Let’s face it…..sometimes there are not enough hours in the day! Life can be a little overwhelming when it comes to working, taking care of your family and trying to have a little time for yourself. With that being said, spending 2 hours at the gym is just not feasible to do on top of helping with homework and figuring out what’s for dinner (everyday topic in my household).

But don’t give up, there is still hope!!!

Have you ever heard of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)? It may sound a bit intimidating but it really is not and can help you fit an awesome workout into your busy life!

HIIT is a workout that alternates between periods of high and low intensity exercise. In other words, you go all out for a brief period, give yourself sometime to recover then repeat!

Research shows that HIIT has many benefits including helping to increase the amount of abdominal fat you burn in a workout. Some additional benefits of HIIT include the following:

Build Up Your Endurance

Have you every walked up a flight of steps and got a little winded? Well that’s because your endurance levels are low and your heart and lungs are working extra hard.

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygenated blood to the rest of your body. When you perform HIIT this helps to increase your endurance eventually leading to the body utilizing oxygen more efficiently.

Overtime you will notice that you are able to do lower intensity activities for a longer period of time and your heart will not have to work so hard!

Minimal to no Equipment Needed

Another awesome benefit of HIIT is that you need little to no equipment. You can perform in the comfort of your home, in your yard, at the park or community track.

Some examples would be burpees, mountain climbers, jump roping, sprinting and cycling alternating with periods of rest or lower intensities of your chosen exercise technique.

Burn More Fat

Research has shown that HIIT can help decrease the amount of subcutaneous fat (directly under the skin) on the body especially in the abdominal area.

HIIT helps to increase fat oxidation which is the process that breaks down complex fat molecules known as triglycerides into smaller components that our body eventually uses for energy production. The more fat we use in the form of energy, the less fat we accumulate helping to achieve a lean, toned look.

Essentially what this means is you can spend a little less time working out at a higher intensity but still burn more fat! That’s a win-win in my book!

Give Your Metabolism a Boost/Burn More Calories

Perhaps one of the best benefits of HIIT is its ability to help “rev” up your metabolism and burn more calories. This is due to something called Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. After exercise, the body needs to return to its normal, resting state. EPOC is the body’s way of paying “oxygen debt” and getting back to homeostasis (equilibrium). During this time, the body’s metabolism is turned up and as a result it burns more calories.

Think about going on a long road trip and once you finally reach your destination you turn off the car. Does the engine immediately cool off or does it take some time to return to its resting temperature? Of course, it takes some time! Well the same notion applies to your body’s metabolism it will stay revved up for a while after exercising.

Research shows that HIIT can help burn more calories than steady-state exercise such as jogging for 45 minutes at the same pace. So why not give it a try and see for yourself!

HIIT Workout Example:

An HIIT workout can consists of five to six intervals of full intensity ranging from 10 to 30 seconds followed by a resting period of 2-4 minutes. Of course if you are first starting off you would want to start with a shorter high intensity time and longer resting periods. As you progress, you can gradually do more high intensity and shorter resting periods.


3 minute Warm-Up

Alternate between the following:

Sprinting: 6 intervals at 30 seconds each = 180 s (3 minutes)

Walking: 6 intervals at  2 minutes each = 12 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

This is just one example of a HIIT workout. Just remember you want to start off with what is comfortable for you and gradually increase your high intensity time.  The key is to push yourself as hard as you can then allow yourself to recover. In time, you will find it becomes easier which means you are getting in better shape!!!

If you want to get more bang for your buck when it comes to your exercise routine give HIIT a try! It can help you burn more calories and fat in less time!

Find Health in Every day,

Dr. Lindsay

Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.