Many times people do not take the time to consider their workouts and how what they do will effect results. Mindless exercise will not bring you optimal results, and so it’s important to take the time and consider the actual workout, and your progress of its effects. One of the key considerations in profiling and designing an excellent exercise program is considering intensity levels.
Many people who begin a workout program are confused at which they should focus their attention on: high intensity or low intensity? Both high intensity and low intensity workouts have their advantages. It all depends on what your fitness goals are. Let’s compare high intensity workouts with low intensity workouts and maybe you will be able to determine which you should focus your fitness program around.
This type of exercising is definitely the most popular type of exercising these days because people appreciate the fact that it gives significantly more results in less time. We are all hard pressed for time nowadays and many would rather get their workout done and over with so they can move on to their many other responsibilities.
How does a high intensity workout deliver more results?
High intensity is pretty self explanatory. You will be working your body much harder during a high intensity workout than a low intensity workout so you will be burning more calories in less time. High intensity burns more calories because you reach about 75% or your maximum heart rate as apposed to only 50% of your maximum heart rate during low intensity workouts. Your metabolism will be really pumping and you will continue to burn more calories after completing high intensity workouts. You also burn more calories from fat per minute than you would doing a low intensity workout.
So you can see why people would choose high intensity workouts. If their goal is to burn fat, gain strength, and do it in less time, this is the right choice for them. Unfortunately, many cannot take advantage of high intensity workouts for various reasons. It should also be noted that high intensity workouts should not be overdone as it could be very taxing on the body and cause a burnout.
Examples of high intensity workouts are: sprinting, interval training with bodyweight exercises, and plyometrics.
Low intensity workouts are more traditional but don’t deliver as much results as high intensity workouts. That’s not to say that low intensity workouts are a waste of time. Many people enjoy a low intensity workout and have the time to dedicate to it and there is nothing wrong with that. Some find that a low intensity workout is much more stress relieving.
Although it takes much more time to get the results you would see from high intensity workouts, you can still burn fat with low intensity workouts. It is, in fact, the best workout for certain cases. The elderly usually can’t do high intensity workouts but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to get in their cardio. Low intensity workouts allow them to stay fit and healthy without the risk of injury. What about those who already have injuries? They can’t perform a high intensity workout either. Again, low intensity workouts are good for them.
Also, there are fitness professionals who are trying to lose that last inch of fat without losing any muscle. They are eating a very strict low calorie diet and wouldn’t want to do high intensity workouts as this would deplete their muscle mass. So they perform low intensity workouts to get rid of fat without losing precious muscle.
Examples of low intensity workouts are: jogging on a trail or treadmill, simple cycling, elliptical machines (without intervals), or water aerobics.
So, which do you think you would benefit from?
Most would choose to do high intensity workouts for the best results, but understandably there are some who would say that low intensity is all they can handle.
Even if high intensity is your workout of choice, there may be days where you don’t feel up to a hard workout but getting in anything is better than nothing. This is when low intensity workouts will come in handy.
Whether you choose high intensity or low intensity, consistency is key. Any workout program that you follow regularly will serve you in promoting good health, healthy weight management and effective weight management.