The first thing that comes to most people's minds when thinking about losing weight is doing CARDIO. There's a lot of mixed information in the fitness world regarding cardio. Some say to do long steady pace cardio, while others say to do short H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio. Which is better? Which should you be doing?. All this information can be confusing, so I'm going to help you by explaining what the benefits of each cardio are and how you can incorporate them into your training regimen to achieve your fitness goals quicker.
Cardio has many benefits besides aiding you with weight loss. Cardiovascular exercises put stress on your heart and circulatory system by keeping your heart rate and blood pressure elevated for a long time. There are also some benefits that happen after your cardio session, like the decrease of your resting heart rate and blood pressure, and the increase of your lung and heart volume. You will also see benefits that help with the lowering of your bad (LDL) cholesterol, improvements in your circulation and the strengthening of your connective tissue.
Steady pace cardio is a form of aerobic activity that you do for a long period of time like walking, jogging, the elliptical machine etc. The good thing about steady paced cardio is that since its low intensity you can do it for a long period of time before your gas empties out. Wth the low impact on your joints this is a type of cardio that can be done on a daily basis in some cases. High Intensity Interval Training is when you go absolutely all out, I'm talking about 110% for a short period of time followed by a period of rest or lowering the intesity from 110% to maybe like 70%. Since this in more intense and places more stress on your body and joints it's best to do HIIT Cardio only about 2-3 times per week and for 5-20 mins.
Which cardio is better for you really depends on what your fitness goals are, everyone's goal and body type are different, so not one thing will work for everyone. If you are a beginner doing more of a steady paced cardio would probably be of better benefit to you. It will be low impact on your joints and it will slowly help you increase your fitness level until you feel comfortable doing something harder. HIIT Cardio would be better for someone who is in a more intermediate or advanced fitness level. By this time your body can hold up to a more high intese pace and you will have less of a chance of getting inured. Both types of cardio are beneficial but HIIT cardio will help you burn more calories not just as you do the actual cardio, but you will get an after burn affect and continue to burn calories for a few more hours. This is a similar effect that you would get from weight training. Just because HIIT Cardio can burn more calories than steady paced cardio doesn't mean that it's the best type for your fitness goal. If you are having trouble figuring out what cardio you should be doing for your fitness goals, sign up for one of our customized programs and get to your goal quicker.