HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and yes, it has some amazing benefits! However, you may be put off by the “intensity” and “interval” parts of the phrase. Perhaps thinking that you are not fit enough or fast enough for such a workout?
I’d like to sympathise with you, but then we would both be wrong. Here’s why…
HIIT is not just for fit, fast or elite athletes. It benefits everyone and particularly if you are short on time. which as a mum, you no doubt are!
A HIIT workout is one with short, intense bursts of work (usually between 10-60 seconds), followed by either active recovery or complete rest, depending on your fitness level. The overall workout is also relatively short, anywhere between 10-30 mins.
I’ll go through the benefits of HIIT next. But what is important in order to get these benefits, is that YOU work to YOUR high intensity! This doesn’t mean high impact if you have knee or pelvic floor issues. But it does mean getting your heart rate up for the short work period.
The Benefits of HIIT workouts:
Time efficient! HIIT can burn a lot of calories in a short space of time - researchers found that HIIT burned 25-30% more calories than some other forms of exercise.
You continue to burn calories even after you finish exercising! HIIT has been shown to increase your metabolism for hours after the workout is finished! (a study done on young men and women)
HIIT can help you lose fat - This is a benefit across all forms of exercise, it is just that HIIT may be a more time efficient way of achieving it. Some further health benefits are illustrated in the picture below:
Image source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34281138/
4. HIIT can improve oxygen consumption - traditionally endurance training is used to train the muscles’ ability to use oxygen (and therefore their ability to work harder, stronger, faster). But studies are showing that HIIT also increases oxygen consumption! (a study done on 18-30 year old women!)
5. Variety! Changing exercises and quick transitions keep you on your toes. Even though HIIT is quick you’ll find the time flies by. So a great alternative if you are bored with your current exercise regime. Do you see a theme with these benefits? HIIT is a time efficient way of achieving the same benefits as other forms of exercise that may take longer. This is not to say that strength training doesn’t have its place. What exercise you do will very much depend on your goals.
As a mum this means HIIT is perfect for fitting into the day when all you have is 10-30 mins. It is also great to retain muscle mass and bone density as you age, as well as helping with the waistline.
It also connects you to other females and a community outside of looking after kids. Which can be a refreshing change of pace.
So if you want bang for your buck then you can’t go past HIIT!
I run weekly HIIT and circuit classes from locations in Karori and Kelburn, Wellington. If you like what you just read then why not come and give one a go? I’m trained in pregnancy and postpartum topics as well as a REPs registered personal trainer. So I can help you modify and navigate your way through your life stages and adapt the exercises as you need.
Just email me or go to my website to see the timetable.