The Perfect Workout When Time is Short

It happened today. The perfect plan of doing my workout after the kids left for school was ransacked by overcommitments. Every day I try to be very careful with my schedule. Everything has to work like clockwork or something falls through the crack. Plan B was ready to be enforced…thankfully there is the perfect workout when time is short.

This is the greatest workout ever discovered…just wait until you see the benefits of a 20 min (or less) workout will do for you!


HIIT – The Perfect Workout When Time is Short

High-Intensity Interval Training is a style of cardiovascular training that uses short bursts of high, intense cardio combined with a short rest period to give better physiological results than a long steady workout.

What I did today, was for 12 min! Everyone can find 12 min, right?

The good news is this exercise is very easy to modify according to your activity level. Be sure to adjust the variables as your strength and endurance increase.

This is the workout on the treadmill from today:

  • 1% elevation
  • start with 5 mph for 1 min
  • run for 40 sec at 8 mph
  • jog for 20 sec at 6 mph
  • run for 40 sec at 8 mp
  • jog for 20 sec at 6 mph
  • run for 40 sec at 8mph
  • walk for 20 sec at 4 mph
  • run for 30 sec at 9 mph
  • walk for 30 sec at 4 mph
  • run for 40 sec 8 mph
  • walk for 20 sec 4 mph
  • run for 30 sec 9 mph
  • walk for 30 sec 5 mph
  • run for 30 sec 9 mph
  • jog for 30 sec 6 mph
  • run for 20 sec 8 mph
  • walk for 40 sec 5 mph
  • run for 30 sec 9 mph
  • walk for 30 sec 5 mph
  • run for 20 sec 10 mph
  • walk for cool down 4 mph

HIIT workouts are designed to reach your max heart rate in the bursts, recover to a manageable rate at the “rest” interval and immediately rev back into burst mode.

With this exercise, I met about 50% of my daily activity level goal set on my Polar Loop. A HIIT workout can be done with many different types of exercises: swimming, biking, rowing, stair climbing, etc.

Here is a great beginner HIIT on the treadmill.

Benefits of HIIT

  • A Laval University study found that HIIT participates’ muscles had much higher markers for fat oxidation (fat burning) than the traditional slower paced exercise group.
  • HIIT workouts help preserve muscle mass. Ever notice how much more muscle mass the sprinters have compared to the long distance runners? And remember, our muscles help increase our metabolism = more fat burning.
  • An increase in HGH – Human Growth Hormone, otherwise known as the “fitness hormone” which is our fountain of youth, ladies! It can turn back our body’s internal clock.
  • After 2 weeks of HIIT, 3 sessions per week, middle-aged adults’ insulin and blood sugar levels had improved.
  • HIIT improves aerobic fitness as much as 10 times regular endurance exercise.
  • Metabolism boost – 10% more calories are burned for up to 24 hours after HIIT through EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). Low intensity workouts do NOT have this benefit.

Let HIIT be your go-to exercise a few times a week. It is especially helpful on days like mine today, when we are short on time. Don’t let busy life get in the way of improving your health and overall well-being. It is so important to find even just a little “me” time so that we have the capacity to give to those we love around us. Keep the perfect workout for when time is short in your arsenal of workouts so…

Fit Can find YOU!



photo credit: Potomac River Running Feet via photopin (license)

about stephanie

About Stephanie

Just an everyday stay at home mom who one day decided I didn’t want to become the stereotypical overweight, middle-aged, out of breath, mom anymore. One day at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time and I became the athlete I never knew existed. Read more...

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I would like to look at the workout calendars, but I have not gotten the email with the passcode yet. I have tried several times – putting my email address and name in as required. I s there something else I am supposed to do?

Great comments on HIIT workouts. They are the best for sure! You have some great stuff on your blog. Nicely done! 🙂

I love HIIT! Especially when they are shorter workouts! 🙂 Great post!

Sounds like one that I will have to try. Thanks

I love high intensity exercise and try to do it with my rowing machine ( not ideal). I wonder how you keep track of all these different time intervals? Are they a particular program on your treadmill?

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