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7 Tips for Keeping Your At-Home Workouts Simple

Let’s face it — as great as it would be to spend an hour or two in the gym each day, that isn’t realistic for a lot of women. Whether you’re juggling school and work or work and family, starting an at-home workout can feel downright impossible when you have a busy schedule.

The good news is that an at-home workout can be simple. With a plan and a few time-saving tips, anyone can find at least 20 minutes of their day to workout at home.

Start With a Small Goal

Any amount of exercise is better than doing nothing! If you’ve avoided working out simply because you believe you need an hour or more to make it happen, try setting a smaller goal instead.

For example, you can really challenge your body with a high-intensity interval training workout that only lasts 20 minutes. Start small and add more time if your schedule allows. If not, congratulate yourself for making healthy living work with your lifestyle.

Try Habit Stacking

Habit stacking is a strategy for creating new habits that has proven highly effective. The idea is that adding a new habit is easier if you pair it with something you’re already doing each day.

In the context of an at-home workout, this could look like doing 20 squats while you wait for your coffee to brew or running in place when you take your dog out when you get home from work.

Reach Out for Accountability

Are any of your friends already working out at home? A workout buddy or accountability partner can be incredibly helpful for those who are just starting their workout.

New habits take time, but eventually they become automatic. If you can find someone who can help keep you motivated for those first several weeks of working out at home, it won’t be long before your exercise routine feels second nature.

Get Everything Ready

The workout itself should be challenging, but getting ready for it shouldn’t! If you’re getting stuck in the details of getting out your equipment or changing into gym clothes, switch up your routine to keep it simple.

If possible, set up a space in your house to keep your workout gear ready to use. Use habit stacking to add laying out workout clothes and tennis shoes to your bedtime routine.

Find Awesome Resources

If you constantly find yourself thinking, “I don’t know where to start,” it’s time to find a resource that does the hard work of planning for you. Your job is to show up and work hard, but deciding what to do doesn’t have to be part of that hard work.

Find videos that are fun and challenging or an app, like SHOCK, that creates a personalized at-home workout for you.

Avoid Complicated or Expensive Programs

The health and wellness industry has changed a lot of lives, but it has also become a way to make money. While many people in the industry are truly passionate about helping people change their lives, some are simply looking to make a buck.

If a workout program requires an investment in a lot of expensive equipment or requires a lot of time to learn a new set of rules, it might be nothing more than a fitness fad. Stick with the basics of strength training, which require little more than a mat and a set of dumbbells.

Celebrate Every Success

Massive lifestyle changes are made in the everyday. Each day you decide to open the SHOCK App or pull out your yoga mat is a day worth celebrating. Don’t forget to track and reward yourself as you build a new habit. Small acts like checking your workout off a list or sharing with a friend at the end of  the day provide a sense of accomplishment that can motivate you to keep going.

Five Of The Most Popular Fitness Questions Asked By Women

If you’re new to the world of working out, you might have a few questions you need solutions to. All it takes is a quick scroll on your Instagram feed to see two different fitness influencers recommend two completely different pieces of advice—making it easy to become confused by conflicting information. Let’s tackle some of the most frequently asked questions so you can say goodbye to your hesitations and feel confident as you shape a healthier lifestyle.

#1 What is the best weight loss workout?

Many who want to lose weight and tone up often head right for the treadmill in hopes of burning as many calories as possible. While cardio is good for burning calories, it isn’t the most effective way to lose weight if that’s your only strategy.

Instead, I encourage a workout routine that includes both strength training and cardio. Don’t make the mistake of prioritizing cardio over lifting. Resistance training should be an integral part of your fitness routine if your goal is to lose body fat. Building lean muscle is one of the best ways to raise your metabolic rate and burn more calories throughout the day. According to a 2014 study published in the journal Obesity, Harvard scientists found that those who performed 20 minutes of strength training per day gained less abdominal fat than those who spent the same amount of time doing only cardio. By increasing lean muscle mass, your body burns more calories while at rest.

