“I don’t have time…” This is a common excuse when it comes to exercise. After school clubs, play dates, and just being plain tired can lead to exercise being bumped off the to-do list.
Exercise doesn’t have to be hours of boring cardio machines or pounding the pavement on a cold rainy dat. Instead make exercise work around your lifestyle and your hours by using High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata.
HIIT is a form of interval training, which alternates short periods of intense training of all out effort with less intense recovery periods. An example is doing jumping jacks as fast as you can for 30 seconds, followed by lightly jogging in place for 10 seconds. Try this rotation for 15 minutes.
Don’t have 15 minutes? How about 4 minutes? 4 minutes while the pasta is cooking on the stove, 4 minutes while waiting for your favorite TV show or even 4 minutes DURING your favorite TV show and this all without expensive gym memberships or leaving the house. How? With Tabata Training. Tabata is another form of HIIT, which alternates 20 seconds of full effort intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest, and this is repeated 8 times. This can be burpees for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds rest and repeated 8 times, resulting in 4 minutes of exercise.
The benefit of HIIT training compared to traditional continuous aerobic training, such as jogging on a treadmill for an hour, is the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) or otherwise knows as the afterburn. After a high intensity training session the body has an oxygen debt. The body will increase oxygen consumption to restore itself to resting state and this process uses more energy. EPOC is influenced by intensity of the exercise so the more intense the exercise, the more oxygen required to bring the body back to resting state. This means more calories are burnt compared to if you exercised at a lower intensity for the same period of time.
The body does take longer to recover from these high intensity exercises so if you only have 15 minutes, try HIIT 2-3 times a week and notice your energy levels increasing, waistline shrinking or just enjoy that post workout bliss.
Helen Mclaney, Personal Trainer
Helen is a personal trainer in Chelmsford. Visit her facebook page here