The definition of cardio has evolved over time. These days, we can’t simply run for hours on end. Women can take part in many other creative ways for getting a good cardio workout, including stair climbing, swimming, hiking, rowing, and even dancing.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT as it is often called, is by far the most popular. The interval workouts are excellent for working up a sweat whether you use cardio machines, weights, or just your body weight!
Training with high-intensity intervals involves working hard for a short period to get your heart rate up, taking a very short break, then repeating the process for however many rounds you choose. HIIT exercises are characterized by short bursts of high intensity, unlike traditional cardio, which involves maintaining a moderate pace for long periods. You should not be fooled by the short sessions, because HIIT workouts are just as effective as other forms of exercise, and they can even be quite fun and challenging.
Why HIIT Exercises Are Beneficial To Women
In addition to offering several benefits for busy moms and anyone just tired of running and needing a quick home workout, HIIT has several other advantages, such as:
- Burn Calories Post Workout: In the same way that resistance training increases post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), HIIT helps the body burn calories after it has done an intense workout. The recovery period after exertion is a two-hour period during which muscles begin to rebuild themselves to pre-exercise levels, using more energy in the process. HIIT tends to have a higher EPOC, therefore, increasing the overall workout calorie expenditure by 15%. During a short HIIT workout, you burn a lot of calories, and then when you’re recovering you continue to burn calories.
- Faster Workout Sessions: A HIIT session is less time-consuming. People who are busy and do not have an hour to spare at the gym can participate in HIIT sessions. Some like to incorporate equipment like jump ropes, resistance bands, or free weights, but it isn’t essential. It is possible to do HIIT using just bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere and by anyone of any fitness level!
- Help Lose Body Fat: Post-exercise oxygen consumption helps you lose fat by utilizing your body’s fat reserves while helping you burn more calories after rigorous workouts. In other words, since your body needs energy to restore itself to its normal resting state, it taps into its fat stores to get energy.
- Maintain Your Gains With HIIT: HIIT elevates your heart rate and gives you an excellent cardio workout, as well as strengthening your muscles. The result is that you’re preserving muscle mass, and you’re even gaining muscle! While HIIT works your lower body most of the time, you can tailor some of these exercises to help build your upper body strength as well.
Incorporating HIIT Into Your Strength Training Routine
HIIT often gets the misconception that it is better than steady-state cardio at all times, but this may not be entirely accurate. Yes, HIIT is great for your health, but it requires recovery time since it stresses your body, specifically your joints and muscles. For that reason, it shouldn’t be done every day.
Here are some tips to follow;
- You should only do two or three HIIT sessions per week at most. Weightlifting is already extremely intensive and adding HIIT every day is going to do you more harm than good.
- Make sure you do your HIIT sessions on the same day you lift or on the day between, so you’re working your body while allowing it time to recover.
- Consider doing it several hours after you lift, or even after your lifting session if you would like to do it on the same day.
- Make sure you focus on the muscles you are working on when you do HIIT so you avoid overuse injuries.
- You should avoid doing a HIIT workout that requires a lot of jumping and lower body movement the day after you do your leg day (do it afterwards as a burnout session). HIIT workouts should be planned accordingly.
Even though there are many benefits of HIIT over traditional cardio, it does not mean cardio is no longer necessary. Recovery, weight loss, and heart health are all promoted by cardio. At least once a week, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is recommended. Exercises such as walking on an inclined treadmill, jogging outdoors, or riding a bicycle can provide these benefits. Warehouse Gym, a ladies gym in Dubai, offers HIIT workouts tailored to your requirements, and for however long you like. Reach out today to learn more!