On the treadmill

Are you thinking of your health and fitness New Year’s resolutions yet? Ready to get your body back to how it looked and felt ten years ago, before the extra pounds came on and workouts dropped off from your daily schedule? There’s no time like the present to get off your couch and into the gym—and if you’ve only got 30 minutes to devote to a workout, you’re in luck. The hottest trend of 2014 is short but intense interval training that will give you results to spare. Here’s why it works and how to do it!

The “I’m Too Busy to Work Out” Mentality

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is perfect for you if you’re “too busy to workout” but you know you need to in order to have a healthy mind and body. What’s the number one excuse for not hitting the treadmill or taking a spin class? Not having the time—which is why HIIT is the perfect choice for any and all of your fitness goals. It gets you ‘down and dirty’ burning calories while you don’t waste a second of your precious time.

A Workout for Warriors

If you’re new to HIIT, focus on starting off with a brisk walk for five minutes. Then, for another five minutes push yourself to walk at a high incline, such as a 10 or 11 on the treadmill. By this time, you should be panting just enough to make talking to someone difficult. For the next thirty minutes, follow the 10-20-30 workout, and you’ll increase your endurance, muscle tone and weight loss efforts by leaps and bounds:

  • Run at a low speed (on the treadmill) or pace (outdoors) for ten seconds. This pace should be just enough for you to feel warm, but not so intense that you’re panting for air.
  • Kick up the pace for the next twenty seconds, so that you’re in the groove of a moderate jog.  You should feel a bit more heat here, but not intense enough to really ‘push’ yourself at full speed.
  • For the next thirty seconds, run at a high pace. You want to really push yourself here, in order to burn as many calories as possible.

The 10-20-30 cycle should be repeated until you’ve reached a total of 20-30 minutes. If you’re new to high intensity workouts, give yourself so time to adjust. This is a demanding workout that produces results, but just starting out, it can leave you feeling fatigued. Go easy, and work your way up. Most of all, listen to your body. If something hurts, slow down or stop. If you’re going strong at the end of your workout, keep going! Test yourself by pushing limits that you’ve never attempted before, and challenge your mind as much as your body. You’ll see for yourself that high intensity interval workouts are a great way to meet each and every one of your goals, and who knows? It may be the only workout you do from here on out.