Plank exerciseI always knew this exercise could improve fitness and weight loss faster, but yesterday a write up from a study came across my desk showing that it also boosts brain power. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can sound intimidating if you’ve never given it a shot. It’s challenging, I’ll admit that, but this form of exercise is absolutely not restricted to those who are young and fit! In fact, one study published in the Journal of Physiology last February showed that inactive people can get into great shape much faster using this type of exercise than their already-fit counterparts (Wiley). Those who are already fit certainly reap the rewards as well, but the road to greater fitness for those who are less-than-fit isn’t as long as most think.


Putting It All Out There

The key to HIIT is giving it everything you’ve got for a short period of time. How much is “everything you’ve got”? Well, that depends on your fitness level. It means pushing yourself to your near limit. A 30-second running sprint for one person might be a five-minute mile, but for another, it might be an 11-minute mile.

Work Harder, Get Smarter
We all know that exercise can stimulate blood flow to the brain, of course, but another study conducted by the Montreal Health Institute showed that HIIT improved cognitive function as well! The study used overweight adults and put them through a series of 30 on/30 off (see an example below) workouts for four months. Not only did their waistline improve, but their brain power did as well!

Lose Weight
I’ve been a huge believer in HIIT for years. The most difficult obstacle I have when working with new clients is getting them to understand that HIIT is not restricted to people who are already super fit and in great health. Anyone can do it, and the results are incredible. I started HIIT to improve my lung capacity so I could run faster. This is still important to me, but now I practice HIIT because it’s a more efficient way to workout. I don’t have to workout for a very long period of time to get great results (and now I know I’m getting smarter, too!). Check out my sample workout at the bottom of this page.

Some of you have heard about my new program, The 10 Pound Club, which starts this October. The program focuses on HIIT combined with meal 10_pound_logo_onlyplans and coaching. It’s really a easy-to-follow program that allows me to personally connect with you, virtually training you and a group of other people. The goal? To get you in better shape, get you eating better, and for those who need it, to lose weight within 4 to 6 weeks. The program is ongoing, so there is no limit to what you can achieve. Is there a guarantee that you’ll lose weight. Of course not! I can’t make you exercise or make you eat healthier. You have to do it. But, I will be there to check on your progress and answer any questions you have.

If you would like more information on this program, email me today

Sample Interval Workout

Give this workout a shot today. It’s not a walk in the park, you can do it!

Find a piece of cardio equipment, or an open stretch of sidewalk or road. Take the time to warm up for about 10 minutes. Make sure you’re loose and feeling warm before you shoot out of the gate. You’ll be done with this workout in about 30 minutes. Remember, effort is based on your level. Push yourself.


  • 30-Second Sprint (Very Hard Effort)
  • 30-Second Easy (Jog or Easy Cardio Effort)
  • 45-Second Sprint
  • 45-Second Easy
  • 60-Second Sprint
  • 60-Second Easy
    REPEAT from the top 2 times


  • 30-Second Jump Squats
  • 30-Second Rest
  • 30-Second High Knees (like jogging in place, but pulling knees up really high)
  • 30-Second Rest
  • 30-Second Burpee
  • 30-Second Rest
    REPEAT from the top 2 times


  • 30-second low plank
  • 30-second side plank right side
  • 30-second side plank left side
    REPEAT from the top 2 times

Traci is a nationally recognized health and fitness expert who has been featured on The TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and wellness coaching, as well as private training. Contact Traci here.

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1. Wiley (2013, February 1). Getting fit fast: Inactive people can achieve major health and fitness gains in a fraction of the time. ScienceDaily.

2. Universite de Montreal (2012, October 29). Exercise makes middle-aged people smarter.ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 10, 2013, from­/releases/2012/10/121029081211.htm

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