Why You NEED HIIT Workouts in Your Life
Have you heard of HIIT workouts yet? Whether these are old news to you or you’ve never heard of HIIT – trust me you NEED to give it a try. Chances are you’re busy. But you want to be healthy and active. HIIT workouts will be among the fastest and most effective workouts you’ve ever done. And they can be done at home!
Okay, are you intrigued yet?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. So let’s break that down.
High intensity – you’re working really hard. You’re giving all you’ve got to these exercises.
Interval training – you’re taking a break.
While they sound contradictory, these two phases work together to make the BEST exercise for your time. With a HIIT workout, you’ll give all you’ve got to a workout for a set amount of time or reps (say 20 seconds or 20 reps), and then have a short break (10 seconds). These breaks can sometimes mean stopping completely or else involve a lower heart rate activity – like jogging or walking in place. The idea is that your heart rate only goes down slightly to help you recover, but still get the most out of your workout.
The length of intense activity and breaks vary from workout to workout. For example, I’m a sucker for INSANITY MAX:30. In the Max30 workouts, one workout consists of pushing hard for 20 seconds and having a 10 second break to jog in place. However, in the workout scheduled for the next day, you will perform the high intensity exercises for 4 and half minutes, and have a 30 second break.
So why workout like this? Wouldn’t it be best to do one exercise consistently for a whole 30 minutes? Absolutely not!
First, HIIT workouts are so much more effective than a regular workout. Your body is expending a ton of energy to push hard for those 20 seconds. Then during your rest, you’re STILL burning high amounts of calories often called an “afterburn”. How great is that? It’s like burning free calories as a bonus for all your hard work! This is the reason HIIT workouts burn more fat and calories faster than your normal workout.
Second, you can do anything for 20 seconds. I don’t care how out of shape you are. I think I should repeat that to you. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR 20 SECONDS. Then you get a break! Working out is a mental game. You can get inside your head and talk yourself out of it. Instead, pump yourself up! It is so much easier to talk myself through a hard workout when I can say, I hate burpees, but only 20 seconds and I’m done with them for the day.
Trust me, you can do it.
So why are these workouts so key for busy moms? Or even busy people?
Because you’re busy! You don’t have time, or want to give the time, for a long drawn out workout. These workouts will give you the most bang for your buck in the shortest amount of time.
Need more for me to convince you?
Most HIIT workouts do not require much (if any) equipment. You can do a complete, and thorough, workout using just your body weight!
The CDC also states performing 75 minutes throughout the week of vigorous-exercise provides the same benefits as 150 minutes of moderate-exercise. That’s half the time for the same results.
Also, have you seen this cute top ^. It’s the BEST workout top I’ve ever owned. Complete coverage up front for those larger busted ladies, and a cute back with the BEST supportive built-in bra. I almost bought it in EVERY color. (It’s from GAP. This isn’t an affiliate link – it’s just so good I have to share!)
Just do something!
Now, not everyone will like HIIT workouts and that’s okay. If you have a different type of exercise that you love, stick with it! You’re most likely to keep working out if you enjoy what you’re doing – whether that’s yoga, pilates, walking, running, or HIIT.
Give yourself a little variety.
I definitely encourage you to try to switch up your routine every now and then though. If you’ve been doing one type of exercise every day for a year, your body knows it. It expects that run coming up and knows how it will feel. No matter how many times I do Insanity Max30, when I go to my sister’s pilates class once every couple of months – it totally kicks my butt. Because my body isn’t used to it.
So challenge yourself!
If you’re an avid runner, why not try yoga one day? If you’re used to yoga, why not try HIIT? Keep your body guessing and adjusting. To constantly push your fitness level and become stronger, try a new workout every now and then. You just might like what you try!
Make sure you’re healthy enough for HIIT workouts. Consult with your doctor if you have medical conditions or are unsure if the exercises would be okay for you.
If you’re pregnant talk with your doctor. Usually you’ll be advised to not start any new workouts, but if you’ve been in the habit of exercising it’s typically okay to continue your current workouts. I did Max30 while pregnant, but modified many of the workouts (example – no sit ups), and watched my heart rate carefully (using my Fitbit Charge 2 – FitBit’s customer service is AMAZING by the way).
If you’re thinking about trying HIIT workouts, here’s what I recommend:
- INSANITY MAX:30 is my favorite. It’s tough, it’s quick, and it’s sooo effective. I’m also in no way associated with BeachBody and don’t get anything from them for encouraging this product – I just really believe in it and find it so easy to do at home! My full review is on this post if you want to check it out!
- Go to a class at your local gym! Sometimes the class will be called “HIIT”, otherwise read up on the classes. Many new classes use the methods of HIIT, without actually calling it that. Remember, high intensity, followed by a quick break.
- Watch videos and do it from home. Here’s a 25 minute workout that focuses on your lower body from Fitness Blender. Otherwise checkout my list of the 6 Best (FREE) at Home Workouts for Killer Results. Once you start a routine and start seeing results, trust me you won’t regret it!
While any fitness workout is good, HIIT workouts can provide great results quickly!
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