Short workouts pack a punch when you’re short on time
Good news, mama! Short workouts have been proven to deliver as many benefits - and sometimes more - than long ones. In just ten minutes, you can get your heart rate up, break a sweat, build strength, clear your mind, and so much more.
Maximizing your short workout with HIIT
HIIT - also known as high-intensity interval training - is a method of exercising that focuses on short, demanding bursts of exercise. How short? Workouts range from 10 to 20 minutes and are made up of 30 to 60 second long bursts of effort, followed by a recovery period. Usually, you repeat the sequence two or three times before changing the movement.
But don’t be fooled by something as short as one minute of effort. These quick, explosive movements can make a huge difference when it comes to your cardio fitness and weight loss goals.
The benefits of getting your heart rate up are well-documented, so it makes sense that a compact workout designed to get you huffing and puffing would be just as good for your heart, lungs, and metabolism. While aspects of HIIT may seem intimidating, know that it is your personal challenge - you tailor the intensity based on your own fitness level and stage of motherhood.
You want to be breathless, and to push yourself to your limits - no one else’s.
While the mental aspect of a HIIT workout can be a challenge, the rewards are large when you get those endorphins flowing. If you’re dragging your feet to the workout corner and need some motivation, here are 5 reasons we love these kinds of intentional, efficient workouts.
1. Short workouts are not a shortcut
Sometimes less is more. Research shows that you can start seeing the perks of these intense, focused workouts in as little as two weeks. Not only that, but it takes half to a third of the time to get the same or better results in terms of metabolic function, cardiovascular and muscular fitness as a moderately long cardio workout, like a 45-minute run.
The nitty-gritty: HIIT workouts have been shown to:
Improve blood glucose, which makes it an effective workout for people with Type 2 diabetes
Build lean, toned muscles and help you achieve your fitness or weight loss goals faster.
Give you big gains in lung capacity.
Improve your ability to use breath efficiently during intense exercise.
Increase your cardiovascular endurance.
If you are finding it difficult to fit your workouts in, consider switching two or three days a week to short, intentional workouts and see if that makes it more achievable. Your body will thank you for finding a little more time to move.
2. HIIT workouts are easily customizable
With HIIT workouts, you can truly choose your own adventure. There are intense, express workouts for every body part - legs, glutes, core, biceps, and triceps - or preferred activity, like cycling and jogging.
Personalized to your fitness level
HIIT is an experiment with pushing your boundaries and discovering your limitations (comparable in some respects to childbirth and parenthood!). In general, you’re trying to target 70 to 90% of your maximum heart rate during the high-intensity sessions, and 55 to 65% during recovery.
In other words, you want to be “breathless and begging for the break” but still able to complete the exercises with precision and mindfulness. If your movements are starting to feel sloppy, it might be time to dial it back a bit.
You can “HIIT it” indoors or outdoors
For mamas on the move all summer long with trips to the pool, the park, summer camp, and slumber parties, fitting in a workout can feel impossible. Enter interval training! You can take your workout with you, making use of the time your kiddo spends in the sandbox to do a sequence of jump squats, lunges, and pulses.
Moms are the masters at multitasking. So instead of excuses, bring the burn with you this summer. If you don’t want to DIY your workout, we suggest downloading the Studio Bloom app [Here for Android; Here for Apple] and heading over to Bloom’s express classes. There are lots of options for quick, intentional training that will get your blood pumping.
3. Bodyweight workouts can be HIIT workouts.
While equipment can be handy for leveling up a workout, it is not necessary to get your heart pounding. There are lots of great options for bodyweight workouts that will push you to your limits and get your heart rate up into that target zone, where you’re burning fat and creating lean muscle tone.
If you’re working out at home and looking for ways to get more of a challenge, check out our blog with ideas for everyday objects you can use in place of weights.
4. HIIT forces you to be efficient with your workout.
With long workouts, it can be tempting to take little shortcuts. When you’re out for a 60-minute run, you might decide to walk a bit, check your phone, or stop and chat with the neighbors. Similarly, during a long weights session at the gym, little bits of time get lost to waiting for a machine, wiping it down, and resting between reps.
When you’re only working out for 10 or 15 minutes, you are more motivated to give it everything you’ve got. It’s easier to be super focused and intentional about your movements when you know there aren’t very many and you want to maximize the benefit of the time you have.
Looking for a short workout that will get your heart rate up today? Alysha, one of Bloom’s coaches, has a great low-impact core and glute routine for you:
5. They’re great for #momlife
When you are squeezing in a workout between naps or constantly on the go with a little one in tow, choosing a short, intentional workout can make all the difference. As the saying goes, the best workout routine is the one you will actually do!
By removing common obstacles like time and equipment, short workouts are super “doable.”
Our babes get big way too fast, but they don’t stop wanting to be held. Short workouts can help you build muscle and keep your heart strong - they provide critical self-care, and help you keep up with your kiddos.
Now you know that you’re not getting fewer benefits by spending less time, in many cases it’s quite the opposite. So if you’re short on time (and what mama isn’t) squeezing in a couple of short workouts in a day can help you reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be.
Alright mama, time to ditch the excuses. You’ll feel better for it!