The Best Workout for Busy People
By Krista Elliott
It seems like we're all just getting busier and busier, aren't we? Many of us are handling demanding jobs (and often more than one job!), a busy home life, the kids' activities, our parents' healthcare, and it's just getting harder and harder to fit it all in. And every day, you see another article or talk-show host telling you that you need to find time to exercise.
Celebs might have time for an hour-long Booty-Busting Buff Ballerina Bootcamp Barre class, followed by an hour of weight training with a bald 21-year old whose biceps are the size of cantaloupes.
You ... don't.
So the key is to make the absolute most of the time we're taking. In order to not waste those precious moments you've carved out for yourself, you have to pack as much workout into as little time as possible. And there's a way to work out in 15 minutes that gives you even greater benefits than an hour-long session. What is this miracle? It's HIIT.
What is HIIT? It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It basically consists of intervals: Short bursts of super-intense activity followed by moderate activity or even rest. Sprinting for 15-30 seconds as though you're being chased by an angry lion, followed by a couple of minutes of light jogging or fast walking, or 15 seconds of fast rope jumping interspersed with marching in place for a minute? That's HIIT. Just repeat the intervals until you've done a total of 15-20 minutes, and you're all done!
Why is HIIT such a great workout? Here are some of the benefits:
You'll Burn More Fat: A long slog on the treadmill may burn calories, but as it turns out, HIIT helps your body burn more fat while still preserving muscle mass. A Laval University study showed much higher rates of fat loss in people who did HIIT workouts versus those who did "steady-state" exercise.
You'll Give Your Heart a Workout: HIIT gets you into the anaerobic zone (where you can barely breathe and feel like your heart is going to explode). You don't want to stay in that zone for long, but small bits of it give your heart a great workout, improving your overall cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
No Equipment Required: HIIT is a natural for cyclists, runners, and cardio equipment fans. But really, all you need is to do ANY kind of movement as hard and as fast as you can, whether it's burpees, jumping jacks, or getting your Flashdance on. So weather, travel, and money are no impediments.
It Boosts Your Metabolism: Not only does HIIT improve your muscles' ability to burn fat, but it also helps your pituitary gland secrete Human Growth Hormone, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels and process fat more readily.
Fifteen minutes? We can all find that. So HIIT your workout as hard as you can, and enjoy discovering a fitter you!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.