One of the challenges about working out is that it can be time consuming. Maybe you work full-time and can’t seem to muster up the energy at the end of the day. Maybe you’re a busy mom with your hands full and don’t have time to work-out. Or maybe your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to squeeze in the hour for exercise. So, here’s how Toronto naturopath and personal trainer Dr. Sahar Tabrizi is able to keep her patients on a consistent workout routine without the time commitment: high-intensity interval training (otherwise known in the fitness community as HIIT).
If you haven’t heard of HIIT before, it is based on the premise of doing as much work in as little time as possible. Workouts are sectioned into “on” and “off” modes. The time that you’re “on” is GO time – you are working out at your maximal effort. You give 100% of your energy putting your body in overdrive. You are then given a break (or “off” mode) where you get a moment to catch your breath, bring your heart rate back down, only to spike it up again. Do 8 rounds of this and you’ve got yourself a workout that’s bound to get you sweating.
Other than the fact that the workouts are quick, here are more reasons why Dr. Tabrizi loves HIIT:
1) Hours after a HIIT session, your body’s metabolism is still increased (making this an ideal option for those wanting to burn fat) – you are literally burning fuel even after the workout is done.
2) You don’t need any equipment – you can do this in the comfort of your own home, in the park, in the gym – how you decide to do this is completely flexible which makes it convenient, which means…no excuses! The convenience means you can schedule this any time of day (first thing in the morning, before bed, during your lunch break, after work, etc, etc).
3) You can get creative – you can make on and off intervals shorter and longer at your preference, you can slow the workout down during your “off” time or stop completely – there’s many options to suit your preferred workout style.
4) It’s not boring – standing in front of the mirror doing bicep curls? *Yawn*. Pick a couple of workouts and do them in chunks or rotate them – you can find a way to do this so that it’s both physically and mentally stimulating for you.
5) It suits all fitness levels – whether you’re just getting started or you’re a workout junkie, you can customize these workouts to suit your needs. Add heavy weights for more muscle building workouts, use resistance bands or simply use your own body weight.
So what does a typical HIIT workout routine look like? Dr. Tabrizi will share some tips with us next week.