Fitness Column: HIIT The Gym Regularly

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Allison Brace
Health & Fitness Columnist

Hey guys, my name is Alli. I am a first year student at the University of Dayton with a passion for working out and trying to find the right balance between healthy and tasty foods. I always try to take fitness classes at the Rec Plex and I hope to, at some point during college, become a spinning instructor.

The college lifestyle can be rough. Between being constantly busy with classes and extracurriculars to only getting a few hours of sleep at night, sometimes it feels impossible to make time for exercise. While studying is important to success in the classroom, keeping your mind and body healthy are also major parts of achieving this success. I think that doing some type of exercise three to four times per week is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle.

I find that no matter what  life throws at me, if I just put my headphones in and hit the gym, I can often let off some steam and leave feeling better than I came.

Finding as little as 30 minutes in your day to go on a jog or stop in the Rec Plex can have a positive effect on the way you feel as well as your motivation level. In this column I am going to share some of my favorite quick ways to workout and eat right on a busy college schedule.

There are many quick and easy workouts that will get you in and out of the gym in no time at all. HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a fan favorite right now. HIIT is highly effective and easy to work into a busy schedule. The American Council on Exercise has proven that HIIT workouts continue to burn calories up to two hours after the workout is completed due to the fact that excess post-exercise consumption rate is so high that it keeps the metabolism elevated post workout.

Your HIIT workout can be customized to your fitness level whether you are just getting back in the groove or have loved working out for a long time. Another factor that makes these workouts quick and easy are the fact that no equipment is necessary, therefore it can be done wherever, whenever.

The key to maximizing a HIIT workout is to push your heart rate above 80% of its max according to Time Magazine. To estimate max heart rate without a heart rate monitor, subtract your age from 220. This helps to strengthen your heart, as well as burn more fat than other cardio exercises. HIIT is even proven to improve blood sugar scores in many people who do these workouts consistently. This week I encourage everyone to try this quick 20-minute HIIT workout.

Do 30-40 seconds of each walking for 30 seconds in between each:

  •     Walking side lunges
  •     Kickbacks (do both legs)
  •     Walking front lunges
  •     Side shuffle (switch sides halfway through)
  •     Backwards jog
Walking side lunges
Kickbacks
Walking front lunges

It may seem quick but you should break a sweat and get your heart beating. This workout, as well as most of my workouts, can be done pretty much anywhere but my favorite way to do it is on a treadmill. The RecPlex here at UD has great equipment that is easy to use and free for students so I would recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.

Photos courtesy of Allison Brace.