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Exercise in Just 10 Minutes with HIIT


What are the benefits of regular exercise?

The human body needs to exercise regularly. Daily movement or exercise is the most beneficial, if possible.

You may think daily exercise means heavy weights, jogging for miles, or hours on a treadmill. However, you don't have to do long, difficult workouts to be healthy. You can get true benefits from workouts that are simpler and faster. And you don't even need a gym membership!*

Regular exercise can give you a multitude of health benefits, including:

  • Strengthening your muscles

  • Strengthening your bones

  • Boosting endorphins (hello, good mood)

  • Helping maintain healthy weight

  • Reducing risk of disease, including metabolic diseases

  • Improving heart and lung health

The benefits of regular exercise are so far reaching that it can also help:

  • Increase the count and diversity of the gut microbiome

  • Improve sleep quality

  • Boost skin health

  • Improve brain health and memory

  • Increase your energy

  • Boost digestion

  • Help increase your lifespan

What is HIIT?

One method of time-efficient exercise that has many benefits is called HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training.

An interval is a set period of time to do a certain activity. HIIT sessions are done with short, high intensity bursts of physical activity. In between each movement or exercise are lower intensity recovery periods.

Even beginners can create a HIIT workout. The flexibility of HIIT allows you to start with a simple workout, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes.

Standard HIIT program format

A usual program for a HIIT workout consists of:

  • Warm up 1-2 minutes (beginning of session)

  • High intensity interval 20-30 seconds

  • Low intensity interval 1-2 minutes

These intervals are repeated in about 4-6 rounds, which gives you a 10 minute workout. Increase your number of rounds to increase your workout time, or make each interval time longer.

The key is to increase your heart rate during your high intensity movement. Select exercises that push your heart rate up while you perform them.

Benefits of HIIT

There are some extra special benefits of the HIIT workouts that are in addition to those of regular exercise:

  • Less time commitment

  • Burn more calories in a shorter amount of time

  • Boost fat loss

  • Raise your metabolic rate for hours after your workout

  • Improve oxygen consumption (your muscle’s ability to use oxygen)

A few simple HIIT workouts


Use a brisk walk or jog to warm up, then sprint for 30 seconds, then walk or jog for 1-2 minutes. Repeat the two intervals 4-6 times, or up to 30 minutes.

Stationary or outside bicycle:

Pedal your bicycle at an easy pace to warm up. After your body feels warm, pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Slow down to an easy pace for 1-2 minutes during your low intensity interval. Repeat these two intervals 4-6 times, or up to 30 minutes.

Body weight exercises:

Warm up with a brisk walk or jog. Next, perform a bodyweight exercise like burpees, squat jumps, plank push ups, or any similar exercise for 30 seconds. Be sure to select exercises that are within your current physical ability.

After your bodyweight exercise, stand up and walk for 1-2 minutes. Repeat these two intervals 4-6 times, or up to 30 minutes.

Making adjustments to your HIIT workout

When starting a HIIT program, you may find the exercises too strenuous or challenging. Consider reducing the intensity or choosing simpler exercises.

Try to match the exercises to your ability level. The goal is to get your heart rate within 80% - 95% of your max during high intensity periods. If your exertion or heart rate is too high, dial back on your intensity until your body is more capable. Gradually increase the difficulty over time.

Your optimal HIIT workout schedule

Jumping immediately into HIIT with daily sessions might seem to be the most beneficial to you. But it's important to remember your body needs rest after exercising.

With any exercise regimen, recovery time after the workout is equally important. On a recovery day, your body will reap the benefits of your workout. Muscle fibers will begin rebuilding after the normal micro tearing that happens during a workout session. Your muscles slowly build to become bigger and stronger.

Be sure to build in recovery days in between HIIT sessions. Your rest and recovery days can also include a light, brisk walk if you still want to move your body.

Adding variety to your workout

  • Change up your interval times (keeping things between 30-75 seconds)

  • Use a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical machine

  • Ride a real bicycle, or run outside on a track or trail

  • Add in light hand weights or move to dumbells

  • Try Tabata a bodyweight workout (multiple movement combinations over several rounds)

  • Integrate a jump rope

Exercise Safety

First, you should always check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Challenging yourself is good, but don’t push your body past your current ability.

Pain is not an indicator of future gain; muscle soreness after a workout is. As you continue your HIIT routines, you should be able to do more, faster, and push yourself harder. As you progress consistently with HIIT over time, you should see more results!

*Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.