When you think of someone who is fit, what do you imagine? Some waif supermodel? A muscular body builder? Or a twenty-something bikini-clad chickie running down the beach with ease as the warm summer breeze blows her long beautiful hair in just the perfect way?
In reality most of us will never attain these visions of fit perfection that the media has presented as the ideal for us.
And if you are like many who reluctantly call themselves “middle-aged”, you have spent so much time taking care of your family, your home, your career, etc. that you have let a lot of things slide since you were 25. One of the major areas that you may have let go to pot is fitness. As we age, our bodies change in lots of ways, many of which we don’t find so pleasant.
However that does not mean that being fit is beyond you. In fact, it doesn’t take a tremendous amount of time each day to put yourself on the path to being Fit and Fabulous. It is not too late to get in shape!
You may be asking yourself whether 15 minutes a day can really make a difference. I am here to tell you that by developing this 15 minute habit of exercise, you will see phenomenal changes in your body and your well-being in general. Increased cardiovascular function, greater stamina, and improved energy levels are just a few of the benefits you will enjoy.
It is time that you discover the power of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)! A HIIT workout alternates between short burst of activity and periods of rest.
Shape Magazine reports that “According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.”
Peak Fitness’ Dr. Mercola cites studies that show that consistent HIIT workouts are associated with “a tremendous boost in the human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone””, “a significant reduction in total abdominal, trunk, and visceral fat”, and an improvement in insulin and blood sugar regulation in middle-aged adults.
So isn’t it worth 15 minutes a day, 5 to 6 times a week, to see such phenomenal improvements in your health?
The concept is really rather simple. You will perform an exercise at a moderate to high intensity (depending on your fitness level) for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. You will then repeat this pattern for a prescribed period of time. You can choose to repeat the same exercise for the entire time or rotate between 2 – 3 exercises.
Confused? Don’t worry. It will all make sense soon.
To illustrate, here is a possible HIIT workout:
0:00 – 0:20 Running in place
0:21 – 0:30 Rest
0:31 – 0:50 High knees
0:51 – 1:00 Rest
1:01 – 1:20 Wall Squat
1:21 – 1:30 Rest
You would continue this cycle through the three exercises (a round) until you have reached your desired time. I recommend you work up to 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid to start small with an initial goal of 6 minutes, which would be 4 rounds of the exercise routine described above.
Need some exercise ideas for your HIITs? I am here to help. Get my free guide,7 Exercises to Help You Become “Fit & Fabulous in 15 Minutes a Day” (Without Having to Buy Any Equipment)
You may be shocked to feel how much your heart will be pumping and your breathing rate will increase in just a few short minutes, particularly if you have been sedentary for a while. However even seasoned athletes benefit from HIITs.
There are many phone apps that you can download for free that will help you with the timing of your HIIT. I use Impetus. It is free and works very well. But any timer app is likely to serve the purpose. Using a timer app on your phone will take the thought out of when you need to start and stop and allow you to focus on the exercises. These exercises can all be performed from the comfort of your home and the use of weights is optional.
The key is to develop the habit of daily exercise (5 – 6 days a week). If you are not sure how to effectively form a habit or have struggled in the past, I recommend getting my free guide, “30 Day Quickstart Guide to Habit Change“which outlines the process of habit formation and gives you a way of tracking your progress.
It is only by being consistent with your HIIT habit that you will begin to enjoy all the fabulous benefits of being fit.
If I can help you in any way, please feel free to contact me at Heather@RockingMiddleAge.com
*As with any exercise program, please consult with your doctor to be sure that you are healthy enough for exercise.