By Stacey Niewenhuis

February is American Heart Month, so it’s time to give your ticker a little more love.

Did you know?

The heart is a muscle. It needs to be trained too. As the heart becomes stronger, the heart rate lowers because fewer beats are required to pump the same amount of blood.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

It doesn’t take as much time as you think to be active.

Guidelines suggest we need to get the heart pumping with at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week (or a combination of both). How you want to break that up is up to you. Even 10 minutes at a time counts. How easy is that?!

Short on time, high on energy workout.

Mix it up! High-intensity interval training is a great way to get in a big workout out in a little as 10 minutes minutes. Don’t let the name turn you off. High Intensity means you are challenging your fitness level, so listen to your body. You’ll be surprised how quickly your cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance increases and you start finding this type of training to be much more doable as you get stronger.


What is HIIT?

It’s a workout that alternates bouts of all-out effort (for your fitness level) and short recovery periods for a specific number of sets. These short, intense bursts of activity give an amazing aerobic, anaerobic and strength workout all in one. This is different than a steady-state workout your body will thank you for mixing it up and you’ll love how fast the time flies. It is an efficient and effective workout that involves a number of joints and muscles simultaneously. The more muscles and multi-body movements you use, the greater number of calories you’ll expend. Great reminder – muscles use more energy than fat during the day so the goal is to increase muscle mass too!



HIIT gives you maximum calorie burn by metabolizing fat for fuel and keeps burning calories well after your workout is over. (Investing in a heart rate monitor will help you track this.) 

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training Workout

– Set up an interval timer for your work/recovery ratios and preset your number of rounds.*

– All exercises should always be regressed or progressed as appropriate for YOUR  fitness level.

– Use recovery to breathe and prepare for next exercise.

– Suggested 2-3 times per week.

health table

* Download a free, easy to use app such as HIIT Interval Training Timer.

Work/recovery ratio can be easily adjusted. For example, if you are new to HIIT, decrease work and increase recovery – 30sec/30sec.

For more step-by-step HIIT workouts, pick up the February issue of 605 Magazine or click here

To learn more about 605 Fit, click here

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