Feeling Restless In Self-Isolation? Step Outside for A Cardio Workout

Right now, is the best time to get back into the great outdoors for a good cardiovascular training session. Reach the below article from one of our trainers to better understand two different types of a cardio workout. It goes without saying these are in addition to the well documented medical benefits. Such as, improvement in moods and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

What is the best cardio workout for you?

Although the fitness hysteria seems to be mainly revolving around weight training in contemporary society, cardio is still essential to achieving your health and fitness goals and peak physique. There are two predominant types of cardio that are important for not only maintaining that ripped figure but also enabling you to benefit from a range of well publicised healthy side-effects.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Steady State Cardio are two labels that essentially sum up the different forms of cardiovascular exercise. As the names suggest each type of cardio training is very different and harbors different health and fitness benefits. For this article I will briefly explain what each of these labels mean, and asses the benefits of each, then I will look at when which type of training should be incorporated into your program, from my experience. 

For both of these types of training it is important to be aware of your Maximum Heart rate (MHR). You can use a simple equation to work this out -220 minus your age. By way of example, if you are 20 years old you subtract 20 from 220 – leaving you with an MHR of 200 beats per minute. 

HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training

As the name suggests this type of training involves a high energy output for a short amount of time followed by a rest period to let your heart rate (HR) come down. It is ok for your heart rate to reach or come close to your MHR as long as it comes down relatively fast during your period of rest.

There is no one way to do these intervals of high intensity efforts – it can be through sprinting, stationary bike, rower, cross-trainer or the novel approach of just swinging your arms and legs around in no particular fashion.

In theory, you can do this type of training pretty much everywhere depending on how easily your embarrassed….. personally I prefer to do these efforts of high intensity away from the public eye. A good measure of how long you need to hold your intensity for is how tired you feel or how close to your MHR you are getting. This is also how you can measure your rest between efforts. When your heart rate is back to around 50% of your MHR you can perform another high intensity interval.

I usually recommend anywhere from 10-30mins of this type of training depending on how your feeling. An example of this type of training is a 30sec sprint followed by a 1min walk, I usually repeat this10 times. From my experience HIIT burns more calories and retains more muscle mass but in turn will make you a bit hungrier. 

Steady-State Cardio

This form of cardio has been around forever, yet the benefits are still being fully understood to this day. It has been discovered that this type of training is very good for fat loss, in particular. Once again you don’t have to be a scientist to work out what is involved with this type of cardiovascular training, it is essentially a steady effort of physical exertion maintained over a longer period of time. Walking, bike riding, and low intensity exercise all come under this category of training.

For optimal fat oxidisation, it is best to keep your HR around 60-65% of your MHR through the duration of your training session. For steady-state cardio I usually recommend 30-60mins. This type of exercise will be more effective in fat burning over a longer period of time (say 60mins) but will not be as effective in terms of calories burnt. 

In my opinion the jury is still out as to which type of cardio is best as I believe each type has its time and place. My approach is usually if I know my diet has been good. I will do steady state cardio which usually consists of a walk on the treadmill. If you have eaten an more calories throughout the day than HIIT may be the better alternative due to the longer lasting metabolic effect.

If your looking to stay indoors try these home workouts

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