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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

HIIT: The Workout for Those Who Don’t Have Time to Exercise

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HIIT: The Workout for Those Who Don’t Have Time to Exercise

“I want to exercise, I just don’t have enough time.”

How many times have these words come out of your mouth?

If you’re like most of us, you think that staying fit requires hours at the gym, long evenings spent jogging, and lots of fancy equipment.

That’s actually not true.

There are loads of new workouts which are designed specifically for people with very little free time – and HIIT workouts are some of the best.

What are HIIT workouts?

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, and is a type of workout that combines short bursts of intense exercise with less intense recovery periods.

It’s ideal for anyone who wants to stay fit without adding another chore to their already busy schedule.

Ready to learn everything you need to know about HIIT workouts, and how to get started?

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Then read on.

What does a HIIT workout involve?

Confused about what you actually do during a HIIT workout?

There are loads of different workouts, suitable for people at different fitness levels.

We’ve given one basic example below, to give you an idea of how HIIT looks in practice.

Beginner HIIT workout

Complete the following exercises for 45-second intervals, with a 15-second rest interval after each.

Repeat for three rounds, resting for one minute between rounds.

1. Pushups.

2. Squats.

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3. High knees running on the spot.

4. Side lunges.

5. Jumping jacks.

See how simple HIIT workouts can be?

You don’t need to learn any complex moves, or splash out on any expensive equipment.

What happens to your body during a HIIT workout?

Curious about exactly what’s going on in your body during high-intensity interval training?

During periods of intense exercise, your body needs more oxygen than usual. This leads to an oxygen shortage, which causes your body to ask for more oxygen during the recovery period. This process is named EPOC– excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. It is the KEY to burn more fat than usual! This keeps your heart rate high and causes you to burn more calories than you would in a regular workout. [1]

What should you focus on during a HIIT workout?

To see maximum benefits from your HIIT workouts, it’s a good idea to define a goal beforehand.

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You might be looking to:

  • Burn fat and lose weight.
  • Increase your endurance.
  • Improve your performance in high-intensity activities.
  • Stay fit and healthy.

Pick a goal beforehand, and look for workouts tailored towards helping you achieve it.

Depending on your goal, you’ll vary the lengths of your work and rest intervals, the intensity of the exercises you choose, and the length of your overall workout.

What do HIIT workouts offer?

HIIT workouts aren’t just convenient – they also have loads of amazing benefits. Check out the list below.

1. Increase your endurance. If you take part in another sport, like running or cycling, there’s a good chance you’ll notice an increase in your endurance after completing HIIT workouts.

2. Keep burning calories after your workout. HIIT workouts send your body into overdrive, which means you keep burning calories even after you’ve stopped exercising. Bonus!

3. Good for your heart. Pushing yourself to exercise until your heart rate increases is good for heart health and promotes healthy circulation.

4. Boost your metabolism. Because HIIT uses more oxygen than regular workouts, it boosts your metabolism – ideal if you’re trying to lose weight.

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5. Easy to stick to. Short, simple workouts are much easier to stick to than complex training plans. It’s much easier to stay motivated when you can workout anywhere, and with HIIT, you can.

Wait…Is there any risk for HIIT workouts?

Like any workout, HIIT does carry some risks. It’s important to choose exercises you can carry out safely, and avoid pushing yourself too hard, too fast.

If in doubt, always ask a professional for advice before attempting a new workout.

Are you ready to try out your first HIIT workout?

One of the best things about HIIT is, you don’t need any equipment to do it and you can customise your moves based on your goals! You don’t necessarily need to stick with the same move because there are so many options for you to choose from.

You can pick your favourite moves that target what you want and switch to the others to keep yourself entertained! The most important thing is you give your full potential during the workout in order to achieve the best performance!

Here we offer you an infographic that shows you how basic HIIT workout can be formed! If you are interested in customising your workout, you can always check this article to help you get started!

So no more excuse to not exercise now! Start now and SWEAT ON!

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    Reference

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    Eloise Best

    Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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    Last Updated on January 5, 2022

    7 Practical Stretching Tips to Enhance Your Next Workout

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    7 Practical Stretching Tips to Enhance Your Next Workout

    Stretching is one of the most essential aspects of a healthy fitness routine. It’s also one of the most overlooked. Instead of thinking of this activity as a separate entity, consider stretching as a continuation of your exercise routine. By making stretching tips a part of your workout, you won’t neglect the attention your muscles and joints require to perform effectively.

