Everyone has wondered at some point in time which cardio exercise is better. To put it in simple terms, both low and high intensity exercises will help you to burn off body fat. The question here is which is the most effective to burn off MORE body fat?
When scientists first discovered that during intensive exercises, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates that are stored in your liver and muscles for energy. During low intensity exercises, your body will less glycogen, and more fat.
The scientists were right when they said the human body burns more body fat during low intensity exercises like walking or swimming. During high intensity exercise such as running, the body will burn a lot more calories. Even if the majority of the calories burnt are from glycogen, there are still many fat calories burned as well. But the total calories burned during high intensity exercise, far exceeds the total calories burned during low intensity exercise.
To put the icing on the cake, when your glycogen stores get low, the carbohydrates from your food you eat will later get converted into glycogen to fill up the store and won’t be converted to body fat when they are left unused for energy.
High intensity cardio exercise will also boost your metabolism even after you have completed your workout. What this means, is that your body will continue to burn calories hours after you have finished your workout. This effect is nearly non existent in low intensity exercise.
Accumulatively, your body will burn up more and more calories during and after you have finished a high intensity cardio exercise that it will with low intensity.
You can inject high intensity exercises into your cardio workout by introducing some interval training. You can walk for 5 minutes or so, then break into some jogging for another 5 minutes or so. Then, walk briskly again until you have caught your breath and then sprint for a minute before you walk again. From this point, simply alternate your running and walking for the next 15 minutes until you are finished.
The best way to make sure you are performing your intervals at the right intensity is to monitor your heart rate. This is exactly what we do at bodyMbrace!