HIIT And Menopause: Highly Effective Exercise

When you’re going through the many challenges of menopause, exercise may be the last thing you want to hear about. But we can get behind the value of HIIT because of its many health and mood benefits. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This type of training involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or recovery. The idea behind HIIT is to get your heart rate up to a high level during each interval.

HIIT has become very popular over the last decade, especially among athletes who want to improve their performance. But did you know that HIIT also helps women deal with menopause symptoms?

Why Would You Want To Exercise During Menopause?

Why Would You Want To Exercise During Menopause

During menopause, women begin to experience body changes – one of these commonly being weight gain around the stomach.

HIIT can be an excellent way to combat this weight gain and stop you from suffering from other side effects that come along with weight gain, such as feelings of sadness.

It’s worth noting that during menopause, you might not feel like exercising at all – and that is perfectly understandable. You shouldn’t feel pressured to lose weight from a normal life change that happens to every woman. However, if you want to start exercising for your mental health, HIIT is an excellent and fun way to do so.

Just make sure that you are exercising for yourself and listen to your body – when it tells you to stop, don’t push yourself too much.

How Exercising Can Help Your Mental Health During Menopause

There are many things impacting you mentally during menopause – you might be feeling depressed or anxious about your changing body and this new stage of life you’re entering. During menopause, your estrogen levels drop which has been linked to feelings of anxiety and depression.

While working out won’t increase your estrogen levels again, it can boost your endorphins which makes you feel happier and more energetic. This can also combat the menopausal symptom of feeling sluggish.

Another reason why HIIT workouts are so good for menopause is because it can take your mind off of the life change that you’re experiencing. It can leave you feeling accomplished with yourself instead of mourning the life stage that you are leaving.

If you are experiencing any pain related to menopause, there have been studies to indicate exercise being a natural pain relief. Therefore, moving your body might be a good natural way to reduce the pain that you are feeling.

What Is HIIT?

What Is HIIT

HIIT is high intensity interval training in which you work for a number of seconds on with a number of seconds off in between. HIIT is used to lose weight and keep it off. It works your muscle groups while also being excellent cardio. HIIT allows you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, so you can lose weight without spending so much time exercising.

A study of postmenopausal women showed that those who used HIIT training were more likely to stick with their exercise and lose up to double the amount of weight than postmenopausal women who used an endurance program.

Another benefit of HIIT workouts is that you don’t need to exercise as much to see the same benefits. For example, three HIIT workouts a week could have the same effect as five endurance workouts a week. This is particularly helpful if you are prone to suffering from tough menopause symptoms and need rest days between workouts.

How To Get Started With HIIT Workouts

Getting started with a HIIT workout could not be easier. You can often find free tutorials online, or you can make your own HIIT regime up as you go. Firstly, however, you need to determine how much time you are going to spend on and off.

If you are a beginner to HIIT, we might suggest 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. This allows you to have a decent break between working. You can continue with this pattern for 20 to 30 minutes. As you get more advanced or want to challenge yourself, try a shorter break period of 10 or 20 seconds.

The great thing about HIIT workouts is that you can customize it to how you’re feeling that day. Need a calmer workout? Make your off period longer for today. Want to challenge your body? Go for a shorter break.

Here are some great exercises to start HIIT with:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees
  • Jumping squats (or simple squats)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Leg raises
  • Push ups
  • Crunches

Use these exercises to start your HIIT journey, adding some weight lifting exercises as you become more confident.

Summary

Menopause isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on living a healthy lifestyle. There are many ways to stay fit and active during menopause. One of the best ways to do this is with HIIT workouts, which can both keep you fit but also help with menopause symptoms.