Let’s face it, ladies, by the time we’re 30 our bodies have seen their fair share of disappointments thanks to carbs, fat, and baby weight (for some women) among many other reasons. But one thing is for sure; it’s possible to get our lean and sexy bodies back with a good fitness program. If you’ve searched around, chances are you’ve run into the “do cardio workouts” phrase a lot. Which makes sense because cardio workouts do burn calories and help you shed pounds, keep your heart healthy, and make you break a sweat.
The only problem is most women don’t really like them because they are associated with long, boring routines. Usually I think of cardio as running, which I hate, skipping rope, more running, or well, basically that’s about it. What a drag.
I know it’s good for me, but it takes me a long long time to get motivated to get out there and do something I don’t like at all. But there’s some good news for us all; with HIIT cardio workouts, you can achieve better results with shorter workouts, and by doing other activities than running.
YES! Tell me more! If you’re a runner, who enjoys it, I envy you. I really really do. For the rest of us out there, let’s read on.
What Is Cardio HIIT?
First of all, a cardio workout is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Cardio exercises strengthen muscles and burn fat. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training – a type of exercise that involves alternating between low and high-intensity workouts. So, HIIT cardio workouts are workouts that incorporate high and low-intensity exercises that burn calories.
Why Every Woman Over 30 Should Do HIIT
First of all, any workout that burns calories is good for weight loss. HIIT cardio is considered even more effective in that because it promotes a 24-hour after burn effect (also known as excess-post exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC). That means it increases your metabolism and thus extends the calorie-burning process for up to 24 hours after the training. They say 30 is when your metabolism starts to change and slow down in women. That is why it’s important to get a routine going that will counteract this process and keep you from slowly packing on the unwanted pounds.
It’s like burning extra calories for doing nothing more. Yeah, I can get in line with that.
Other benefits include:
- Anabolic effect: when you do HIIT workouts and consume slightly more calories than you burn you will put on muscles instead of fat.
- Improved lactate threshold: HIIT workouts enable you to handle lactic acid buildup in muscles better.
- Better insulin sensitivity: HIIT exercises prevent glucose from going to fat stores and direct it to the muscles.
The Best HIIT Cardio Workouts for Women Over 30
So far we’ve defined HIIT cardio workouts and will covered some below. They are easy to master and don’t even require equipment. A simple kettlebell, consistency, and determination will do just fine.
High intensity in n out squats
Start with your feet apart and arms close to your chest. Jump slightly and lower into a squat while bringing your feet closer (without changing the position of your arms). Rise to your starting position and repeat the whole process as quickly as possible for one minute.
Variation: for more intensity, you can make try higher jumps and swing your arms when you are in the squatting position.
Side-to-side shuffle jump
Start in a standing position with your arms by your side and feet shoulder width apart. Squat and reach your left arm to the outside of your left foot. Jump to the air and to the right and land in a squat position. While in that position, quickly reach your right arm to the outside of your right foot, jump to the left and repeat the whole process for about one minute. Make sure your movements are smooth and as fast as possible.
Plank pike jumps
Start in a full plank position and then bend your knees and hop your feet towards your hands. That should land you in a frontbend position with your feet much closer to your arms. Jump up and hop your feet back out to the plank position. Repeat the process as quickly as possible for one minute.
Start by standing upright and holding your kettlebell in the center with both hands. Squat until the kettlebell almost touches the ground and then rise to the upright position and end the movement in a jump. As soon as you land on your feet repeat the whole process by squatting, rising, and jumping. Do that for one minute.
For each of those four workouts, start by doing the routine and then take a 50 seconds break, then do the routine again, and take a 50-second break. Repeat that for as long as you can. Once you feel satisfied with the first, move to the second, third, and finally fourth.
If you have the chance you can add a simple-to-do outdoor HIIT workout to your list. Sprint 10 yards, walk back to the starting point, sprint 20 yards, walk back, sprint 30, walk back and repeat until you hit the 50-yard mark. You don’t need any equipment or special training, just an open field of fresh air.
Make sure to stretch your hamstrings before and after.
Alright ladies, I know it’s not pleasant, but hey, 4 cardio work outs that only take a minute, and one that only consist of short sprints? There’s no reason why we can’t work these into our daily routine. I’m going to try them all and see which one if my favorite. What do you think yours will be?