HIIT at Home for Busy Mamas
I am head over heels with HIIT right now. What is HIIT? If you're not familiar, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and consists of short bursts of intense movements followed by brief rest periods. Ideally, your heart rate should reach about 80-90% of your maximum heart rate during the intense periods. A good indicator is that you shouldn't be able to talk while you are performing your intense exercises.
Or use this handy calculator to determine and use a heart rate monitor.
The length of intervals vary depending on who you ask. I usually do 45 seconds movement and 15 seconds resting, but I have also seen 30:30, 20:10, 50:10 and more.
Who is this for? I would recommend HIIT workouts for mamas who have for sure been given the green light for exercise 6 weeks postpartum. I honestly wouldn't jump into HIIT right away, I'd wait until your baby is 3-4 months perhaps before starting with this kind of intensity, building up to it along the way. As always, it is super important that you check in with your doctor before starting any exercise program because each mama has a different body and postpartum healing process. And also that you do a full body active warm up before diving into your HIIT workout.
Reasons why doing a HIIT workout at home is so great for mamas:
1. It's proven to be effective. For starters, research has shown HIIT workouts to be effective at reducing body fat. It is also demonstrated to be just as effective as a longer form aerobic workouts at increasing the maximum amount of oxygen that you can use during a workout.
2. It takes very little time to reap benefits. You can elicit benefits from a HIIT workout in just 10 minutes.
3. You can do it anywhere, at anytime. I have done HIIT workouts in the park, in front of the tv, in the nursery, at 11:30 at night, during nap time.
4. You can wear your pajamas. A mat or slip-free surface is pretty much the only thing you need. No makeup, no getting dressed, no leaving the house required for hitting this workout.
5. Importantly for mamas, you can do it at the same time you are watching your babe. Definitely be careful with this one as you don't want to knee your babe in the face during mountain climbers, but it is possible to juggle. I do it all the time.
6. It can be your back-up plan. Plans to head to boxing class thwarted by an inconsolable baby? (true story) No problem. You can take care of the babe and squeeze in a quick HIIT session once they feel better / nap etc.
Share your favorite HIIT workout at home in the comments below.