Staying fit shouldn’t be a chore. Make fitness part of your daily routine and keep moving as much as possible. But what should you do if you’re already feeling pressed for time?
Interval training is the ideal solution. It doesn’t take much time, equipment or money! You can do it outdoors or in the comfort of your living room, alone or with friends.
Here are our top five high-intensity interval training routines (tested and approved) to get you in shape this spring.
1. Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
This app was developed and tested by sports professionals, such as Chris Jordan, Director of Exercise Physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. It’s a “smart” routine that can easily be made part of your day. The app offers 17 training sessions that can be applied to any type of activity (cycling, skiing, running, swimming, etc. ). You can feel yourself getting fitter every minute!
2. Seven – 7 Minute Workout App
This is the queen of interval training routine apps, used in 127 countries at last count. It keeps its promise to get you in better shape, fast! The formula is simple. You do a series of 12 exercises (such as push-ups, abdominals and squats). Give it everything you’ve got for 30 seconds, then rest… for 10 seconds! Each exercise is clearly explained, with images and a video, so you just can’t go wrong. There are 4 different sequences of 12 exercises, some free and others really cheap. And you can even create your own 7-minute routine!
3. Kickbox FastFix
Need more motivation? The inspirational Jillian Michaels comes to the rescue! Known for her many training DVDs, all international best-sellers, she’ll guide you to the shape you want.. In less than 20 minutes, she’ll have you working up steam with two kickboxing training sessions based on the high-intensity interval method. On top of being a great trainer, Jillian shows you each exercise carefully and offers alternatives for every level. Careful – you just might get hooked!
Looking for a routine that’s even shorter and faster? The training method invented by Izumi Tabata of Japan has been around since 1996. Tabata is an ultra-fast four-minute training program that involves repeating certain movements for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds. Perfect if you like a fast, intense, dynamic workout. Studies show that tabata is more effective than an hour of exercise at moderate intensity. There are hundreds of free routines on YouTube. Here are our favourites.
5. 30 Days of High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This type of training, known as HIIT, combines two methods to boost your metabolism and improve your endurance. Periods of high-intensity effort are immediately followed by another period at lower or moderate intensity. The Darebee website lets you download free PDFs of programs for 30 days, with illustrations for each exercise. Great for those who like a fresh challenge every month.
An important note on HIIT
Not surprisingly, HIIT sessions are short but demanding. You push your body hard to create muscle fatigue, but the cardiovascular benefits are great!
These high-intensity sessions may not be suitable for everyone. Also, make sure to include rest periods in your routine for proper recovery, and be careful not to injure yourself.
We strongly recommend that you get a medical examination if you have any doubts about your health. Take care!