HIIT simply means High-Intensity Interval Training. As the name implies, it is a form of training that involves intense exercises with short periods of rest in between. It is challenging yourself to stretch beyond your regular fitness routine. It is a set of exercise that is typically anaerobic, they break down glucose without oxygen, making it difficult for oxygen to flow freely during the activity.
HIIT exercises can serve as an alternative to people who already have a steady workout routine, else they would lead to muscle sprains and injuries. So if you are interested in knowing about HIIT workouts during periods, then I assume that you are not just starting your fitness journey.
High intense exercises consumes more energy and require so much activity within a short span, the time for rest in between may not be as long as the time spent exercising. The body experiences a high level of fatigue during periods. Therefore, HIIT during periods would increase the level of fatigue. If you feel you can cope with HIIT workouts, it is absolutely okay but it shouldn’t be throughout your period days. Periods have to do with your reproductive system which is around your abdominal region. Intense exercises exert extra stress on your core and could lead to severe cramps after the workout session. The body needs enough attention regardless of your fitness routine.
Four Types Of HIIT
HIIT workouts vary in type and length of exercises.
Tabata is at the beginner’s level of HIIT and it lasts for five minutes. You complete about 8 rounds of exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then go another 20 seconds. The exercises here include: bicycle crunches, squats, high knees.
- Cardio HIIT
Cardio has to do with the heart. So this is targeted at improving the heart rate. This type of HIIT is highly discouraged if you have a heart condition. Ensure that you speak to your medical assistant before engaging in cardio HIIT
- Full Body HIIT
Full body HIIT do not really require a special form of expertise. It is recommended, no matter how far you are in your fitness journey.
- Weights in HIIT
This type of HIIT involves lifting weight with the 8 rounds and 20 seconds time. It is very tasking and is not advisable for beginners. Although beginners can take deliberate steps into this.
What Happens When You Do HIIT During Periods?
Remember HIIT workouts are not supposed to be your routine, and periods are not always the right time to challenge yourself or stretch beyond your limits. Intense workouts are very tasking on the body generally, subjecting the body to them excessively can lead to the problems the exercises were meant to avert.
- Joints sprain
HIIT involves high impact workouts and excess activity from the body like box Jumping, because they happen quickly and repeatedly during a short period of time, there’s a high chance of making incorrect moves and landing roughly. This could result in spraining the joints. Women who usually experience pains in their legs or joints during periods, may not quickly recover from this effect.
- Hormonal Imbalance
The short bursts of intense exercises results in imbalance of the hormones that drive your menstrual cycle, resulting in an irregular cycle, bleeding outside your period days and having extremely light flows.
- Indifference And Lack Of Interest.
PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome) comes with dreadful symptoms like fatigue, depression and mood swings. High Intense Trainings would increase effects of PMS. There might be an unwillingness to continue after the first trial, since it over works the body in its condition. This may lead you to skipping even normal fitness routines. Go for low impact exercises instead and be kind to your body in your choice of exercises.
- Glucose Consumption
During exercise, glucose from carbohydrates and the liver is exhausted. The stored glucose is made up of connected glucose molecules called glycogen. Glycogen stores are refilled during the period of rest. HIIT do not give room for enough rest to replenish the glycogen stores, resulting in low glycogen. This leads to excess fatigue and weakness and it is a very unhealthy state to be in during periods.
What Exercises Fit In For HIIT?
Like I said earlier in this article, HIIT are basically anaerobic exercises, that is, they are simply without oxygen and intense. They work efficiently in burning calories faster. HIIT exercises are not entirely independent of themselves, they work as a set of activities before resting and going again. There are various kinds of HIIT exercises. they include, weight lifting, sprinting, burpees, push up, and other exercises that leads to a high demand for oxygen that the oxygen supply.
Can HIIT involve Aerobic Exercises?
Aerobic exercises pump oxygenated blood to the heart and provides oxygen for working muscles. They give room for the lungs to take in more oxygen.
The major difference between aerobics and anaerobic is the use of oxygen during exercises. Aerobics are carried out with oxygen, the heart rate is improved which enables you to catch deep and quick breathes. Aerobic exercises can be retained for about 30 minutes. They include; jogging, stair climbing , jumping rope, rowing. Etc
Anaerobic exercises is meant to be short and fast, it doesn’t give room for as much oxygen. Rather the body uses stored glucose in the body. They can only be retained for 15 seconds.
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises can be combined for a healthy fitness routine, but aerobics are not HIIT. Anaerobic exercise make you breathe harder and are not low impact, on a contrary aerobics are not as intense.
PMS symptoms start about 5 days before your period.
Modify your workout plans during that stage, ensure it is favorable to your body. HIIT is an awesome fitness routine but not for that time of the month, not just because of cramps but it puts your body in an extreme and uncomfortable position. Paying attention to your body should be your key factor in planning up your routine.