THIS IS FIT! – Part One

This Spring, I had the good fortune of finding out about It has changed my life. No, really. I’m not trying to be dramatic here.

Now, everyone is different when it comes to finding ways to get the body moving that they enjoy. Not everyone runs. Not everyone does aerobics. Not everyone likes to swim. You get the picture. Over the years, I’ve tried all kinds of ways to fit exercise into my already overstuffed life. Some I’ve enjoyed, some I have not. In some cases, I liked them at first, but they quickly grew boring. In some cases, I did not like them at all but felt the need to make myself like them, because I knew that movement was good for me. In almost every case, finding time to fit movement into my day seemed impossible, with everything else I had going on. Enter This Is Fit. Finally, I have found something that I enjoy doing and that I can actually fit into my busy lifestyle. The This Is Fit website offers weekly workouts FOR FREE, recipes, nutrition information, and other awesomeness related to the site’s tagline of: “be your own kind of fit”. Just 15 minutes for a “Quickie” workout a few times a week has resulted in major results for me, including increased flexibility and strength, leaner body parts, and a kick-start of my metabolism. I would highly recommend these to anyone who is looking for something new in movement options. Or anyone who would like to experience the benefits that I just mentioned. Scratch that, I would highly recommend these to anyone who is breathing.

Not wanting to be selfish, I would like to share this information with others. So, I recently had the opportunity to interview the founder of This Is Fit, Laura Flynn Endres. She has SO many awesome things to say, that I’ve made this interview article a two-parter. Come back next week to read the rest. And while you are waiting, visit!

Meredith: What is This Is Fit?

Laura: It is my answer to repeated requests for workouts from family and friends who live far away. It’s a way to reach more people, and provide quality workout programs that anyone can do, anywhere, anytime. It’s also the result of seeing others doing similar things, and thinking, “I can do that….!”


Meredith: How did you come up with the idea?

Laura: I saw that other people were doing  online videos; I thought perhaps I could add something of value to the mix. Something happened to me when I turned 40. I suddenly “got” the whole red hat society thing, as in “screw it – I’m totally putting videos of myself on the internet” even though I don’t have a fitness model’s body.


My son works in film, so I know a bit about production. Of course, I decided to do this AFTER he moved all the way across the country. So other than consulting, he’s not involved much. It’s been a long work in progress.


Meredith: What are the benefits of HiiT (High-Intensity Interval Training)?


Laura: HiiT workouts, like my Quickies, trigger the afterburn effect, also known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). EPOC matters because it means you’ve pushed your body to the point of having an oxygen debt.  If you sprint up a steep hill, it will be hard to catch your breath afterward, right? That is EPOC in action. Your body is now forced to work harder to return to normal, and all the while you’re expending more energy.


The good news – that means you’re burning calories even AFTER you’ve stopped exercising! Brilliant!


Most forms of exercise will generate an afterburn effect to some degree, but not all forms are equal.  After lower intensity exercise, these things don’t take as long to return to normal.  Therefore, you expend less energy while recovering. But with higher intensity exercise, more energy is needed afterward to catch your breath, return hormone levels to normal, and oxidize the build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.  HiiT makes brilliant use of the afterburn.


With HiiT, like in my Quickie Workouts, exercises are performed at a very high intensity for a short amount of time, followed by a brief rest period, and then those intervals are repeated several times.  HiiT is adaptable to all levels, too, because high-intensity is relative.  A very fit person might do 16 burpees in 45 seconds and trigger the afterburn.  An unconditioned person may only manage 5 burpees in 45 seconds, and yet that person will still be out of breath and very challenged, hence triggering the afterburn.


The afterburn effect can last anywhere from 15 minutes to a full 48 hours! That means you’re expending additional energy for many hours after your workout is done. This is a great benefit to those trying to lose weight!  Steady cardio for long periods of time will burn fat. BUT, they take up a longer period of time and your metabolism returns to normal more quickly so you get less benefit from the afterburn effect. Higher intensity cardio, like you get with my Quickie HiiT workouts, will force your body to work harder afterward.  That’s where the magic happens.


And, you can build muscle too!  In addition to cardio-based moves like jumping jacks, my Quickie Workouts incorporate exercises to build power and strength using weights and other resistance.  These moves build muscle tone, speed, and power.  No more separating your weight training routines from your long cardio sessions.  You get it all with my Quickie HiiT workouts! And in only 15 minutes.


Building muscle actually helps you burn fat as well, because muscle cells are more metabolically active than fat cells. Your metabolism has to work harder to supply your muscle tissue with the nutrients they need. The harder your body works to provide those nutrients, the more energy you expend.  Expended energy = calories burned.



Meredith: So, come back next week folks, for the exciting conclusion of this article!


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