Short Bursts of Vigorous Exercise

COVID-19 and Lockdown have meant that most people are spending significantly more time in front of a screen for work, pleasure and even to socialise. Balancing screen based sedentary activities with physical exercise is crucial for our physical and mental health; so how do we make sure that is happening.

Going out for a good walk every day is a great way to get some fresh air, keep active and enjoy the great outdoors. However sometimes what we need is a short sharp fix of vigorous exercise. To do that we can us what is called a HIIT exercise program, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. In this sort of regime we do 30 seconds of vigorous exercise followed by anything from 30 seconds to 15 seconds of rest (depending on your levels of fitness). I have found that even 6 rounds of different exercises, which would take 6 minutes or less, gives you a good workout that anyone can do as a break from being on the computer, with no equipment and just a small amount of floor space. Doing so at least once a day helps keep you fit and feeling well.

I recommend a free App called TimerPlus, that you can download from the AppStore, to time your rounds of activity and rest. It is a very simple program that allows you to set how many seconds you want to work, followed by how many seconds you want to rest, and how many rounds you want to do; giving you sound prompts so you can focus on the exercise instead of looking at the clock.

If you need ideas about what exercises to do, look up HIIT training exercises on the internet and you will find lots of information ranging from online video workouts, to picture diagrams and more… A combination I really like because of its good cardiovascular warm up, followed by a balance of upper body, lower body and abdominal work;

  • Running on the Spot (30 secs)/ Rest (15-30 secs),
  • Jumping Jacks (30 secs)/ Rest (15-30 secs)
  • Press Ups- keep knees on the floor depending on your level of fitness (30 secs)/ Rest (15-30 secs)
  • Squats (30 secs)/ Rest (15-30 secs)
  • Plank (30 secs)/ Rest (15-30 secs)
  • Abdominal Crunches (30 secs)/ Rest (15-30 secs).

You can repeat that twice (have 2 minutes Rest between each cycle), or just do the one cycle of 6 exercises on its own; depending on how much time you have and your level of fitness. As with any exercise regime, if it is painful during or afterwards please stop and speak to your Osteopath.

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