Sometimes you need to squeeze in your workouts between the other obligations in your life: work, kids, family time, appointments, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could power through a quick workout that would give you as much benefit as a lengthy one? There are workouts that are designed to be quick, powerful and effective. On those days when you are pressed for time, or even if you are just looking for a way to change up your routine, these workouts are a great way to get your heart rate up, work on your conditioning and provide benefits to your whole body.
Interval training is a specific type of workout that mixes short bursts of high intensity exercises with alternating periods of low intensity moves. It’s great for athletes that are working on their conditioning, people who are trying to lose body fat, and for anyone who wants to increase their fitness levels. The bonus of interval training is that it can be performed anywhere and can be squeezed in to any part of your day. Some of the high intensity exercises you might use are sprints, cycling, or skipping rope. You might also do lunges, squats or jumps. Although people will have a preference for the amount of time they perform each “set,” anytime that works for you is going to be beneficial. One widely used time is 20 seconds of high intensity exercise, then 10 seconds of low intensity exercise, which is then repeated.
Why is interval training so beneficial? Your body will be cycling between aerobic and anaerobic fitness. During the high intensity interval, the body uses energy stored in the muscles, while in the low intensity portion, it will used stored carbohydrates. As a bonus, this type of training is great at burning fat because the lactic acid produced during high intensity intervals burns calories and uses the glycogen in the body up, and once it’s gone, the body will turn to using fat.
Circuit training can be done for a quick and effective workout using no expensive equipment. In fact, some effective circuit training workouts can be done in as little as 7 minutes, and still provide a beneficial workout. For circuit training, you will perform a series of exercises, one after the other, each designed to work specific parts of the body. A quick rest in between exercises is included, and then you jump right in to the next exercise. These will be exercises you probably already know how to do and are comfortable with. They might include crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, jogging in place, lunges, etc. Each exercise is performed for about 30 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest, followed right away by the next exercise on the list. Once you’ve completed the list of exercises, you’re done!
This fitness regimen works well because the exercises are targeted to work the whole body, you will use your own weight as resistance, and you will be able to complete a beneficial workout in less than ten minutes.
Fitness is an important priority, but there are some days where time just seems to slip away. You can still have a great workout in a short amount of time, and the health benefits are just as good as the days when you can fit in your full workout!