Muscle contributes approximately 22 percent of your body’s resting metabolism and demands fuel. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Estimates suggest that each pound of lean muscle burns up to 50 calories per day. By adding 8 pounds of lean muscle, you will burn up to 400 more calories per day you weren’t burning. For a better perspective, walk on the treadmill and see how long it takes to burn 400 more calories. Compare that to the potential of burning these calories while doing nothing!

#2 Should I feel sore after every workout?

Muscle ‘soreness’ is generally viewed as a good thing, in reality, this feeling of discomfort can actually slow down the muscle recovery process. As a matter of fact, muscle recovery is at it’s best when you’re able to push yourself in the gym and begin to notice little-to-no muscle soreness the following day. This is when your body is in peak-shape, quickly recovering from your last workout and ready to take on the next challenge. Lack of soreness after a hard lift does NOT indicate a fitness plateau. Drinking plenty of water, eating adequate amounts of protein, getting plenty of sleep, and planning rest days are other vital components enhancing the recovery process.

It takes time for your body to adapt to your workouts. This is why it’s so important for beginners to start slow, focus on form, and as your technique begins to improve, slowly start to add intensity to your workouts. Each week that goes by, your body will become stronger and as your fitness levels advance you’ll notice a reduction in muscle soreness.

The more you rest, the harder you can work. The more you work, the more that rest becomes essential. Rest equals quality work, and quality work leads to needed rest. On higher intensity training days, rest more, on lower intensity days, rest less. Changing your rest between sets is an excellent way to mix up your workouts, progress your fitness level, and prevent fitness plateaus.

#3 How do I lift weights without looking bulky?

Women possess the perfect hormonal balance to lose fat and tone up as a result of strength training, not bulk up!

While men rely on testosterone to build muscle, women produce less testosterone and depend more on growth hormone (HGH) for their muscle building efforts. Studies show that the average HGH concentration in young women can be up to 80 times higher than in young men. In general, women have about 15-20% less concentration of testosterone in their body than men do.

It just so happens that women have a higher release of HGH in response to intense exercise than men, likely due to their higher estrogen levels. This is why mounting evidence suggests that high-intensity activity is one of the most effective ways women can workout to burn more fat and build lean muscle tone. Growth hormone facilitates protein synthesis for faster recovery following tough workouts, but its role in regulating fat metabolism to help shape that desirable fit, toned physique, is why it really deserves the praise!

Ladies, don’t be afraid to ‘go hard’ or lift heavy! Just make sure you use proper form, so you don’t run the risk of injuring yourself.

#4 Will exercise help me lose weight?

If your goal is to lose weight, exercise alone isn’t enough. Weight loss is accomplished with a multi-faceted approach incorporating proper nutrition, strength training, and blending high-intensity interval training with steady-state cardio. This is the most effective method for losing weight.

What we do in the gym can’t make up for poor eating habits. You can’t ‘out-exercise’ poor nutrition, diet will always win over exercise. Eating the right foods accounts for a large percentage of your training results. The fuel you put into your body is as important as the effort you put forth during workouts.

#5 What is the best type of workout when you feel sore?

When you’re just getting started on a new fitness routine, you’re probably going to experience some muscle soreness. This is especially true for those who weren’t particularly active before.

Unfortunately, soreness can also discourage beginners from continuing their routine. Instead of skipping a workout, I recommend that you do something that is lower intensity on your sorest days. This is an excellent time to knock out some LISS, or low-intensity, steady-state cardio, like going for a walk or hike.

10 Weight Loss Tips For Women

Although the basic rule of fat loss is burning more calories than you consume each day, carrying that out can actually be kind of complicated. For weight loss success, sometimes it’s the small changes we make that add up to big success over the long term.

Whether you’re just getting started on your fitness journey or are searching for tips to help you sustain with the process you started months ago, keep reading for ten weight loss tips that could make a big difference.

