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Go Big (Then Go Home) - HIIT Training Proven For Max Results in Minimal Time

By Steve Bove

Any parent can attest, staying in tip-top shape physically and mentally is vital for not only keeping up with the kids, but also remaining sturdy, mighty and present throughout your family’s adventures.

While this sounds simple in theory, for parents (and anyone else) who have to fight tooth and nail for even 15 minutes of “me” time, it is actually, well… still fairly simple.


A popular alternative for parents (and anyone else) trying to live your healthiest life on a restricted schedule is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves alternating between brief bouts of high-intensity exercise (30 seconds - five minutes) with rest and/or lower-intensity workouts during a single session.

HIIT aerobic exercise has repeatedly been shown to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and vascular function while allowing for shorter workouts, providing results that are equal to, and often better than, traditional moderate-intensity steady-state training.

“With HIIT, you can get a very effective workout in as little as 10 to 15 minutes,” says Jorge Corzo, M.D., board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Bayshore Medical Center and medical director of rehabilitation services at Riverview Medical Center. “As a parent, sometimes that’s all the time you have!”

Go Big (Then Go Home)

A typical HIIT session incorporating a treadmill and/or stationary bike or body weight moves may include the following:

3-5 minute warm up: (beginners should start at low/moderate intensity)

30 seconds high intensity, followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 4 times)

40 seconds high intensity, followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 4 times)

30 seconds high intensity, followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 4 times)

3-5 minute low/moderate intensity cool down

“If HIIT is new to you, it’s important to ease into it,” says Dr. Corzo. “Taking on a high intensity workout overnight can lead to injury, so listen to your body and slow down if you start feeling any pain or discomfort.”

In addition to providing the same results as moderate cardio in about half the time, high intensity interval training is tremendous for building total-body strength that can delay and even reverse the loss of bone density and muscle mass that accompany aging.

Impact on Mental Health

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends every person incorporate strength or resistance training into their routines two to three times a week, and recent research has shown that strength training can help depression and provide mental health benefits similar to cardio and other forms of exercise.

“Although HIIT can be extremely beneficial, it’s important to work in other physical activities when you can,” Dr. Corzo says. “Chasing the kids around the park or going for a family walk nicely complements more intense HIIT workouts.”

HIIT workouts can be done in almost any location, including your living room. But if you’re looking for a new fitness center, check out the various locations throughout Hackensack Meridian Health.

Have an injury preventing you from working out and need to see a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist? Dr. Corzo practices in Tinton Falls. To find a provider near you, visit

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


American College of Sports Medicine




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