Alberta Cancer Foundation

The Workout For When You Only Have a Few Minutes to Spare

Illustration by Andrew Benson.

What is HIIT?

This high-energy workout will get your heart rate up fast. The goal of a HIIT session is to exert your body and push it out of its comfort zone. But you’re not exercising at that intense level for long: you push hard in intervals, for a period of between 30 seconds and three minutes. (And yes, you need to push hard to get the benefits.) Then you rest, recover and repeat. Because of the high intensity, a full HIIT session can last as little as 10 minutes and is usually no longer than an hour.

The Benefits of HIIT?

HIIT workouts are adaptable. You can do the intense bursts with any type of cardio you like, and you can also incorporate bodyweight-based strength exercises like burpees, mountain climbers and jumping lunges to create a circuit for a full-body workout. And no equipment is required, so you can do this workout anywhere. HIIT sessions will improve your cardiovascular fitness, help your body burn fat efficiently and strengthen muscles. Plus, they’re time-efficient: you’ll experience the benefits without logging hours in the gym.

But remember, always consult with your health-care team before beginning any workout program.

3 Places to Try HIIT in Alberta

Kinetic Indoor Cycle and Fitness

This studio offers a full-body HIIT class that combines cardio, strength training and core.
1251 2 Ave. S., Lethbridge,

Studio 85 HIIT & Yoga

These HIIT sessions end with relaxing yoga.
218, 333 Aspen Glen Landing S.W., Calgary,


This studio’s HIIT workout includes battle ropes and kettlebells.
10041, 103 St. N.W., Edmonton,