Do This 4-Minute Cardio Workout While Waiting In Line at the Grocery Store

Health & Wellness on 09.08.12
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I have fantasies about working out when I am waiting in line for what feels like forever at the grocery store. I have been pretty close to knocking out as many squats as I could do in that moment, and have only stopped out of fear for publicly embarrassing myself. We often think we need to spend a lot of time in the gym in order to get a decent workout.  However, all it really takes is a few minutes-- so maybe you'll try it the next time you are waiting in line.

Let me introduce you to the Tabata Interval, developed and named after a Japanese researcher. It consists of doing one exercise for 20 seconds "as fast as you can go" and then taking 10 seconds of rest. You repeat this cycle with the same movement 8 times, which takes exactly 4 minutes (not including important warm up time).

I know what you're thinking, "Does doing this ridiculously quick workout have any effect on making me fitter?" The answer is yes, it certainly will. High intensity workouts put stress on muscle tissue, which in turn tells your body to make more of it. As a result, you will get leaner and lose body fat--a winning combination. Periods of intense exercise have been shown to be more effective increasing cardio-respiratory fitness and overall exercise performance than one hour of moderate exercise. Think about everything you could accomplish in those extra 52 minutes.

Anything can be turned into a Tabata-style workout, such as jumping jacks, squats, sit ups, pushups, even running or riding a bike. You don't need any fancy equipment. Start with an exercise that's already familiar to you. This will ensure that your form stays consistent and safe throughout the interval session. It's a misconception that only fit people should try high intensity exercise. Your fitness level will determine how fast you can go, so it is even safe for beginners. The idea is to push and challenge yourself, based on where you are on the fitness spectrum.

Whether you chose to do Tabata intervals while waiting in line or in the comfort and privacy of your own home, give it a try today!

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