We are all aware that physical activity and working out is good for our overall health. However, not all workouts are created equal. The boring treadmill, elliptical or stair climber just does not work long term for women that do not like cardio or working out in general. In fact, it’s like torture, even with the best playlist.
Working out and healthy living is like all other habits we’ve developed over the years. While it is something many women struggle with, its certainly not impossible to find your routine. It’s important to find fitness routines that fit with your busy lifestyle as well as something that will be effective in yielding great results.
I love H.I.I.T. or High Intensity Interval Training because you work out in a short amount of time but reap huge health and fitness benefits. The caveat is that you must give your all during your “work” periods. I love Tabata style HIIT; this consists of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. To keep things simple, we will focus on Tabata style high intensity interval training as it is my specialty.
The name Tabata comes from Dr. Izumi Tabata, the man who invented this style of high intensity interval training. Dr. Tabata put two groups on a six week fitness program. One group conducted moderate intensity exercise five times a week. The other group did high intensity interval training. The Tabata group improved both aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. The Tabata training groups anaerobic fitness increased by 28%. Aerobic fitness activities include things like jogging, speed walking, or anything you can sustain over a long period of time. Examples of anaerobic includes sprinting, weight lifting, plyometrics etc.
Anaerobic exercise helps to boost the metabolism as well as build and maintain muscle. The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout your day. Another benefit of anaerobic training is that your body continues to burn fat for up to 24 hours after you have finished working out.
Now, as a trainer (and lover of food) I know what you’re thinking. “Ok, great! I’m burning tons of calories so I can eat whatever I want!” No! What this means is that you can enjoy the pleasures of life with a balanced diet and fitness program. Quality of life is very important. What I most enjoy about Tabata style training is the ability to challenge and improve the body.
20 Minute Body Weight Tabata Workout
Before you begin any workout make sure you are warm! Warming up will help prevent injury. There are modifications for this routine based on your current fitness level. Please always listen to your body.
Each move will be performed for 20 seconds, then a 10 second rest 8 times – yes 8 times. I use the application called IntervalTimer to set my rounds. After completing all 8 rounds you get a 1 minute recovery period, then move on to the next exercise.
If you do not have 30 minutes, no worries. You can cut this workout in half, or do 4 of the moves and make the workout 20 minutes. I think you can find 30 minutes in your day, though *smile*. The fabulous thing about this style of training is you can mix it up. You can add weights when you’re ready, you can hold planks. You can really get as creative as you’d like – which is why I love Tabata style training.
Adequate recovery is very important, once you complete your workout make sure you cool down and stretch. Incorporate Tabata training 2-3 times per week with strength training and you will reap the health benefits in no time!