Is there a best type of cardio?

The question that so many people are asking before they undergo a cardio session. Let me explain you why there should be no dilemma. When we talk about types of cardio, mostly we think about long duration, low intensity, boring running on the treadmill or in your favorite park, stadium, etc. The other type would be high-intensity, lower volume, less chosen, interval cardio session.

Let’s explain this two types of cardio. The first one is characterized by slow running tempo, continuous running until the “desired” minutes are achieved. Doing this type of running should provoke somewhere between 101-141  bpm (heart beats per minute), so you will be in “aerobic” zone. What this zone tells you is basically your aerobic metabolism is working to supply your body with energy. The energy during this type of cardio comes from fat oxidation. Now, for someone that’s trying to lose fat, he/she would say that this is the best choice for them. Hold there just for a minute. Wait until the end. Read the next paragraph!

Second type of cardio or high intensity-interval training like we said is characterized by high-intensity, short term bouts, followed by rest interval that usually is in ratio of 2:1 meaning 30 sec of work followed by 15 sec of rest. During this type of work your body is supplied by energy from the anaerobic system. Muscle glycogen, glucose in blood, CP (creatine phosphate)  are the main sources of energy for this kind of workouts.

Probably you’re questioning yourself what this has anything to do with fat and losing fat as a result from this type of training. The answer is simple. Your body will burn overall more calories from HIIT, thus you will be burning more fat. So why then doing slow cardio for minutes and hours? Well, I would recommend mixing between this training choices. Slow running for time has more effect on parasympathetic part of the nervous system, thus you will feel more calmed after your training. Ideal for people dealing with too much stress, anxiety, etc. With HIIT you will do more in less time, so it’s perfect if you don’t have too much time for working out. Use the two types of cardio to get the best results!

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