Are you the only one you know who isn’t working out?  Are you the only one you know showing houses to clients at night and on the weekends, who is responsible to get his kids to soccer practice and music rehearsals, and who has to go to the market and…? Where do these people find the time? What if you’re just too busy to work out?

If this sounds like your crazy schedule, HIIT workouts may be great for you.  HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The workouts can be ideal for staying fit without the “usual” steady state cardio 30-60 minute workouts.  Instead, HIIT workouts combine short bursts of intense exercise with less intense recovery periods.  And, HIIT workouts have been scientifically proven with hard data to increase your cardio fitness, your fat burn and your metabolism when compared with slow and steady state workouts.

Here are some benefits of HIIT workouts:

  1. They increase your endurance whether you run, cycle, play tennis, swim, ski, or hike.
  2. Your body keeps burning calories after a HIIT workout because its high intensity sends your body into overdrive.
  3. HIIT workouts are good for your heart.  Your heart rate increases and, in turn, your blood circulation improves.
  4. HIIT workouts boost your metabolism.  You use more oxygen doing high intensity interval training than “regular” workouts.  That increased oxygen increases your metabolism, an ideal benefit if your goal is to lose weight.
  5. HIIT workouts are easier to “stick” to.  You can do them anywhere, they take less time, there’s little, if any gear, required.
  6. HIIT workouts are short, challenging, can be grueling and are more fun.

Here are a couple of caveats from expert trainers (Noam Tamir, Jen Cassetty, Matt Delaney) to consider before you begin:

  1. It’s best to be able to sustain a 30 minute slow and steady cardio workout before beginning HIIT training.
  2. It’s best to allow for enough time in between HIIT workouts so your muscles recover adequately.  Two times a week is good when beginning…3-4 times a week is optimal once you have a solid, sustained level of fitness and commitment to maintaining your health.
  3. Ideally, combine HIIT workouts with a comprehensive strength training program and a “steady state” cardio program.
  4. As with any training program, consult your physician prior to beginning HIIT workouts.

READY?

  1. squats –                         30 seconds                                     rest – 15 seconds
  2. jumping jacks –              30 seconds                                      rest – 15 seconds
  3. high knee lifts –              30 seconds                                      rest – 15 seconds
  4. arm circles –                   30 seconds                                      rest – 15 seconds

Be as exact as possible with time intervals

Repeat twice!

There are many easy to find variations of HIITS workouts for all phases and levels of fitness.  Whatever your goals, gradually incorporate HIIT workouts into your busy life.