When “I don’t have time to work out” isn’t working for you anymore and your love handles are mushrooming into a muffin top, it’s time to find a way to add exercise into your routine. One of the best ways to do this is with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program that offers maximum benefits in a minimal amount of time. HIIT includes a combination of muscle resistance and cardiovascular intensity that is sure to make you sweat. The best part? You can pretty much get a good workout in any time and any place. And, HIIT isn’t just for young and fit folks. According to the Mayo Clinic, HIIT actually benefits older adults the most.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT employs a combination of short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods that keep you moving the whole time. It challenges both the aerobic (cardiovascular) system and the anaerobic (muscle strength) systems of the body. HIIT’s health benefits include increased strength and endurance, improved lung capacity, lower blood pressure, better coordination and balance, and fat loss.
Depending on your level of fitness, the workout can range in length from 10 to 30 minutes, and you can mix and match various exercises tailored to your needs. Here’s a routine to get you started.
The Plan – 3 to 4 Days per Week
Warm up for 10 minutes with jumping jacks—or you can dance or simply march in place.
- Do 1 minute of kettlebell swings.
- Do 2 minutes of moderate activity such as jumping rope, burpees, or mountain climbers.
- That is one cycle. Repeat 4 to 5 times.
- Standing with legs slightly wider than shoulder width, grasp the kettlebell with both hands. Bring your arms up to shoulder height straight out in front of you.
- Swing the kettlebell down between your legs as you bend your knees into a low squat position. Keep your back straight and your glutes and abs fully engaged.
- Swing the kettlebell back up no higher than your shoulders as you return to standing position.
- Stand up straight and reach for ceiling.
- Crouch down, place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.
- Jump your legs out until you are in push-up position.
- Jump your legs back in towards your hands.
- Jump back up to starting position.
- Begin in the plank position with your right knee by your chest and your left leg extended.
- Switch your bent leg and straight leg simultaneously as if you were running.
- Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
- Keep a bottle of water handy and stay hydrated.
- Listen to your body. Modify any of the exercises as well as the repetitions as needed.
- Keep challenging yourself with more reps and/or more difficultly.
- If it hurts, stop.
- Stretch afterwards.