Hate Exercising? Got 2 Minutes?

By: Tamala      Last Updated: January 25, 2021

Dumbbell weights
Image by me

Do you often tell yourself you really should start exercising to improve your health? Do you wish you had the strength and energy to play with your kids more? Go on an adventure vacation? Or just accomplish everyday tasks?

All those things require a strong and resilient body, which means you’re going to have to work at it. Deep down we all know that exercise is good for you. But deep down many of us also dislike doing it.

What if I can show you an exercise that can be done anywhere and with a really small time commitment that will also give you a whole ton of benefit?

Exactly what benefits are we talking about here?

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) offers these benefits (and more) in just 3 short sessions per week:

  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Increased calorie burn during and AFTER workouts
  • Muscle retention while losing fat
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation
  • Boosts Human Growth Hormone (HGH)- see here for a list of all the great things this does.
  • Decreases oxidative stress (3)
  • Decreases abdominal and visceral fat (1)
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
Woman running with dog
Image from Pixabay

Ok, great, that all looks good but I still hate to exercise and I don’t belong to a gym…

Here is the question.
Can you spare 2 minutes 3 times a week?

Magic 8 HIIT Program

How Do I Start?

  1. Pick an activity – New to exercise? Start with one of the first two options:
    • Walking/Jogging in place (or outside, on a treadmill, etc.)
    • Jumping jacks
    • Burpees [YouTube video if you don’t know how to do a burpee]
    • Squat jumps [YouTube video of squat jumps]
    • You can do almost any exercise using the HIIT method – google HIIT exercises and find one that appeals to you or you can find numerous HIIT workouts online.
  2. For 1 minute and 30 seconds (90 seconds – recovery phase) do your selected activity at a level 5 for you.

(Level 1 is standing still staring at the wall, level 10 is all out heart-pumping – if I continue at this pace I’m going to die.)

This is one of the beauties of this particular form of exercise, it adjusts to your fitness level and grows with you as your fitness improves. 
Man running
Image from Pixabay

Maybe a slow march is your level 5 and barely a jog is your level 8-9. That’s okay, and as you continue it will improve. Or a slow jog is your level 5 and an all-out sprint is your level 8-9 – perfect. As your fitness improves so will the intensity of each level.

During your ‘recovery’ phase (which is the 90 seconds) you want to be moving, warming things up, as you progress to adding more intervals this will be the time for you to catch your breath.

3. After the 90 seconds continue the activity for 30 seconds (high-intensity phase) at a level of 8-9 FOR YOU.

Here are three of the thoughts that go through my head during the high-intensity – Level 8-9 phase:

    • I’m running from a tiger!
    • My life is in danger – MOVE!
    • I can do ANYTHING for 30 seconds! (<–my personal favorite)

Go as fast and as hard as you can AT YOUR PRESENT FITNESS LEVEL.

How do you progress?

You’ve done your first week – 3 sessions of HIIT for 2 minutes a piece. A whopping total of 6 minutes of exercise. You feel proud for at least doing some exercise (bravo!) but your subconscious is saying – “Really? I think you can do more.” Your next challenge is to add 1 more round to your routine.

Which will look like this:

  1. 90 seconds – recovery phase – level 5 effort
  2. 30 seconds – high intensity – level 8-9 effort
  3. 90 seconds – recovery phase (and now you actually will be recovering) – level 5 effort
  4. 30 seconds – high intensity – level 8-9 effort

So now you’ve gone from 1 round of HIIT to 2. Which takes your total exercise time for the week to 12 minutes. Great job! And you said you’d never exercise!

On to the next challenge – keep adding rounds.

As you progress week by week add 1 more round until you end up with 6-8 rounds total. Listen to your body and find the right number of rounds for you.

Once you get to about 4 rounds, I suggest tacking on an extra 90 second warm-up period to the beginning. For Example:

  1. 3 minutes warm-up
  2. 30 seconds high intensity followed by 90 seconds recovery – do this 6-8 times and you’re done!

It takes about 20 minutes, 3 times a week for a total of 1 hour of exercise per week. All done in the comfort of your own home, or the park, or the gym – wherever you choose. With a whole host of benefits including fat loss, more energy, and a better fitness level.

If you’ve been meaning to start exercising but just couldn’t find the time – this is for you.

If you hate to exercise (but know you really should) – this is for you.


  1. Use your stopwatch on your phone to time the intervals.
  2. Download “Seconds” HIIT timer app to your phone Android iOS

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV or the internet. Please consult with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.  Your health is in your hands and you should be smart about it.


  1. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2012/480467/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26351856
  3. https://chriskresser.com/how-to-lose-weight-and-prevent-diabetes-in-6-minutes-a-week/
  4. Human Growth Hormone: HGH Benefits, Uses and Side Effects – Dr. Axe