Losing weight with a busy schedule
How to fit exercise into a busy schedule?
One of the most common excuses for not wanting to exercise is lack of time due to work, family commitments, social engagements and life in general.
If that is the excuse that you have been using than that’s fine. However, to quote Oprah Winfrey “if not now, then when”.
What if I told you that you can achieve the goals you desire in just 20 minutes! You will probably think I’m telling a lie or just exaggerating, but I’m not. I am dead serious.
You can get fit with HIIT in just 20 mins
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and it is a technique of training where you do short bursts of exercise at vigorous intensity followed by a period of recovery.
It is a fantastic way to get fit fast, burn calories and to burn fat. As the name indicates you have to exercise at high levels of intensity relative to your current fitness levels to get results.
How does HIIT compare to moderate level aerobic training for losing weight?
Many of you have probably been advised that if you want to lose weight and burn fat, that you should do 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular training at a low to moderate intensity.
There is nothing wrong with this method and it does work. The reason why it works, is that you are leveraging time to burn calories.
What this means is that the calories you are burning per minute are low, but by exercising over a long period of time you accumulate a big calorie count. As I said there is nothing wrong with this.
When you do HIIT, you are leveraging the power of intensity! Training at high intensity allows you to burn an extremely high amount of calories per minute.
As a result, you can accumulate a big calorie count in a short period of time. In twenty minutes you can burn as much calories as you can in one hour!
Are there any scientific papers to back this up?
There are many studies that have measured the results of low to moderate training vs HIIT using two groups of beginner exercisers.
One group would use HIIT, while the other group exercised at low intensity for 60 minutes. These studies would usually last for 2 weeks.
HIIT is the ultimate weight loss workout for busy people on a busy schedule
The improvements in fitness and calories burned between the groups were either exactly the SAME or slightly better for the HIIT group.
This means that you can train for just 20 minutes and get the same results if not better than if you trained for one hour.
So the question is which group would you like to be, the group that trained for twenty minutes or one hour? It’s a no brainer right? Hit it hard and go home right? No pun intended J
How do I do HIIT?
It depends. Normally you do 90% of your maximum heart rate for anywhere between 10 – 60 seconds. The type of activity you may do is a 10 second sprint, 30 second all out cycle at max speed.
All activities are done at maximum effort. For example, if you are going to do a short sprint you run as though your life depends on it.
Imagine if you have just got away from a dangerous situation, and you have had 30 seconds to rest and recover. You’re still going to be tired aren’t you after just 30 seconds rest? Of course you will be.
However, that doesn’t matter because if you are put in danger again and you have to get away you will try your best with everything you have. Whatever energy you have you will use to get away.
Obviously this is an extreme example, but in terms of the level of exertion you’re going to be using when doing HIIT it’s actually an accurate description. It has to be all or nothing!
This sounds too difficult, I don’t think this is for me.
Relax, don’t be alarmed. This workout can be modified for your fitness level by using rest. The rest period is the important part of the work out. It is as important as the intensity.
We usually use a ratio between the length of time exercising, and the level of exertion to determine the optimum rest period so that you can get the most from this work out.
For example, if you used a 1:6 exercise rest ratio for sprints it would mean that you run for 10 seconds (like your life depended on it) and rest for 60 seconds.
At this speed and effort an exercise/rest ratio of 1:6 will probably allow a beginner time to recover up to 60% of their energy levels to use for the next bout.
However, for someone more advanced 1:3 or 1:2 may be needed to really challenge their stamina. This is because the time your body needs to recover between bouts of exercise decreases as you become fitter.
You will find that your heart rate will drop significantly within just 30 seconds once you are well trained.
What are some of the other benefits I will experience?
- You will find that your time to exhaustion will improve. This means that if you can run for 5 minutes at 12 kms per hour before you need to stop, after a few weeks of HIIT you will probably be able to 10-15 minutes comfortably.
- Your resting heart rate will decrease
- Your cardiac output will increase – this is the amount of blood your heart pumps in one beat.
- Your overall levels of stamina will be better.
HIIT is a great way to get fit fast, if you lack time. It is very intense, but you can modify the rest periods if you are just getting started with it. HIIT is nothing to be afraid of. If you are willing to put the work in, you will see results.