It’s tough to find time to squeeze in a workout when you have to get the kids off to school, go to work, make dinner, clean the house and complete the thousand other things on your to-do list – it’s a workout in of itself. If you can sacrifice just five minutes to workout per day, you can chip away at the stubborn belly fat that just won’t seem to disappear. Since your workout time is limited, the key to this exercise routine is intensity and lots of it.
High Intensity Interval Training
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is the workout to do if you’re short on time. HIIT involves doing a short “rest” interval followed by an equally short “work” interval. You continue this rest-and-work cycle multiple times to complete a full HIIT workout. Interval training burns more fat compared to steady-state training, such as walking or jogging. HIIT also offers the added benefit of something called excess-post exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, which means your body continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout is completed.
Choose your favorite aerobic exercise or aerobic fitness equipment, such as treadmill, elliptical, skating, cycling or running in place. Start the workout with a 30-second rest interval, in which you do your aerobic exercise at a moderate pace. Next, immediately transition to a 30-second work interval at a vigorous intensity. Do a total of five 30-second cycles to complete the five minute HIIT workout. Always make sure to warm-up and cool-down before and after the workout.
Monitor Your Heart Rate
A five-minute HIIT workout is all about keeping your heart rate elevated to burn the maximum number of calories. While your health can benefit from HIIT, it’s important to make sure your heart rate doesn’t exceed your maximum heart rate. Calculate your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Monitor your heart rate during the workout and aim to keep it at 70 to 80 percent of your max heart rate.
Belly Fat Myth
Dedicating five minutes a day to doing hundreds of crunches will not burn the fat from your midsection. There's no way to spot treat your midsection for weight loss. HIIT can start melting excess fat around your waist, but it’s also important to eat healthily and to avoid high-calorie snacks and drinks. After you’ve integrated the five-minute HIIT workout into your daily routine, set a goal to increase your workout time to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and so on. Your tight, toned tummy will thank you later.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.