If you’re stuck in a weight loss or boredom rut, we’ve got just the workout for you—and an added bonus is that this workout is ideal if you’re short on time (and seriously, who isn’t?)!
In New York City if the cold outside (or the heat) is unbearable for us and we need to get a quick indoor workout, we’ve got a foolproof routine– intervals! As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we recommend intervals to the majority of our clients. Intervals are great because you can be more productive in a shorter amount of time, which is especially helpful if you’re trapped inside and exercising indoors isn’t your thing.
We personally do our intervals on the treadmill and sometimes on the cross-trainer, but you can use any equipment that allows you to get a cardiovascular workout (and if it’s nice out—head out for some fresh air, baby!). Studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at least once a week can boost cardiovascular fitness and increase the body’s potential to lose weight (woot, woot!). Plus, constantly increasing and decreasing the speed keeps you occupied, so the time goes by so much more quickly!
Your body can become accustomed to doing the same exercise routine and then it no longer is a challenge and you stop seeing results.
This means it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Here’s why we recommend HIIT to jumpstart your fitness:
- HIIT training consists of short, high-intensity periods of exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.
- The higher intensity exercise challenges your body in new ways, which means you’ll burn more calories and fat.
- The low-intensity recovery periods, also known as rest intervals, are important because they ensure that your high-intensity intervals are done at an optimal intensity. Without the rest intervals you’ll only be able to work at a medium intensity for the full duration of your exercise—which is no different than what you were doing before.
Here’s how to do HIIT:
During your normal cardiovascular routine, try increasing your speed to a fast sprint every 4 minutes. Stay at this high intensity for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your ability. You should be out of breath and really challenging yourself. The 4 minutes in between will help you recover. When those 4 minutes are up, pump it back to a sprint. You’ll be sure to feel great and will also burn a lot of calories!
- If you’re a beginner, start with a 1:2 ratio of a challenging workout to rest. So go as hard as you can for 30, 45, 60 or 90 seconds and then rest for twice as long. Then start on the challenging interval again. As you practice this, aim for a making your rest period the same length as your interval.
Give it a try! You got this! 🙂