Women's exercise preferences are as diverse as there are women. As women take on the role of motherhood, there are qualities of certain activities that can limit participation even of the most dedicated. The two key qualities of the perfect exercise for busy moms are Time and Effectiveness. And we've found the perfect exercise for both.
The quality that has the most impact for most women (because I hear it/use it as an excuse not to exercise most often), is Time. Sleep deprived, over-scheduled mom's around the world agree that our to-do list never ends. Beyond the to-do's, mom's recognize where their most valuable moments come. So when I spend a 60 to 90 minutes at the gym, my mommy-guilt kicks in every time, insisting that I consider what moments I had missed with my kids in the precious after-work/school hours of the evening. I totally give into it. But recognizing that self-care now, through fitness, is crucial for my health - I have to find something that will work. Can I get the same health benefits in less time? Yes, I can.
The second quality is the most frustrating when it's not happening - Effectiveness. No one likes to spend valuable time on something that doesn't show results. How many times have you blamed yourself for not working hard enough at an activity, because you failed to get the beach body you had expected? I've worked with women who worked out faithfully 5 days/week for years and still struggled with attaining their fitness goals. It happens. More often, mom's stop trying - they get discouraged, or worse, injured.
Your fitness dreams don't need to be frustrated. Leave it to science to come up with the perfect exercise for busy moms.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) takes the hour long session at the gym and/or track and smashes them together into a workout that takes less time than getting yourself and your toddler to the gym. In 20 minutes or less, you can improve your aerobic fitness and strengthen your body. The technique uses quick cycles of all-out intensity, with short rest periods in-between, and has been shown by researchers to provide not only a better fat-burning metabolism boost but multiple other health benefits.
Finding a HIIT exercise is also easy to do. HIIT can be done with no equipment or weights and machines, yoga-style, Cross-fit style, in groups or on your own. There are mobile applications like Aaptive, or online courses like Daily OM. Because HIIT challenges you with quick movements, it's important to have a working core system to stabilize and support the spine and pelvis, reducing your chance of getting injured.
Though we all have our favorite activities, sometimes we just need an exercise that fits with our life right now. Whether you are cross training or just hoping to slip in the most bang for your time, HIIT may be the best option for you after your core has fully recovered post-pregnancy. Three full-body HIIT sessions a week are enough. Be sure to get 1 or 2 recovery days in-between.
Our Mommy Ready members have experienced how our 15 min workouts change their body, and their life. After graduating with a restored core-system, we encourage them to keep this good exercise habit going with whatever exercise they enjoy. HIIT fits what most moms want, the most effective exercise in the least amount of time. Try it out today, and let us know what you think!
Does your fitness fix fit with HIIT or lie somewhere else? Check back often this year as we review lots of ways our members stay active after Mommy Ready.