Don’t think you have enough time to stay in shape? You’d be surprised at what you can accomplish in a short period, if you believe the claims from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Of course it’s backed by studies and research, but some traditionalists still don’t buy into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT basically says that you can get the same amount of benefits by short bursts of exercise that people do by longer sessions. HIIT has been around for many years, but for some reason people generally haven’t heard much about it. My favorite method of HIIT is to get on a treadmill (or in nice weather outdoors) and change up the speeds. By Doing a few minutes of running alternating by a minute or two of slow jog, you get more benefits (cardiovascularly and caloric burn) than a constant pace.
The Norwegian study recommended four minute bursts of high intensity. This is not to say an all out sprint for four minutes (who could last that long anyway), but still running faster than you are comfortable. You should be out of breath at the end of four minutes, but not feeling like you are going to keel over. This could also be done in a swimming pool, or any other cardio vascular sort of medium. (treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, whatever)
I also do something very similar when I am doing the Seven Minute Workout. This is training with weights, but also getting cardiovascular training at the same time. Again, it’s intensity and quick (seven minutes) but not pushing yourself to the point of total failure. I’ve written about this before and again, traditionalists scoff, but how much time to people spend at the gym standing around and wasting time? A quick hard workout can give you more benefits than the traditional route.
So how much time do you have to turn your life around? If you can’t manage four or seven minutes a day to improve your health, I would say you are probably not going to have a high quality of life as you age. A simple commitment to take care of yourself can impact your life right away and have long reaching benefits. I always say that even if you don’t think you can manage it, and don’t really care about it for yourself, think about how it can impact those around you, and make this change. It’s important.