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No Time to Work Out? Here’s How to HIIT Your Fitness Goals in 2018

Photo credit: Getty Images

A long day at work. Early morning appointments. Plans with family. With so much to do, putting aside an hour (or even 30 minutes) a few times a week to exercise seems impossible.

Despite your jam-packed schedule, these recent fitness trends may help you find an effective workout, minus the heavy duty equipment and expensive gym membership.

A Quick HIIT of Exercise

“Sometimes, time is the enemy,” says Ric Elien, Health Fitness Specialist at Tanger BeWell Center, a health and wellness facility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) for employees, patients, and the community. “You may only have 15 to 20 free minutes in a day to exercise.”

For those people, Elien leads a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout at Tanger BeWell.

HIIT involves quick bursts of strenuous exercise, followed by short recovery periods; it can be completed in 30 minutes or less. This type of workout keeps your heart rate up and is ideal for burning fat, increasing metabolism, and maintaining muscles.

A typical HIIT workout might include 30 seconds each of jump rope, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and a few other exercises to engage every major muscle group, followed by a short break and more exercises. Even better, this workout can be done sans machines or weights.

“We forget our body itself is a gym,” Elien says. “You don’t need any weights to do high-intensity interval training, so you can work out anywhere—at home, on vacation, at a park. And if you want to challenge yourself more, you can exercise at a quicker pace.”

There’s an App for That

A trainer available with an app? How convenient.

“With your smart phone or tablet, you can talk to a trainer from the comfort of your own home,” Elien says. “You can set up a schedule that works for you and a trainer, and connect online. This can be done with a group or one-on-one.”

Online trainers also eliminate the discomfort or insecurity that some people experience in a gym setting.

“There are a lot of people who are afraid of going the gym,” Elien says.

Live trainer apps allow you to exercise in the most judgment-free zone of all: your own home. 

Listen to Your Body

While HIIT workouts and online trainers could be more time-efficient, nothing will derail your new routine like an injury. As with any new exercise regimen—particularly a strenuous one—talk to your doctor before you start.

“Even if you’re working with a trainer, you have to go at your own pace,” Elien says. “Pushing past your limits is detrimental to you and your trainer.”

Elien recommends that you take a break if you feel flushed or dizzy, develop a headache, or feel dehydrated.

Even when your workout is a quick one, you have to know your limits.

Photo credit: Getty Images

For more information about HIIT workouts and other classes available at BIDMC’s Tanger BeWell Center, visit bidmc.org