By Jen Gendron, Health & Wellness Coach
Many people avoid working out as they feel they don’t have time and that it takes a lot of time to achieve any benefits but this is not the case. In recent years, more research has been done on physical activity and we now know that a “quick and dirty” workout can be just as effective (if not more so), than spending hours in the gym with multiple reps and sets and numerous exercises. There is lots of research to support the benefits that can be achieved by a H.I.I.T. style workout (High Intensity Interval Training) which can be done in as little as 30 minutes or less. The key is to keep the intensity level high which will give you “more bang for your buck” by keeping your heart rate elevated and your metabolism revved up!
Not only will H.I.I.T. training cut down on the time you need to spend on your workout, there are numerous benefits to this form of training. Here are a few:
1) Increase to both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness – due to the high intensity of these workouts, you will significantly improve your cardiovascular fitness both aerobically (lower intensity, longer duration) and anaerobically (high intensity bursts of activity)
2) Increase to your VO2 max – this basically means that your body is better able to make use of oxygen thereby increasing your aerobic capacity and endurance
3) Burn more body fat – studies have shown that effective H.I.I.T. training will help you burn more calories, build lean muscle, lose fat, improve heart health, push your limits, and increase efficiency.
4) Increased metabolism – due to the need to replenish oxygen stores after a high intensity workout, studies show that your metabolism stays “revved up” for hours after the workout which means more calories burned.
Another great benefit of H.I.I.T. training is it can basically be done anytime and anywhere with little to no equipment. H.I.I.T. workouts can be done with body weight, dumbbells, kettlebells or
medicine balls, or with weights in the gym. If you are new to H.I.I.T. just be sure to gradually up your intensity to avoid injury and safely progress your program.
Here is a sample H.I.I.T. workout that you can try at home – no equipment required! Happy H.I.I.T.ing!
Complete 15 minutes of the following exercises with 30 second break in between each set:
– 30 sec Push-ups
– 30 sec Sit-ups (or 30-sec plank)
– 30 sec Squats