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10
Dec

2014

Which Is Better: Long, Low Intensity Cardio Routines or High Intensity Interval Training?

Helen Bush

The fitness industry and health professionals are always coming up with the best ways to lose weight, get a flat stomach and build muscle. We all know that for many years cardio has been at the top of the list in helping people burn fat and lose those excess pounds. For the past few years, most fitness professionals recommended performing long periods of less intense forms of cardio, such as walking on the treadmill for an hour or so. However, after years and years of performing these types of exercises, many people were not getting the results that they wanted, which lead to the fitness industry reevaluating the best way to lose weight.

 

 

Fat burning potential

For the last couple of years, health professionals have been telling us to perform long periods of low intensity cardio to lose weight. They based this theory on the idea that since we burn primarily fat while doing low intensity exercise and end up burning mostly carbs while performing high intensity exercises, we would lose more weight with the longer less intense form of cardio. However, when people were not achieving the results that they wanted, the professionals decided to take another look. What they found was that high intensity cardio was actually more effective at burning fat than longer less intense periods of cardio. They discovered that if you are not using carbs for energy then your fat cells are not able to take advantage of the energy pathways that carbs use, which means that you are unable to burn them. Therefore, you need to do some sort of high intensity exercise to allow your body the opportunity to burn fat.

 

Which is better

Most of us would believe that if high intensity cardio burns more fat, then that is all we should be doing. However, in your quest to lose weight and become healthier, it may not as simple as choosing one form of exercise over the other. There are many different benefits associated with each type of exercise, and you should make room for both types in your fitness routine in order to get the optimal results. Long periods of less intense cardio has been shown to reduce your triglyceride levels and increase your good cholesterol levels. It has also been shown to help improve the effectiveness of insulin to do its job and helps to eliminate glucose from your blood. So, while performing long periods of low intensity cardio may not help you lose the weight you want, it can benefit you in the long run.

It may not be as easy as deciding on one type of exercise over the other. You should never limit your fitness routines this way. There should always be room for multiple types of exercises in your fitness routine. Do not be afraid to add some variety to your workout to get the best results. By doing different types of exercises you can easily spice up your fitness routine and stave off boredom, which can have you looking forward to your next workout.

Helen Bush
Helen Bush is a self employed fitness writer who works with many health and fitness blogs. At a young age she discovered her passion for fitness and encouraging others. Helen enjoys being active and loves working out. In her middle and high school years she played an active part in her school basketball teams. Now she loves to study and participate in dance to help her stay active and fit. Her main goal is to help motivate others and push them to reach their fitness goals.