’ve tried and forgotten, it’ll probably be debunked. BUT, for now, there is strong research-based evidence that short, intense exercise can produce similar fitness benefits as those produced through longer, less intense workouts. Freakin’ YAY...it’s a Chrismas miracle!
2. It’s easy
There are multiple versions of this workout on video and in app form. You can search YouTube or the App Store, but the one I do involves 12 different exercises that anyone can do to some level of success (it might not be pretty, but gosh darn it, you can do it!):
- Jumping Jacks
- Wall Sit
- Push Ups (I do the easy ones)
- Step Up
- Basic Squats
- Tricep Dips (I do the easy ones)
- Static Plank
- High Knees
- Push Up + Rotations (You guessed it! I do the easy ones)
- Side Plank
Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds (come on, you can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds). BONUS! You get 10 seconds for rest and transition in between. All that takes about 7 minutes, although as fitness improves, the authors suggest repeating the circuit 2 to 3 times. OK, yeah…we’ll get right on that repeat thing!
3. You can do it anywhere
It’s great for at home, in a gym, in your hotel room, indoors, or outdoors, etc. All you need is your body weight (well, I’m definitely good there!), a device (phone, iPad, laptop) on which to play the video, some semi-clean workout gear, and a chair.
4. You can do it every day
What’s that you say? You don’t have time? Did I mention it’s only 7 minutes? Your argument is invalid.
5. It’s a great warm-up
If you’re more “athletic” (you know, like me…LOL!) and want to do something more than the 7 minutes, it’s a great way to warm up for other cardio activities. I follow it with a brisk walk, so those 7 minutes really shoot my heart rate up before I hit the road and it helps to keep my heart rate elevated longer.
6. It works
Even after a couple months of doing it 3-4 times a week, I still sweat and breathe hard, but the initial muscle pain is waning. After just a couple weeks, I felt stronger and could see tighter muscle. My tip: start slow. You’ll build muscle and stamina over time.
7. It provides a good variety
It’s an ass kicker and you don’t even realize your ass is being kicked because there’s so much activity. You’re moving from one exercise to the next so quickly that you don’t have time to think about (or whine about) how hard it is.
To quote the trainer in my video, “So, 7 minutes is way way way better than no minutes. …If you’re very busy and you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, this can be a way to work little bits of activity into your day.” Give it a try!
Now, it’s your turn! Have you tried a HIIT workout? Do you have a favorite? Comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.