1. Drink More Water

Even if you’re pretty well hydrated, drinking more water could aid weight loss. Increasing water consumption before meals could cut back on calories consumed during meals. Increasing daily water intake by 500 ml could also increase your metabolism performance by as much as 30 percent.

2. Add Strength Training

If you’re not already lifting weights as part of your workout routine, what are you waiting for? Regular strength training increases lean muscle mass which in turn helps you burn more calories, even when you’re not in the middle of a work out.

3. Track Your Meals

Sometimes we stop losing weight because we’re not paying close enough attention to what we’re eating. By writing down everything you eat in your food journal, you can get a more accurate picture of what your caloric intake is each day and make adjustments when necessary.

4. Eat More Protein

Meals that are high in protein tend to be more satisfying, cutting down on the cravings that can make it so hard to stick with a healthy diet. Increase the protein you eat each day by including lean proteins at each meal and reaching for high protein snacks when hunger strikes.

5. Give Up on Rules

It might seem contradictory, but restrictive eating can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts. Research has found that fad diets that are all about what you can and can’t eat can actually lead to more cravings and binge eating behaviors. Instead, focus on eating well balanced meals that include a lot of protein and vegetables without banning you from touching foods that taste great.

6. Get More Sleep

Sleep deprivation messes with your body, inhibiting its ability to perform at its very best. In women, getting at least seven hours of sleep has been linked to increased success at achieving weight loss goals. Make a healthy sleep routine a priority and you just might be surprised by how your body responds.

7. Eat Fewer Carbs

Carbohydrates are not the enemy, they’re a necessary part of a well balanced diet. However, refined carbs, like sweets and heavily processed breads, are generally associated with increased body weight. If you’d like to lose weight, decreasing refined carbohydrate consumption could make a big difference.

8. Up Your Step Goal

If you’re daily step goal has been the same for awhile, a challenge could help speed up your weight loss by helping you burn more calories. Increase your goal by 1000 to 5000 steps and make sure you’re moving whenever you get a chance throughout the day.

9. Meditation to Manage Stress

Stress can cause weight loss, both because of the effect it has on our body and how we respond to that stress — sometimes by eating comfort foods! Find new ways to manage your stress, like ending each day with a few minutes of quiet meditation.

10. Take a Probiotic

Probiotics positively impact our health in a lot of ways, but one lesser known way is encouraging weight loss. Specifically, the probiotic lactobacillus gasseri has been associated with prevention of the accumulation of abdominal fat.

Mobile App Daily Reviews the SHOCK App

SHOCK: Women’s Fitness App was recently featured and reviewed by Mobile App Daily. You can read the full review article here.


“The SHOCK: Women’s Fitness app is an excellent pick for women who want to get fit and take on workout challenges at their choice of location, and it can also be used as a personal workout trainer. From offering a customized workout regime to keeping track of weekly workout activities, this fitness app does it all. Using the SHOCK Training system, ladies can be empowered, feel unstoppable, and conquer their fitness goals. But would you consider this an excellent pick just because of the workout challenges? To us, there are many apps available on the app stores that have workout challenges – but SHOCK has workout challenges that progress beginners and also push advanced fitness levels that to me is why we would recommend SHOCK. So many apps have workout challenges, still, none of them are as specific as the SHOCK fitness app, in turn, which actually trains the user and propel the fitness level.”

Mobile App Daily

How to Resist Those Late Night Carb Cravings

Let’s set the scene:

You’ve had a great day. You got up early to hit the gym before work. All day long at the office, you said no to break room treats and avoiding the vending machine. When you got invited out to lunch with colleagues, you made smart decisions by picking a high protein, low carb meal from the menu.

After work, you don’t have dinner prepared so you go to the grocery store and pick up salmon and some fresh vegetables for a stir-fry.

Next thing you know, it’s 8:30 p.m. and your standing in front of your pantry, searching for something, anything to address the hardcore carb craving you’re experiencing.

