HIIT Workout

One of the most common challenges for those trying to get or stay in shape is finding the time to exercise. We live in the busiest, most stressful time in history and most of us juggle multiple roles – employee/employer, parent, spouse, friend – all of which require our time and attention. It’s not surprising that exercise can fall by the wayside.

Most people don’t realize, though, that it doesn’t take much in terms of time to get in the physical activity you need to stay healthy. Effort? Yes. But hours in a gym? No.

In fact, various studies in exercise science have demonstrated that short but intense workouts are not only effective, but often more effective than prolonged more moderate workouts. This type of exercise, commonly called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) could be the solution to your time crunch.

HIIT consists of alternating intervals of intense effort and recovery. Typically, during the “high” intervals you’re working at level of exertion of 7 (on a scale of 1 to 10) or higher for anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. You follow that with a recovery interval, during which you bring your exertion level down to between a 2 and 5 for a time period equal to or longer than your high interval.

HIIT workouts as short as 15 minutes in length have been shown to produce better results, when done 3 times a week, than hour long sessions running or biking at a moderate pace!

Additionally, studies have shown that when you kick your body into high gear during those challenging intervals, it stimulates the production of hormones responsible for increased metabolism. This means that you burn more calories in the 24 hours after your workout than you would after doing moderate exercise.

Many of the moves commonly used in HIIT routines – burpees, jumping jacks, push ups, high knees, etc. – are also more effective than steady cardio at simultaneously building lean muscle while increasing your anaerobic fitness. This translates to more fat burning as well as better heart health.

Try the sample workout below and see how you feel!
Minutes
Activity
Exertion
1
0:00-4:00
Boxer shuffle or jog in place
4
2
4:00-4:30
Mountain Climbers
7
3
4:30-5:00
Boxer shuffle or walk in place
4
4
5:00-7:00
Repeat intervals 3 and 4, alternating
7-9/4
5
7:00-7:30
Burpees (jump at top)
8-9
6
7:30-8:00
Boxer shuffle or walk in place
4
7
8:00-9:00
Repeat intervals 5 and 6, alternating
8-9/4
8
9:00-9:30
High knees
8
9
9:30-10:00
Boxer shuffle or walk in place
4
10
10:00-12:00
Repeat intervals 8 and 9, alternating
8/4
11
12:00-12:30
Jump Squats
8
12
12:30-13:00
Boxer shuffle or walk in place
4
13
13:00-15:00
Repeat intervals 11 and 12, alternating
8/4
14
15:00-17:00
Cool down (bring heart rate down slowly by walking in place)
3-4
15
17:00-20:00
Cool down stretches
1-2