It’s not always doable to block off big chunks of time for long walks, leisurely bike rides, or hours in the gym. The good news is that there’s an incredibly effective method of exercise that you can fit into 20 minutes of your day. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, combines very short, very intense periods of cardio-based exercise with periods of rest. For example, if you sprinted for 30 seconds and walked or jogged for a minute, and repeated this cycle for 10-15 minutes, you’ve done a HIIT workout.
HIIT workouts are proving to have many health benefits. They may be more effective than traditional forms of exercise for fat loss. They improve your overall fitness, strengthen your muscles, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help manage high blood sugar. If you’re already regularly exercising, they can increase your speed, agility, and strength.
Click HERE and HERE for some examples of HIIT workouts you might try – many of them take less than 15 minutes! The key is to get your heart rate up to 80% of its maximum (check HERE for an age-based chart). You can check your heart rate by either counting it over a 20-second period and multiplying that number by 3, or by using a heart rate monitor.
It’s important to know your current fitness level and work within it. If you’re not used to regular cardio-based exercise, be sure to ease into it. Additionally, if you have any health concerns, especially heart- or lung-related, make sure to check with your doctor before starting a new type of workout.