What gives?

The truth is, carb cravings are totally normal and a lot of people report experiencing them in the evening, even after they’ve made good health decisions all day long. While it might totally confuse you, we actually have a pretty clear picture of what is going on. Here’s what you need to know about late night cravings and what you can do about it.

Stress and Carb Cravings

Stress has a huge impact on the way our body functions. When you experience a stressful circumstance, your body responds by producing more cortisol. This hormone does a lot of things, but one thing we know about cortisol is that it can trigger cravings, causing you to overeat.

To manage the effect of stress, be proactive about adopting new coping skills. Learn to take a break and go for a walk, jot down a list of what is overwhelming you, or practice deep breathing when you feel your stress level rising.

Decision Fatigue and Overeating

Another thing that could be to blame for late-night carb binges is decision fatigue. While the ability to make good decisions all day is commendable, it can actually lead to poor decisions later on. Decision fatigue is a real thing and feeling forced to exhibit self-control over and over again has actually been found to make it harder to practice self-control over the long term.

To avoid self-control or decision fatigue, make fewer decisions! Meal prep on Sunday night to eliminate in-the-moment decisions about lunch and dinner. Say no to lunch out to avoid staring down a menu. These small changes might make it easier to make good decisions late in the day.

Under-eating and Late Night Snacks

A good diet isn’t about how little you can eat. While this might seem obvious to some, too many people equate a “good eating day” with skipping meals or eating way less than they should. If you can’t say no to overeating at night, consider the fact that you simply may be hungry.

Adjust your diet to include satisfying meals all day long, including healthy fats and lean proteins that will help keep hunger at bay. Explore new flavors, better recipes, and more creativity if you’re simply bored with a too-restrictive diet.

Routines and Overeating

Have you ever heard ex-smokers talk about how they had to stop drinking their morning coffee on their front porch because it reminded them of how much they wanted to smoke? Overeating habits can work like that, too.

If you’ve built a daily routine that ends with Netflix and a snack, your entire evening may need an overhaul to stop late night overeating. Find a new routine you will truly enjoy. Go for a walk. Skip TV and head to bed with a book. Take a bath. This are habits that will fill you up emotionally, without filling your body with unhealthy snacks.

Why Sleep Is The No.1 Thing For A Better Body

Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity. Sleep deprivation also has a significant impact on your health. If you are trying to lose body fat, fixing your sleep situation should be at the top of your list. Instead of undermining yourself by burning the candle at both ends, set yourself up for success once you start dieting and exercising.

A fascinating study from the University of Chicago found that sleep deprived dieters who averaged 5 hours of sleep nightly for two weeks lost significantly less body fat than a group that clocked in with 8.5 hours a night. Although both groups lost roughly the same amount of body weight (3 kg), the “normal” sleep group lost significantly more body fat. The “short” sleep group had most of their weight loss come from muscle.

Lack of sleep decreased the fraction of weight lost as body fat by an incredible 55 percent! “If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels,” said study director Plamen Penev, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

Penev continued, saying:

“The message for people trying to lose weight is clear, for the first time, we have evidence that the amount of sleep makes a big difference on the results of dietary interventions. One should not ignore the way they sleep when going on a diet. Obtaining adequate sleep may enhance the beneficial effects of a diet. Not getting enough sleep could defeat the desired effects.”

Poor Sleep Changes Your Fat Cells

When your body is sleep deprived, it suffers from “metabolic grogginess.” The term was coined by the same University of Chicago researchers who analyzed what happened after just four days of poor sleep—something that commonly happens during a busy week. One late night at work leads to two late nights at home, and next thing you know, you’re in sleep debt.Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin (the master storage hormone) becomes completely disrupted. In fact, the University of Chicago researchers found that insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30 percent.

Sleep deprivation is linked to hormone changes that affect the way you eat. Specifically, when you’re sleep deprived there is an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which causes you to experienced increased appetite, and a decrease in the hormone leptin, which is the hormone that promotes satiety. This means you’re likely to eat more because you’re experiencing increased hunger and that increased calorie consumption will likely lead to weight gain.

