If there is any piece of advice I can offer when it comes to working out, it's this: JUST DO IT. If you don't have an hour to dedicate to killing yourself each day that's ok. Some of us lead extremely busy, full lives, and when you calculate the time it takes to workout, shower, get dressed, dry your hair, put on makeup, and so on, you know that it can be a bit overwhelming.
And let's face it. OVERWHELMED = VERY LITTLE MOTIVATION TO WORKOUT. Am I right? Throw three small kids in the mix and, let me tell you, it can be downright crazy.
Well, let me introduce you to a little friend of mine. Maybe you've heard of it, maybe not. It's called a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. Basically, HIIT is a way to increase your heart rate and maximize your calorie burn in a very short amount of time. Many cardio workouts have you move at a moderate pace with bursts of high intensity throughout for a fairly long period of time. HIIT turns that on its head - you move at a high intensity with very short breaks in between for a shorter amount of time.
Most of you probably just skimmed through that last paragraph not putting too much thought into any of it except SHORTER AMOUNT OF TIME. Yeah, I'm with you. And trust me, it works. I will try to uncomplicate it as much as I can for you (so you can skip all of the trial and error that I had to go through), and I'll walk you through my go-to process for creating a HIIT workout. I will also tell you how I simplify the process using an Interval Timing App on my phone.
Alright. Let's make a workout!
For starters, evaluate how much time you want to dedicate to your workout. Only have 15 minutes? Awesome. Grab a pen and paper. Or better yet, open up the notepad on your smartphone. List 5 bodyweight (no equipment necessary) exercises. You can always incorporate dumbbells or other equipment if you want, but for the sake of simplicity I'll leave them out. I'll go with these moves:
Tricep Pushup + Burpee
Floor Mountain Climbers
That is our round or set. We will be repeating this round three times. Now pick a basic cardio exercise, like high knees or jumping jacks. I usually go with high knees.
Now that we have our exercises chosen, we will be doing each move for 30 seconds with our cardio move between each one. If you add it up, you should see that it comes out to a total of 15 minutes. And by the end, you will be sweating. You should be sweating.
If you don't have a fancy interval timer, this is where that app I mentioned comes in handy. The one I downloaded is called, go figure, Interval Timer. I created a preset workout where I do 30 intervals, 30 seconds each. Then I start the timer and go down my list:
Squats. BEEP. High knees. BEEP. Pushups. BEEP. High knees. BEEP. Alternating lunges. BEEP. High knees. BEEP. Tricep pushup + burpee. BEEP. High knees. BEEP. Mountain climbers. BEEP. High knees. BEEP.
Repeat that three times. When the interval timer session is done, your workout is done. You can add as many moves to your round as you want, or repeat your round as many times as you want. The beautiful thing about it is, IT'S YOURS. You have the freedom to pick the exercises, the length of time, the duration of each interval. Want to challenge yourself even more? Do 50 second intervals instead of 30.
Like I said in my previous post, I am not a certified personal trainer or fitness professional of any sort. I only have experience, and this has been the one constant that has worked for me. As a busy mom, I love the flexibility. No matter how busy I am, I know I can at least dedicate 15 minutes to work on myself. For me, exercise increases my energy, lowers my anxiety, and releases endorphins which leads to the ability to manage stress in a much better manner. It has become one of my top priorities because it makes me happy. And when momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
I hope that this post at least inspires you to be creative with your workouts, and to do at least something to get moving every day. Believe me when I say you will thank yourself for it! Leave a comment and let me know if you'd like to see more Fit Tip Fridays!