Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Pre-Workout
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Beginner
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Intermediate
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Advanced
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout
Fitness Plan - Post-Workout

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


At the beginner level, HIIT exercises should be done one day per week. Mercola trainer Stephanie Check will show you how to do basic HIIT exercises in the next video:

Here is a summary of what a typical high interval training routine might look like when you're just starting out.

  1. Warm up for three minutes.
  2. Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. Ideally, you should push yourself to "failure" — this is the part of the exercise where you can no longer maintain good form, but still be able to perform another repetition.
  3. When you reach failure, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for you to continue the exercise for another 10 seconds, as you just don't have that much oxygen left to contract your muscles.

    You should be gasping for breath and feel like you couldn't possibly go on another few seconds. It is better to use lower resistance and higher repetitions to increase your heart rate.

  4. Recover for 90 seconds, still moving but at a slower pace and with decreased resistance.
  5. Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery for two to three repetitions. Eventually, you'll want to do a total of eight of the high-intensity intervals, but work up to this gradually.

What is controlled breathing and how does it help you?

Although the practice of controlled breathing, or pranayama as it’s known in yoga, is considered a central part of many ancient traditions, this technique has withstood the test of time as evidenced by research surrounding its benefits. Controlled breathing may prompt a relaxation response by activating your parasympathetic nervous system, and slow down heart rate and digestion while inducing a sense of calmness.

A preliminary study presented in May 2016 highlighted that doing 12 weeks’ worth of yoga and controlled breathing improved study participants’ depression symptoms similarly to those of antidepressants, and raised their bodies’ levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a calming neurotransmitter. It was also suggested that controlled breathing may help:

  • Improve mental conditions ranging from insomnia and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression
  • Modify stress coping behaviors and promote appropriate balance in cardiac autonomic tone, referring to your heart’s ability to respond to and recover from stressors
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate, especially among people struggling with high blood pressure levels
  • Increase brain size when done alongside meditation
  • Promote enhanced immune support by changing the expression of genes involved in immune function