Monday, December 12, 2011

Do you know the difference between high and low intensity cardio? Are both beneficial?

What’s the difference between low intensity and high-intensity cardio, and does one have more benefit than the other?

December 12, 2011
So many clients asks, "What’s the difference between low intensity and high-intensity cardio, and does one have more benefit than the other"? In this week’s blog, I’d like to address both of these questions.
Low-intensity training is performing an activity at a comfortable pace and maintaining it throughout the duration of the session. The session is 45 minutes to 1 hour in duration, and at 40-60% of your maximum heart rate. Long aerobic workouts have been thought to be the best method to reduce fat because the utilization of fatty acid generally occurs after at least 30 minutes of exercise. One of major benefits of low-intensity training is the preservation of your joints. A couple others include:
> Strengthening your cardiovascular system—heart, blood vessels and lungs
> Good for blood pressure and cholesterol
This type of training is extremely beneficial for those who are less fit, have an inactive lifestyle, are overweight, or have a history or are at risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, high-intensity cardio is completed in shorter durations of 20-30 minutes at 75-90% of your maximum heart rate. Though it’s not an easy task the benefits are extreme. First of all, a high-intensity workout is much more efficient than low intensity because more calories are burned in a shorter amount of time not to mention long sustained cardio is sometimes boring for many people. Other benefits of high intensity include:
> More calories burned post exercise
> Improved athletic performance
> Endorphin release. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer and they also combat symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.
Before doing a high-intensity workout, you must first find your max heart rate (MHR). You can easily do this by subtracting your age from 220. To begin your cycles, do a warm up for 3-5 minutes long, getting your heart rate to 65% of your max. When completed, increase your speed and run almost as fast as you can for 30 seconds. You are shooting for 75-90% of your max. After the 30 seconds, slow down to a walk. Walk at a comfortable speed for 90 seconds, or until you heart rate reaches 70%. This 70% is important in order for your body to recover. Repeat this scenario for 20-30 minutes.
It’s important to remember that high-intensity training is not for the beginner athlete, someone who is physically unfit or one with heart or other health issues. To perform a high-intensity cardio or training session you MUST be able to push your limits. If you are unable to reach a minimum of 75% of your max heart rate, you may not achieve the expected results, and working at a lower intensity may suit you better. However, do not be discouraged. After all, you may still burn fat and lose weight working at lower intensities, just be sure to dedicate a minimum of 45 minutes to the activity you choose.
Good luck and whatever method you practice, give it 100% and you will achieve your goals!

No comments:

Post a Comment