Apr 03, 2017
Adding a bit of activity into your day doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym. Take a look at this guide to get some tips on working out your own way – from the comfort of your home.
You can continue contemplating a gym membership, or you can start training today in the comfort of your own home using High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is an exercise technique that incorporates short, intense bursts of effort with brief recovery periods — providing bang for your buck to those wanting to be in better shape.
HIIT workouts are done in short spurts, do not require the use of machinery, and can burn up to 250 calories during a quick and intense session. “You can run stairs, jog in place, do jumping jacks, or try shadow boxing — anything with variety of your own body weight that will elevate your heart rate,” says Alicia Bell, a kinesiologist, trainer, and CEO of Train It Right. HIIT is the most efficient way to burn fat while building muscle mass and power.
While regular workouts rely on repetition, sets and lifting weights, HIIT focuses on form and an assortment of exercises to achieve fitness goals. “Short term, the value in HIIT is that it can boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories at rest for the next 12–24 hours,” says Stephen Salzmann, Complex Personal Trainer at Equinox Toronto.
Full body results can be achieved by practising four to five exercises a day and making sure to include the body’s largest muscle — the gluteus maximus; basically, your butt. You can target this muscle by doing a set of air squats, and graduating to squat jumps. Once you’ve worked your butt off — literally — transition to your hamstrings and core with some single leg deadlifts, push up jacks, and a side plank roll: 30 seconds on with 15 second rest periods, all while watching your favourite TV show.
“Don’t forget about the core, especially because squats activate it more than crunches,” says Bell. “There are endless exercises to help keep things interesting. You can incorporate light weights (or even soup cans) to add resistance, or just make your sets longer and your rests shorter as you progress.”
At-home HIIT workouts allow women — including busy parents and professionals — to reap the rewards of physical fitness with a minimal time commitment and without having to go to the gym.
This style of workout is customizable and flexible, so you’ll see benefits whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete. And don’t forget to grab a protein drink after your HIIT workout to help you recover!
Article originally published in the April 3 2017 edition of Hello! Canada magazine