Short or long workout plans – whats your choice??

This is not an uncommon question. The debate between Short and Long workout plans and which one is more effective has been going on for years, and you’ll be surprised to know that the simple answer is: The ideal workout plans is simple and motivates you to get moving.

Some people actually enjoy a long cardio session. It could be their de-stress time, their hour of getting out of home/office and feeling one with nature, or the time they detach from all the thoughts of the day enjoy the familiarity of their run/job/cycling. However, for those who of you who hate the idea of an hour long workout at the gym, we have some good news. Short workouts can be far more effective at attaining your health and fitness goals!

Less Is More: The Power of HIIT

When it comes to exercise, longer is not necessarily better. In fact, the most common excuse for not exercising is ‘Lack of Time’. But with a shorter, more intense workout plans that challenges your body and pushes it to the limit within a few minutes, it is possible to get fit without having to commit too much time towards your fitness.

Here are 5 top reasons why short HIIT workouts are better for you:

  1. HIIT gives you a metabolism boost as the body consumes far more oxygen during an intense activity when compared to a steady-slow activity. Your body’s ability to burn calories and consume oxygen remains elevated for up to 48 hrs post workout.
  2. HIIT can suppress appetite, according to studies. Also, since the workouts are not long and drawn out, you don’t feel the need to ‘reward’ yourself with indulgent treats later.
  3. HIIT burns more percentage of fat and hence results in faster, more effective weight loss. It’s much more effective than traditional cardio exercise when you want to shed weight.
  4. You need no special equipment and can perform a workout whenever you have 12-15 minutes to spare. A HIIT routine can be as simple as climbing 100 stairs at a fast pace and climbing down at a regular pace; or sprinting for 60 seconds and brisk walking for 2 minutes afterwards (cycle repeated 5 times).
  5. The biggest frustration for most people looking to lose weight — they gain it back after a while. Most traditional dieting and cardio exercises encourage muscle loss; but not HIIT. HIIT coupled with strength training can preserve muscle mass while still allowing you to burn fat – a double win.

Choose the Right Workout

Most people equate ‘fitness’ to hours slogged away at the gym – the usual monotonous routine of treadmill, stationary cycling, elliptical trainer, weight training, and few body strengthening exercises. But since most of us do not have the 60 to 90 minutes to complete this workout, we simply choose to not workout. A sporadic 10-20 minute HIIT workout is feasible and realistic, and now science proves that it’s equally effective at burning calories and toning your body too!

You won’t experience an energy slump when your workout consists of short sessions. You are more likely to eat right, exercise everyday and stay on track. So, for best results, combine the two kinds of training. Short HIIT workouts done 3 to 5 times a day, coupled with 2 sessions of strength training a week are the best way to stay in shape.