When we mention cardio exercise, most people will think of swimming, walking, jogging, or other low-intensity workouts.
It is well-known that cardio is mostly a low-intensity training. However, it can easily be adjusted into intense cardio workouts.
Intense cardio workouts or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) consist of short, intense bursts of exercise with either active recovery (like less intense exercise) or complete rest in between.
At a low intensity level, you might burn more calories during an hour of jogging or walking. However, you wonâ€™t burn more fat, because low-intensity cardio tends to burn sugar in your bloodstream instead of fat.
The biggest unique advantage of intense cardio workouts is that instead of simply burning calories in general, it specifically focuses on your bodyâ€™s fat cells. Thus you can burn fat with high-intensity training while maintaining almost all of your bodyâ€™s muscle mass.
As well as specifically targeting your bodyâ€™s fat cells, intense cardio workouts provide several other unique benefits. One of the most important health benefits is its effect on your bodyâ€™s ability to take in and use oxygen, which is increased with long-term intense cardio workouts.
When you engage in low-intensity cardio, your body is only using a small amount of its aerobic capacity. Since HIIT cardio comprises short bursts of quick exercise, it makes your body to increase its oxygen uptake as you work out.
Another unique benefit of intense cardio workouts is excess-post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Because intense cardio leaves you feeling so tired, your body continues burning calories for hours afterwards.
Combined with a healthy diet, HIIT cardio is one of the most efficient and safe ways to lose weight and keep it off.
If you enjoy slow, distance running, continue doing it, but try to include one or two sessions of intense cardio workouts each week to â€śshockâ€ť your body, and add variety to your workout But always check with your doctor before doing high-intensity cardiovascular training especially if you have heart disease or hypertension and make sure not to overdo it!