College students are notoriously busy – classes, homework, work, social life, extracurricular, and more. Crush all of that into a summer semester? Oh boy, we are busy.
Where is the time to go to the RAC or go on a run when every moment of each day is packed with one thing or another? Well, there may not be a way to add more hours into the day or make anything from our long list of responsibilities disappear, but there might be a way you can still work out, but with less time.
What It Is
The much-popularized HIIT (which you may also know as ‘tabata’) is an exercise strategy that promises roughly equal results in much less time. The key behind this idea is that you work out for a much shorter amount of time than normal (as little as 7 minutes), but do it in intervals of working at a normal rate and doing short spurts of intense exercise (hence the acronym for High Intensity Interval Training).
Another benefit of HIIT workouts is that it’s extremely customizable – you can use any type of exercise you like (biking, running, swimming, etcetera) within the format. Just give yourself from 90 seconds to 3 minutes of rest/low-intensity work and then 30-60 seconds of maximum effort.
While University Wellness can’t say that this is the best way to work out or that this it’s an equivalent to traditional exercise, we do know that something is always better than nothing! If this is what fits into your schedule, it’s better than not working out at all.
How to Try It
If you’re interested in HIIT, we have our own HIIT classes at the RAC! You can catch it on Wednesdays at 4:30-5:25 PM and 7-8 PM. Watch a preview video here!
Or, if you’re more of a runner, check out Couch to 5k, which incorporates HIIT principles in it’s training methods.
Since the exercise in HIIT can be pretty intense, it’s a good idea to take extra precautions before getting starting. Stretch, stay hydrated, and eat a proper meal 30 minutes beforehand. While working out, keep water on hand and, as always, listen to your body. Never push yourself if something hurts, you feel dizzy, or nauseous. If this happens, sit down, drink some water, breathe, and scale back the intensity next time.
Move well, be well, Eagles!
– University Wellness Program