The kids are vying for your attention, you have an important presentation to prep for at work, the laundry is piling up and you really need some quality time with your partner (and your BFFs, for that matter).
Let’s face it: Life can be hectic, which means there’s not a lot of time left for exercise. But since fitness is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, finding a way to work it into your schedule is important (especially since regular exercise can actually help with the juggling act of work, home and life).
The good news: Thanks to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) you don’t need a lot of time to fit in an effective workout. Five, 10 or 20 minutes of HIIT, during which short periods of intense exercise are interspersed with low intensity recovery periods, is enough.
‘HIIT workouts are an effective type of training because they provide similar, or arguably better, benefits than continuous steady-state cardio but in shorter periods of time,’ says Nadia Clarke Cordick, owner of Repetitions Fitness Studio in Stouffville, Ontario. ‘You burn more calories during and after the workout with HIIT than with continuous endurance workouts.’
A 2013 study published in The Journal of Physiology found that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Sprint Interval Training (SIT) can be just as, if not more, effective at boosting our health and cardiovascular fitness than regular endurance training. Both HIIT and endurance training were found to be equally effective at decreasing the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
It’s also more fun than endurance training, which can be a major motivation factor when planning your workouts. As Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) researcher Sam Shepherd explains, ‘Previously sedentary individuals in the age-range of 25-60 find HIT on spinning bikes much more enjoyable and attractive than endurance training and it has a more positive effect on mood and feelings of well-being.’
The best part? You can fit HIIT workouts in to your busy schedule (try our quick workout routines), and still have time for the kids, the laundry, work and (gasp!) maybe even a social life. And you’ll be fit and strong enough to handle it all.