Holiday HIIT Workouts

Nutribullet trainingWishing you happy and healthy holidays!!  Although this winter season is filled with JOY, it can also be bogged down by stresses that challenge our daily routines. For example, our morning yoga class is replaced by a drive to the post office to send out holiday gifts, or our evening cardio/strength training class is replaced by an extra errand and the tail end of holiday shopping. We all have our own obstacles to face, so it’s important to incorporate an exercise plan that can fit into your schedule and lifestyle, even during the busy holidays! Exercise can actually help to reduce stress, while increasing energy, motivation and those “feel good” endorphins that keep you positive and happy!

Photo (above) is of my Team Nutribullet (marathon training team) buddies and I dressed up for our Santa Monica/Venice 10K race. Feeling festive with our “happy feet!” 

I have created a few quick workouts that focus on high intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost your metabolism also known as EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption). This is great news because your body will burn additional calories and fat even after your workout is complete (and you’re sitting at your desk for example), for up to 12-24 hours.

Please note: Consult your physician before trying this workout. If you’re a beginner to running or exercise, perform each interval no harder than a moderate effort level. Go at your own pace and walk the recovery intervals. Add a few extra seconds to your recovery intervals if you don’t feel fully recovered before starting the next cycle.  Stick with the first workout listed below. You can add more as you build your exercise base and cardiovascular capacity.

Listen to your body, and if you’re having aches and pains, slow down and focus on stretching and yoga to help lengthen and strengthen your muscles and balance out your body so you don’t pull any muscles. The Bryan Kest power yoga is one of my favorite ways to keep my muscles lose and aligned.  You can even do it while traveling which is convenient.

Here is a great example of a workout schedule and how you can incorporate HIIT into your weekly routine:

  • Perform HIIT 2 days per week (i.e. Tuesday and Thursday)
  • Perform Yoga 1-2 times per week (i.e. Wednesday)
  • Perform longer distance easier effort runs 2 days per week (i.e. Monday and Saturday).

Holiday HIIT Workout #1: Level 1 (introductory)IMG_1287

Don’t skip the warm up! Start by walking for 2 minutes and increasing your pace to a brisk walk, then a light jog (i.e. where you can still hold a conversation) for a total warm up time of 5 minutes.

Stretch or foam roll for 5 minutes to make sure all of your muscles are lose and ready for the workout. Increase the treadmill incline to 1.0-2.0, which is equivalent to the natural incline on most roads. Then, begin the workout below.

  1. Run at a sprint pace (hard) for 30 seconds
  2. Recover with 90 seconds of very easy jogging or brisk walking
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 eight to ten times (total of 16-20 minutes)
  4. Cool down by walking for 2-3 minutes after the last interval

Total Time: 25-30 minutes

Photo (above): FitSugar.com

Run SelfieHoliday HIIT Workout #2: Level 2

Warm up by walking for 2 minutes. Increase your pace to a light job (i.e. where you can still hold a conversation) for a total warm up time of 5 minutes.

Stretch or foam roll for 5 minutes to make sure all of your muscles are lose and ready for the workout. Increase the treadmill incline to 1.0-2.0, which is equivalent to the natural incline on most roads. Then, begin the workout below.

  1. Run at a sprint effort (hard) for 60 seconds
  2. Recover with 2 minutes of very easy jogging or brisk walking
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 six times (total of 18 minutes)
  4. Cool down by walking for 2-3 minutes after the last interval

Total Time: 28 minutes

 

TopHoliday HIIT Workout #3: Level 3

Warm up by walking for 2 minutes. Increase your pace to a light job (i.e. where you can still hold a conversation) for a total warm up time of 5 minutes.

Stretch or foam roll for 5 minutes to make sure all of your muscles are lose and ready for the workout. Increase the treadmill incline to 1.0-2.0, which is equivalent to the natural incline on most roads. Then, begin the workout below.

  1. Run at a sprint effort (hard) for 60 seconds
  2. Recover with 1 minute of brisk walking
  3. Run at a moderate speed for 60 seconds, increase incline 3.0-5.0
  4. Recover with 2 minutes of brisk walking
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 five times (total of 25 minutes)
  6. Cool down for 2-5 minutes after the last interval

Total Time: 35-40 minutes

Interval training is a great workout to do during this time of year because it is short, effective and can be done on a treadmill (indoors), or outdoors (if the weather permits) using a stopwatch. Build a strong support system and hold yourself accountable with a workout buddy so you can stick to your plan. Set your alarm 35-40 minutes earlier so you can get your workout done first thing in the morning and you don’t have to worry about “squeezing it in” later in the evening at the end of an exhausting work day.

Remember that exercise actually gives your energy, increases blood flow, mental acuity and focus and will leave your feeling great! Interval training is also a great way to help fight weight gain during the holidays filled with high calorie foods and beverages (i.e. such as rich savory high fat foods, alcoholic beverages, eggnog, chocolate and sweet desserts).

FitnessI love running (the “runner’s high”) and truly rely on it as a stress release outlet. However, I know that not everyone would agree with me and don’t actually enjoy it. I know lacing us your running shoes is difficult during the winter months with cold weather (rain, snow, etc.), which can be another hurdle to “getting out there and getting it done.” I can create a workout plan that is customized to suite your exercise interests or sport specific training goals (i.e. basketball, tennis, soccer, baseball, track, or everyday life to increase strength using functional fitness, etc.). So let me know what your interests are and I’m happy to help provide the structure you need to accomplish your fitness and overall health goals.

To learn more about customized workout plans to suite your specific goals, contact Courtney Sullivan, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer and Founder of Nutrition for Body and Mind.

Photos (above) are of Courtney trail running in scenic Northern California. 

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