In an ongoing series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible. Got a question for Julie? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the holidays without all the associated stress? The anxiety we feel from last-minute shopping, crowded stores, and hosting the family holiday dinner can easily make us feel stressed rather than merry. I’ve found that a great way to stay happy, healthy and energized during stressful times, is to sweat it out!
WHAT IS HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING?
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), describes any workout that alternates between short periods of intense exercise with short periods of rest. It sounds too simple to be effective, but I do HIIT 2-3 times per week and here’s why.
IT'S QUICK AND EFFECTIVE
For anyone who has trouble fitting a good workout into their schedule, HIIT is an efficient and quick way to get some exercise. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times per week) than jogging on the treadmill for an hour.
IT BURNS FAT QUICKLY
HIIT not only burns calories but torches fat too by increasing your resting metabolic rate. This helps to burn more fat than other moderate exercise programs. Your body will continue to burn calories and fat for 24 hours after a HIIT workout.
THERE'S NO EQUIPMENT NECESSARY
Don’t have a gym membership or equipment at home? No problem. HIIT requires zero equipment! All you need is a little open space. HIIT workouts utilize your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly will get the job done.
IT'S CHALLENGING FOR EVERYONE
HIIT offers seasoned athletes a new challenge and beginners a quicker way to see results. You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, which keeps things interesting and challenging.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Creating your own HIIT routine is easy: simply find some simple exercises that you can perform intensely for one to two minutes at a time, followed by a short rest period. Some examples of exercises include running, stair climbing, jump rope, and swimming. Equipment isn’t necessary but I like to add kettlebells or dumbbells to get my heart going as fast as possible and tone muscles.
Remember, intensity is the key, which means you have to work. You will need to push yourself to the max. Your focus is to work hard, rest and then work hard again. Here’s a 10 minute example of a HIIT workout you can try at home.
Do this 2-minute pattern a total of 5 times for a total of 10-minutes:
15 JUMPING JACKS
20 JUMP SQUATS
We’d love to hear how you did!
Julie has a passion for health and fitness and is on a mission to help others be the best they can be at any age. Follow her on Facebook!