The good news is that it only takes a few simple habit changes to help you get more shut-eye.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is the practice of good habits that directly affect how you sleep at night. For individuals struggling with sleep, it is typically the first step towards resolution long before a doctor turns to medication.

There’s a reason this is the first recommendation among many doctors — Americans are really bad at it! Many of us spend too much time looking at screens or we’re not addressing problems in our environment that are keeping us from sleeping well. Here are six simple steps to better sleep hygiene.

1. Get Your Diet Right

Poor sleep can easily lead to poor dietary decisions the next day. Be aware of your eating and activity following nights when you get poor sleep. Sleep deprivation impairs your metabolism and makes you your decision making the next day! Be careful to monitor portions and make healthy food choices, while ensuring you maintain your physical activity levels with a good workout and by getting your steps in.

Have regularly scheduled meals, prioritizing protein. This combination regulates blood sugar, which is important for restful sleep. Avoid late night eating. Finishing your last meal by 8 p.m. improves circadian rhythm and sets your hormones up for a restful night.

Supplement with magnesium. Magnesium is a calming mineral that plays a role in the body’s ability to metabolize cortisol and set you up for a good night’s rest.

Optimize vitamin D levels. Lack of vitamin D impairs the sleep-wake cycle in the brain and is associated with insomnia.

2. Change Your Caffeine Consumption

As much as I’d like to give you an easy rule for caffeine consumption and getting better sleep, I know from experience that everyone is different when it comes to how caffeine affects them. That’s why I simply recommend making adjustments until you experience a better night’s sleep.

For instance, if you typically drink coffee in the morning and again in the afternoon, switch out your afternoon cup for herbal tea or sparkling water. If you’re not drinking caffeine in the afternoon but downing an entire pot before heading to work or running your kids to school, try cutting that amount in half or switching to half-caf to see if you feel more rested.

3. Put Your Screens to Bed

It’s now harder than ever to get away from our devices. We are all constantly connected to something. Whether we’re staring at our smartphones, watching TV, or putting in late-night hours at work. The blue light from screens is known to mess with our circadian rhythms, making it harder to chill out and fall asleep when we get in bed.

To get more rest, put your screens to bed at least an hour before you plan to sleep. This is a hard habit to change, so I suggest building a new habit at the same time. Do you typically scroll social media before heading to sleep? Trying subbing it out for a reading habit, playing card games with your partner, or just talking with a friend.

4. Stay Consistent

Changing up your routine, even if only on the weekends, can mess with your sleep all week long. It is difficult to return to your old routine if you’re staying up late and sleeping all day on the weekends. Instead, it’s better to try to stick with your routine as much as possible on the weekends.

5. Get Your Environment Right

Is your bedroom a relaxing environment? Having a good space for sleep is an important part of sleep hygiene. Your bedroom should be dark and quiet and the temperature should feel comfortable to you. If you’ve been avoiding buying a new mattress or sheets that feel good to sleep in and you’re not sleeping well, it’s probably time to make some changes so you can get better sleep.

6. Start a Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal in which you jot down what you’re grateful for has a calming effect that can focus your attention on the positive aspects of your life and away from the worries that keep your mind racing all night long.

4 Reasons to Stop Your Low-Fat Diet

Gone are the glory days of the low-fat diet. In the past, if you wanted to lose weight, stocking your pantry with low-fat snacks and your fridge with non-fat yogurt was the go-to strategy for healthy eating. Unfortunately, this low-fat eating fad started in the 80s and hung on tight for over two decades.

More recently the health community has started to push back against this assumption, thank goodness! More personal trainers and nutritionist are speaking out against low-fat diets and in favor of cutting back on refined carbohydrates and sugary foods while increasing fat intake. Still not convinced you should ditch your 100-calorie cracker packs? Here are fours reasons it’s time to trade in your low-fat diet for low-sugar, high-fat eating.

1. Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat

The main assumption of a low-fat diet is that foods with a high-fat content will cause you to store fat on your body. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Fattening foods are actually some of the healthiest eating choices you can make. Nuts, avocados, and full-fat dairy products shouldn’t be avoided with the hope of losing weight.

Research backs up the assertions that fat won’t make you fat. A 2016 study published in Diabetes and Endocrinology observed individuals who were overweight or obese and at risk for cardiovascular disease were asked to participate in a high-fat, Mediterranean diet. They were not encouraged to restrict their intake or get extra exercise. At the end of five years, participants placed on the diet not only didn’t gain weight, they actually lost weight.

2. Fattening Foods Aren’t Linked to Heart Disease

While it is commonly accepted that foods high in fat can increase your risk of heart disease, this isn’t true. The right fats are actually good for you! Take omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, which can be found in salmon, nuts, eggs, certain oils, and dairy products. This power-house nutrient is linked to mood improvements, lowered risk for heart disease and metabolic syndrome, lowered risk of cancer, and more. 

Additionally, diets containing healthy fats like olive oil and nuts were found to reduce the risk of experiencing cardiac events in individuals who were considered to be high-risk, according to a 2013 study in The New England Journal of Medicine

3. Fat Helps Keep You Full, Longer

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn each day. Unfortunately, what is simple on paper isn’t always simple in real life. Controlling your calorie intake isn’t so simple when you need to remain satisfied to avoid hunger-induced binges.

This is where fat is a powerful tool. Fat takes more time to digest and is linked with increased levels of satisfaction. So, when you make sure a moderate amount of healthy fat is a part of your daily diet, you are supporting your weight loss goals by managing your appetite well. This is compared to a diet high in sugars, which is known to cause cravings for more sugar. 

4. High Fat Diets Can Fuel Your Training

A commonly held belief about athletic training is that you need a diet high in carbohydrates to fuel training. Surely by now, we’ve all heard the term carboloading. While it might true that carbs provide your body with energy, it is also true that fat can fuel your training as well.

Amazingly, if you’re an athlete, eating high-fat might actually help you to burn more fat. A 2015 study of two different groups of athletes, one consuming high-fat, low-carb diets, and the other a more typical, high-carb diet, found high-fat eaters were burning twice as much fat during their workouts.

6 Inspiring Quotes to Keep You On Track

Half the battle of healthy living is deciding you’re going to stick with it day after day. Use these six quotes as inspiration when you’re feeling lackluster about the next task at hand.

Write them on post-its, stick them on your bathroom mirror, and keep on devoting yourself to living your healthiest life.


1. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” —Aristotle

When it comes to changing the future of our health by getting stronger and eating healthier, it is the choices we make every day that matter in the long run. This is why I never encourage a crash diet or extreme exercise routines. Instead, take the long road by making intentional changes you can maintain for a lifetime.


2. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” — Amelia Eaheart

Change is uncomfortable and sticking with new healthy living habits isn’t easy. But, without the discomfort of change, we can never see growth. It’s impossible to accomplish our health goals if we aren’t willing to step outside of what is easy and comfortable and commit to working out in new ways, introducing new eating habits, or giving up old vices.


3. “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” —Tony Robbins

Do you know what I’ve noticed? Perfection stands in the way of a lot of people with big health goals. Maybe they commit to a new habit, but can’t keep moving past a single slip up. Perhaps their workout routine isn’t going quite as they planned. Brush it off, keep moving forward, you are already doing more than everyone sleeping in while you’re at the gym.



4. “Strength does not come from the physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Gandhi

Your biggest adversary in the gym isn’t going to be heavyweights. It will be your own mind telling you that you’re too tired, you’re not strong enough, or you don’t have time. Every time you push past the doubts and move forward with your goals is a victory because you are building the evidence that you have a strong will that will carry you to the finish line.


