You want to be fit and healthy. But there simply aren’t enough hours in the day for you to work out. And anyway, spending hours at the gym isn’t your idea of fun. What if you could achieve fitness and weight loss with just a few minutes exercise a day, with no need for gym equipment, in the comfort of your own home? It seems too good to be true, but with a technique known as interval training, your new fitness regime could take less than 10 minutes a day!
What Is Interval Training?
Interval training is a type of workout that combines periods of aerobic exercises and periods of body-weight resistance exercises, performed with minimal rest in between. So instead of spending hours on the treadmill doing the same repetitive movements and slowly working up a sweat, interval training puts your body through intense bursts of a variety of exercises designed to get your heart rate up quickly.
One example of a 7-minute interval training circuit is:
- 30 seconds burpees
- 10 second rest
- 30 seconds lunges
- 10 seconds rest
- 30 seconds push-ups
- 10 seconds rest
- 30 seconds abdominal crunches
- 10 seconds rest
- Repeat 3 times
You can also choose different exercises to try, such as squats, triceps dips, on the spot jogging, jumping jacks, etc.
Fitness and Lose Weight with Interval Training
So why is interval training good for you? Not only does it provide your body with short sharp bursts of intense exercise that get your heart pumping and activate your muscles, it is so much easier to stay motivated because you’re only working out for a few minutes. That’s about the time it takes to make a cup of tea, or have a quick shower. And because you’re doing different exercises, you won’t get bored!
A review of studies published in the Official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity found that short-term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) needed 40% less time commitment than moderate intensity training, and reduced both waist measurements and body fat percentage. This means it is possible to exercise for less time, and still lose weight!
This type of quick, high intensity exercise may also be beneficial for people suffering with heart disease. An article published in the journal Heart, Lung and Circulation reviewed six independent studies and compared the effects of moderate continuous training (such as slow jogging on a treadmill or cycling) with the effects of high intensity interval training. They found that HIIT was more effective at improving the aerobic capacity of patients with coronary heart disease. Shorter exercises, and more health benefits—clearly interval training is worth a try, especially for those of us who are pressed for time!
How to Include Interval Training into Your Routine
If you’ve had trouble motivating yourself to get to the gym, or been unable to find the time for a half-hour work out, then interval training is perfect for you! Here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey to health, in just a few minutes a day.
- Pick a time: when can you spare 7 minutes? Could you get up a few minutes earlier and complete your workout before you go to work? Or maybe you feel better working out in the evening? Find a time that works for you. The great thing about interval training is that it is very easy to fit into your day, no matter how busy you are.
- Download an interval training app: the official 7-minute workout app from Johnson & Johnson will take you through your workout step by step, and has a good number of exercises to help you gain strength and stamina. There are also other apps available online.
- Get your friends and family involved: it is much more fun to work out with someone. And you’ll probably find it easier to convince people to join you for a few minutes than trying to get them to come to the gym with you.
- Commit to your new quick workout routine: set yourself a goal that you will work out for 7 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for four weeks. It won’t be long before you’re feeling the benefits and who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it so much you’ll want to work out a little longer!
Ready, Set, Go!
You don’t have to pound the treadmill for hours in order to get fit. With high intensity interval training you can lose weight, improve your fitness and tone your muscles in just a few minutes of fun exercising a day. So, what are you waiting for?References