Few of us have the luxury of having plenty of time to exercise every day. While life can often get in the way, not being physically active on a regular basis can cause your energy levels to plummet and your waistline to quickly thicken.
So what do you do if you’re struggling to find the time to work out? Turn to high intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT! Just a 10 to 15 minute HIIT workout can help blast fat quickly and improve fitness levels.
Not only is high intensity interval training highly effective, it can help boost fat loss, allowing you to achieve that fit body you’ve always wanted much quicker. Plus, it’s just a lot more fun than endlessly running on a treadmill!
If it seems too good to be true, consider that low intensity workouts burn calories while you’re participating in the activity. High intensity exercise, on the other hand, raises your metabolism long after your workout has ended – up to 24 hours depending on how intense it was. Low intensity exercise generally doesn’t help to strengthen or support your existing muscle mass either, which is essential for fat loss as having more muscle helps you to burn more fat.
In addition to saving you time, HIIT offers a number of other advantages including:
- Increasing your aerobic capacity (the body’s ability to utilize oxygen) faster as compared to working at a lower intensity.
- Improving insulin sensitivity which may help your body become more efficient at storing glucose in the muscles rather than storing it as fat.
- You can choose your own exercises and make HIIT part of your running, cycling, jump rope routine or just about any other activity.
- You don’t need to have any equipment for an HIIT workout. You can raise your knees, perform plyometric exercises like jumping lunges or anything else that gets your heart rate up faster – high intensity exercise is defined as working at about 75 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Always keep in mind that in order to get lean and fit, you can never abandon proper diet and nutrition – even when you’re burning more calories through HIIT workouts. It’s essential to avoid junk foods and eat clean no matter what type of exercise you participate in.
Try this beginner routine to get started:
- Begin with a light warm up for several minutes before transitioning to intense exercise.
- Exercise for 60 seconds at about 70 percent effort – you should be pushing yourself without becoming overly exhausted.
- Follow the intense 60 seconds of exercise with two minutes of active rest, or about 50 to 60 percent effort, keeping your heart pumping and your body moving ( a light jog or marching in place should do the trick).
- Repeat five times and then rest for two minutes.
- Repeat the entire set two to three more times, for a total of about 10 to 15 minutes.
My five-minute Fat Burning Body Blast (click here to watch) is a great one to try if you need a sample workout that can help you get started right away. It will help tone your glutes, legs, arms and abs while keeping your heart rate going from start to finish!
If you’re a runner, you might change things up by incorporating HIIT workouts.
- Warm up for five minutes with a light jog or fast walk.
- Sprint for 20 seconds followed by a 40 second walk, repeat five times.
- Sprint for 30 seconds followed by a 30 second walk, repeat five times.
- Sprint for one minute followed by a 30 second walk, repeating five times.
- Five minute cool down.
Use your imagination to create your own HIIT workout, the most important thing is to incorporate HIIT into an exercise you enjoy doing and alternate between low and high intensity bursts of exercise.
Yours in health,
P.S. If you'd like to get new and fun HIIT workouts from me each week, join my private personal training site here.