5. “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.” – Anonymous

Connect with your “why” for working out. I know that so many of us have goals to look different or get stronger, but I honestly think long-term motivation comes from something deeper. How does exercise make you feel? Meditate on that. Who are you trying to set an example for? Let that drive you. Internal motivators will keep you committed to healthy living when results are slow.


6. “Nobody is perfect, so get over the fear of being or doing everything perfectly. Besides, perfect is boring.” – Jillian Michaels

Don’t be boring! Have the courage to try new things and set big goals. Find ways to have fun with your workouts — listen to good music, get outdoors, take a new class. Don’t get so caught up in performance that you miss that joy of moving your body.


SHOCK SUPPORT IS NOW ON YOUTUBE

If you’re needing help troubleshooting an issue with the SHOCK App, check out our new YouTube page! We will continue uploading videos throughout the next few weeks. This is a great resource to walk you through the necessary steps to ensure you get the most from all the SHOCK App features! After watching our support videos, if you’re still having trouble be sure to send our support staff an email.

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD TRY HIIT WORKOUTS

HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training uses short bursts of intense exercises alternated with short breaks to elevate your heart rate, boost metabolism, and burn a significant amount of calories. Interval training is quick, effective, it’s intense, and enables you to accomplish a lot of good for the body without demanding a ton of your time in the gym.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should incorporate HIIT in your workouts.

1. HIIT workouts can accomplish a lot in a little time

In 2014, Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism published an in-depth review of the existing studies about High-Intensity Interval Training. These researchers were looking specifically at time efficiency and found exercisers could improve their wellbeing in as little as three, 20-minute sessions per week. These individuals were experiencing increased performance and improvements in their risk for chronic disease in just a few short weeks. For those who struggle to find time in your busy schedule to get to the gym, this means you can still reap the benefits of muscle building, fat loss, and cardiovascular improvements while only needing to dedicate 1 hour per week on HIIT workouts.

2. HIIT is good for your heart.

We know that exercising is good for your heart, but HIIT may offer benefits that outshine low to moderate exercise. A research review published in 2016 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looked at sixty-five different studies about high-intensity interval workouts

What the review found was that there was significant evidence that heart health benefits offered by HIIT are significant, helping overweight and obese individuals reduce their risk for cardiac diseases in a shorter amount of time than low and moderate intensity workouts.

3. HIIT burns body fat.

Many of us exercise to transform our body—muscle tone and fat loss are common goals. The intense nature of HIIT can help us do just that. One study published in the Journal of Obesity observed an average weight loss of 3.3 pounds in individuals following a 12-week program of three, 20-minute sessions of HIIT a week. This same study also showed decreases in waist circumference in as little as 6 weeks. These individuals also experienced an average visceral fat loss of 17%, which has major health implications since visceral fat is the fat that surrounds the vital organs in our body.

4. HIIT can increase muscle tone.

For those who are exercise beginners, HIIT does more than just burn fat, it also increases muscle tone. The same study above that noted weight loss also showed an increase in fat-free mass in the trunk and legs, which makes sense since these areas of the body get shown a lot of love in HIIT workouts. It’s worth mentioning that individuals who have already been working out at this intensity for some time might not experience the same muscle building effects. But that’s OK because you’ll be saving so much time using HIIT for cardio that you can make more time for lifting, too.

5. HIIT can help with glucose regulation

Type II diabetes is an incredibly prevalent disease in American adults. In 2015, 90 to 95 percent of the 30.2 million adults with diabetes were diagnosed with Type II. Those are scary statistics but they’re not a death sentence — Type II diabetes is largely preventable. 

Lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, are an effective way to prevent the development of Type II diabetes. HIIT has been found to be a great form of exercise for diabetes prevention because it helps with glucose regulation. A 2015 research review in Obesity Reviews documented decreased fasting glucose levels for those who were known to be at risk for Type II diabetes and participated in HIIT compared to those engaged in continuous exercise.