A Smarter Way to Work Out

woman with weightRunning or doing aerobics for an hour makes you sweat and gets your heart rate going. It works your muscles and, if choreography is involved, taxes your brain. That’s great for avoiding Alzheimer’s. Neither of these methods of working out appeals, however, if your time is limited or you don’t see the benefits in your weight or waist line. How can women find time to burn fat if they can’t even schedule in an hour three times a week?

Fast Fitness

They don’t realize how little it takes to burn fat if they know the formula. If you can only spare half an hour every day and don’t enjoy exercise, try high intensity interval training, or HIIT as it’s known. During these short workouts, individuals engage in little bursts of exercise, repeating certain moves over and over for a minute or two, resting then switching to another body part and a new move. Weights might be involved or just your own body weight.

Why Does This Work Better than Running for 60 Minutes?

For some people, losing weight or staying slim is no trouble. Those who struggle need to build muscle. Their muscle tone is probably insufficient for burning calories, especially when you’re talking about women wanting to shed fat. Muscle not only burns calories at rest but it takes those calories from fat. If you went on a diet, your system would derive energy from muscle, not fat.

Also, the metabolic system can get into a rut. When you plateau and can’t shift the last few inches or pounds, that’s a sign your body knows what’s coming. Keep it guessing by moving around, starting and stopping, and generally starving your metabolism of consistency and predictability. Many HIIT workouts shuffle moves or change them every day for a week so your system is confused and you don’t get bored.

That’s another piece: boredom. Running becomes boring. Even if you love your fitness class, after thirty minutes a lot of people lose interest and don’t want to come back.

If time is limited, it’s too easy to put off exercise entirely when you aren’t even all that motivated. When you can spare just half an hour, though, a half-hour HIIT workout fits neatly into your schedule.

Shuffle Your Workouts

That doesn’t mean you can’t change it up and do HIIT one day, go for a swim the next, try HIIT the third day, and follow that with a run or cross-country skiing. Whatever keeps you moving is good but try to incorporate some type of exercise which puts strain on your muscles and really tires you out at least 3 times each week to feel the benefits. Remember too: if you have energy later, take a brisk walk or go kayaking. Keep doing the things you enjoy.