Finding the time to exercise becomes exponentially harder once you have kids. It doesn’t matter if you’re at work or at home with them, all moms know that finding time to take care of yourself isn’t the easiest thing to do. When you do manage to fit in a workout program, you want to make the most of it. If that’s your goal, HIIT could be the answer.
What Is HIIT?
Just in case you haven’t heard of it before (or have, but were too afraid to ask what it stood for) HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. All that means is that you start off slow, speed up for a bit, push yourself into overdrive briefly and then slow back down to your regular pace. That doesn’t sound terribly hard, right? You’ll be sweating pretty heavily by the end of it, though. The best part is that almost all HIIT workouts are 30 minutes or less. That’s something most moms can fit into their schedules.
Get the Most Out of HIIT
So what does HIIT do that allows you to get such great results in only 30 minutes? The most important aspect is that it forces your heart rate to change. Your lower-intensity period is a kind of rest between sets, but since you never actually stop moving, your workout remains continuous. By jumping back and forth between speeds, you never give your body a chance to adjust to a certain level of exertion, which prompts it to burn the best thing it can – fat.
The flip side is when your body adjusts to the kind of exercise you’re doing. This happens most frequently with walking or running. The first month, you might not be able to run a mile. Then you can run it, then you can run two. It seems like awesome progress, and it is. The downside is that you burned many more calories when you first started and couldn’t run a whole mile than you will later, running the same mile with ease.
This leads to muscle catabolism. In simple terms, that means your body starts breaking down your muscles for energy instead of using fat. This is usually not what you want. Muscles burn more calories at rest than fat does, so building muscle is the only way to raise your metabolism.
HIIT does the opposite. It keeps your body guessing, prompting it to burn fat and build muscle. You can increase the muscle building by adding weightlifting.
Use HIIT to Save Time
Depending on how old your kids are, you might be schlepping them off to day care or school, church groups or playdates, or silently counting the minutes until nap time so you can squeeze in a bit of exercise. HIIT is classified as a cardio workout, making it an excellent way to burn calories without burning muscle.
If you’re short on time, this is what you need – and really, who isn’t short on time? Since you’re pushing yourself to the max, you burn more calories in less time. Due to the interval training, your body continues to burn more calories after the workout, as opposed to traditional cardio. This means you’re tricking your body into doing more work and burning more calories, despite a shorter workout.
Of course, no workout style will be enough to help you lose weight or get stronger if you don’t factor in healthy lifestyle habits like eating, drinking water and keeping active throughout the day. As moms, it’s easy to stay active when you’re chasing after little ones.
If you can implement a similar level of activity throughout the day, use HIIT as part of your exercise regime and watch what and how much you eat, you’ll be able to reach your goals in no time.