    Whether using stretching as a way to wake up, get your mind in the game, or recover from strenuous activity, your body will reap its short-term and long-term benefits. In the moment, stretching is a great way to warm up the body and prevent yourself from overextension and injury. In the long run, stretching daily can help loosen your tendons and muscles, and ultimately help you maintain a full range of motion later in life.

    Taking these ideas into consideration, follow these 7 simple tips for stretching to add stretches back into your workout vocabulary.

    1. Stretch and Stretch Often

    Ultimately, your body can benefit from stretching daily. Many of us experience a somewhat stationary lifestyle at work, so we naturally need to warm up our bodies after remaining immobile for long periods of time.

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    With only ten minutes of stretching, you can increase your strength, balance and flexibility. From working out to waking up in the morning, slow, easy movements can warm up the body. Just remember to be gentle; any jarring movements can cause injury and muscle tear.

    For the best results, hold each stretch for at least sixty seconds[1].

    2. Warm up Before a Workout

    Similar to establishing a daily stretching routine, warming up the body pre-workout is vital for having a successful session and one of the most important stretching tips. Just grabbing your foot to stretch your calf for a couple seconds could actually harm your body, so make sure you begin slowly and take your time.

    Attempting any exercise with “cold muscles” or without “waking up the body” will also hurt your body and cause muscle pulls and tendon tears. Try taking a short walk or elongating your stretches for optimal results.

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    3. Gauge Your Tension

    Stretching should never be painful. Monitor how your muscles feel as you stretch. Naturally, you should feel some mild tension, but don’t push yourself past the edge of discomfort.

    If you’re starting to experience sharp pain or sensations that gradually get more severe, you are doing something wrong. Try to focus on one area at a time so you are only pushing yourself so far. When you begin to feel comfortable stretching, deepen your stretch, but don’t over-exert yourself.

    4. Avoid Bouncing

    Stretching tips don’t often mention this, but bouncing can be one of the most detrimental things you can do to your body while stretching. When your body constantly shifts, your muscles can tighten, and you can increase the risk of pulling or tearing a tendon. Find your balance or focal point, and remain steady.

    When in doubt, try using a mirror to watch yourself stretch to improve your form. Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor or trainer for someone to monitor your posture and stance[2].

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    5. Just Breathe

    One of the main benefits of stretching is its ability to help the mind and body relax. Therefore, try to breathe normally and make sure you don’t hold your breath[3].

    As you deepen your stretch, make sure to inhale and exhale slowly. Any abrupt, fast breathing or lack of breathing can cause tension in your body and increase your risk of injury. Make sure you are comfortable so that your mind focuses on the task at hand.

    6. Vary Your Routine

    While stretching, don’t forget to work on opposing muscles and incorporate as many muscle groups as possible in your routine for a holistic workout. Also, one of the most important stretching tips I can offer is to change your routine often so you don’t get bored.

    Often, boredom can cause carelessness and a loss of focus, which, in turn, can cause injuries. Look to Yoga workouts[4] or Pilates classes, as they are great resources for finding new stretches.

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    7. Always Remember to Cool Down

    Stretching is also an excellent form of recovery to avoid muscle soreness. Don’t overlook this part of a workout, as it releases the tension in your body and increases blood flow to muscles that are warm and worked. Cooling down can prevent injury and decrease your heart rate after an intense workout. Do what you can to help your body quickly recover from your daily exercise routine.

    Final Thoughts

    Stretching tips are vital when participating in an active lifestyle. However, your body needs fuel to assist you through these daily routines. Therefore, don’t forget to eat the right foods and stay hydrated. Not only do you replenish your body with fluids and nutrients lost, but you can keep your muscles strong and ready for the next routine.

    If you struggle with stress and anxiety, stretching can help you move into a calmer headspace and find both mental and physical balance. Furthermore, stretching can help you and your body focus on something else, which will help you move past the stress.

    As you plan your next workout, incorporate time for pre and post-workout stretches to see how it improves your exercise experience.

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    More Stretching Tips

    Featured photo credit: Oksana Taran via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Harvard Health Publishing: The ideal stretching routine
    [2] Harvard Health Publishing: Six tips for safe stretches
    [3] Penn State: Balance, Breathing and Flexibility
    [4] Health: Best Yoga Poses for Your Trouble Spots

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