X-bytes_WellnessBlog_Banner3-2
Valentine’s Day: Just when you thought your New Year’s Resolution to eat better and exercise more might just stick, here comes another holiday that tempts you (chocolate and champagne anyone?).

I Interval Training

Valentine’s Day: Just when you thought your New Year’s Resolution to eat better and exercise more might just stick, here comes another holiday that tempts you (chocolate and champagne anyone?).

But I’ve got a strategy that will lessen the effects of a little indulging.

It’s high intensity interval training (HIIT): Repeated short bursts of intense exercise alternated with varied recovery times. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve recommitted myself to a healthy living: I credit my three-times-per-week HIIT routine for playing a big role in my success so far. “Fast fitness” is a practical, efficient and fun way to get maximum benefits in minimum time.

The optimal workout – as short as four minutes – has been found to give fitness benefits similar to a 30-minute moderate intensity activity.

Here’s how HIIT works: Start with just 10 minutes a day, three times a week to either augment your current exercise routine (add interval training to your power walk or run) or do a self-contained workout. This can include both aerobic (cycling, running, swimming, burpies, jumping rope, stair climbing…) and strength training (push-ups, planks, squats, lunges…) routines. Use your own body weight instead of machines or free weights. To get cardio and strength training benefits, you can do a 10-minute aerobic HIIT workout in the morning or evening, and do a 10-minute strength workout during the day. If 10 minutes at once is too long, take several minutes a few times a day. Some activity is better than none. These small bouts of activity should make it easy to “fit” fitness into your busy days, including during the workday.

The key is to push yourself as hard as you can, then pause to recover and catch your breath before doing another burst of activity. Start with 30-second sprints of intensity activity or strength training repetitions interspersed with 15-second recovery periods. Increase the duration to a minute or more, as you are able. Use the talk test as your guide for cardio: it should be difficult to carry on a conversation during the intensity portion.

If time is what holds you back from regular exercise, interval training will change the way you think about exercise. Bonus: these microbursts deliver immediate energy and boost productivity. And, they improve metabolic health and burn more calories and fat than long duration workouts – so you can savor that Valentine chocolate without the guilt!

You can learn more about Fast Fitness for Busy People here.

Standing up for good health,

Dr. Kim

Move of the Month

CHAIR MARCHING

  1. Sit tall at edge of chair
  2. Lift knees as high as you can
  3. Swing your arms
  4. March as fast as can for 30 seconds
  5. Contract or pull in your abdominal muscles while marching

sign-up-on-blog2