If you think that this flu season has been stronger than Popeye after eating two cans of spinach, you're absolutely right! According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention, the influenza virus is the most widespread outbreak since authorities began keeping track more than a dozen years ago. In fact, the first week of 2018 yielded the most flu cases EVER for this time of year and we still have 11 to 13 more weeks of flu season to go! I know what you're thinking: lock the doors and barricade yourself in a safe place for 13 weeks, right?! However, if the hermit option just will not work for you, there is another option that will help you avoid the flu and cabin fever...get moving!
A study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that exercising for about 20 minutes a day or a minimum of two-and-a-half hours a week, can reduce your chances of getting the flu by 10 percent. This does not just apply to flu season, many studies have shown that exercising regularly improves your immunity. There are many theories, including: bacteria is expelled from the lungs during exercise or that elevated body temperatures during workouts send infectious germs packing. Whatever the reason, it is worth a shot to keep the flu virus from invading my body for a week (pun intended) .
"HIIT" THE GYM
In order to reap these benefits, you must put in some serious work. You must work out harder, not longer in order reach the threshold needed to make a difference. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to get in a strenuous workout without spending a ton of time. In addition, HIIT workouts are fat torching. Studies have shown these workouts burn more calories in 15 minutes than jogging for an hour and many HIIT workouts can be done at home too, DOUBLE BONUS! However, any vigorous workout will do. If you want to remove the guesswork, check out the 20-minute sample HIIT workout below.
I must warn you that there is a catch...if you prefer indoor workouts like me, gyms are crawling with germs. Take precaution! If you frequent the gym, you may already know these, but humor me...
Bring a towel. Do not put your face on those mats, Ew!
Wipe down equipment before you use it. I am sure that you are courteous and wipe it after use, but some people do not.
Wash your hands after finishing your workout.
Now that you are prepared...GET MOVING! Try this 20 minute workout that will have you breaking a sweat in no time. This can be done at home or in a gym. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts in the comment section afterwards.
20 MINUTE HIIT WORKOUT
Set your timer to 20 minutes. Complete the exercises in one giant set. The goal is to get in as many sets as possible in 20 minutes. Once our timer goes off, record how many sets you were able to complete.
Air Squats- 20 reps
Push ups - 20 reps
Mountain Climbers - 20 each leg
Burpees - 20
Lateral Lunges - 20 each leg
Close-grip Push ups - 20
Inch Worms - 20
Burpees - 20