intensity interval training – or HIIT – is probably one of the most talked
about fitness trends in recent years. When
I first started working out, I took the plunge and threw myself into circuit
training classes and home HIIT workouts. As a new mum, I’ve found that these quick,
sweaty workouts really deliver results. Since each workout is over a shorter
amount of time, they are far more maintainable and easier to fit into my busy
schedule of poop, feed, burp, repeat.
exactly is HIIT? HIIT is defined as‘ a form of interval training, a
cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic
exercise with less intense recovery periods.’ In a
nutshell, it’s 30-40 seconds of flat out work and 20-30 seconds of rest time
HIIT workouts typically range from 10-20 minutes, which means that you’re
getting the job done in a shorter amount of time. This inevitably means more
time to spend on other important stuff like eating, spending time with your baby,
or locking yourself in the bathroom for 5 minutes of peace.
Your metabolic rate is higher after HIIT exercise. This means that you
continue to burn calories even after you’ve finished working out.
HIIT workouts are notoriously good for burning excess body fat and reducing
unhealthy visceral fat that surrounds organs. If you’re looking to regain some
pre-baby strength in your muscles and get back to a healthy weight, HIIT could
work for you.
HIIT workouts mainly consist of bodyweight exercises. Using a combination of cardio
exercises, like high knees, with strength exercises, like squats, will build
muscle and shape your body, making you stronger in the process.
Because HIIT workouts are intense, the only weight you need is your
bodyweight. For women who are new to exercise, these types of workouts are ideal
because you don’t have to complicate things with learning how to use any
equipment and perfect your form. Once you feel comfortable with the exercises,
you can progress to using small weights if you wish.
workouts have always worked for me in achieving my goals of building muscle and
improving stamina and fitness levels. Steady state cardio bores me, and you’ll
never find me running on a treadmill for an hour. A 10 minute HIIT workout scheduled into my day
while baby sleeps gets my heart rate up, and I feel much more energised
For all of you breastfeeding mamas, make sure you check out these tips on maintaining your milk supply whilst exercising.
If you are
a beginner, make sure you warm up and cool down thoroughly as well as doing
some dynamic stretches. Try this free 10 minute workout as a taster to see if
it’s for you!