Low-Intensity Vs High-Intensity Cardio: Which Is Better For You?


There are generally two different approaches to doing cardio when you want to lose weight: ‘Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio’ and ‘High-Intensity Interval Training.’ They’re both very effective ways to strengthen your cardiovascular system, but different people (including professionals) have vastly diverse opinions on this subject.

The most common reason people do cardio is to lose or maintain weight. However, cardio is much more than that and it is absolutely necessary for maintaining good health. It keeps your blood pressure in check, increases your stamina, boosts your metabolism and makes you lose excess fat. Cardio also lowers your risk of heart disease. So which type of cardio exercises should you perform to achieve your particular goal?

Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio

‘Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio’ are exercises during which you work at about 60-70% of your ability for around 20 minutes. The rhythm and tempo of the exercises are constant, and these include walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. LISS is a very effective method when it comes to losing fat.

It is also perfect for beginners who haven’t developed enough endurance to try exercises with higher levels of intensity but want to or have to lose some weight and get into shape. Another upside to these exercises is that you need very little recovery, so you can perform them every day.

High-Intensity Interval Training

The fact remains: the higher the intensity of the exercise, the more calories you will burn. Higher intensity exercises focus on the ability to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, as well as developing strength and forcing your body to adapt to working under pressure. Execute a workout at your maximum capacity for a shorter period of time than you would LISS – often a minute or less is enough.

High-Intensity exercises are favored by athletes who have already built up their strength and endurance. These exercises include running on the treadmill, burpees, mountain climbing, jumping jacks, and so on. The downside is that you cannot do these exercises every day, as doing so will impact your muscle growth.

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