Even though cardio might be something we all hate in one way or another it is definitely something that has to be done. Cardio has many benefits such as:
* Weight loss
* Stronger heart and lungs
* Increased bone density
* Reduced stress
* Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
* Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
* More confidence about how you feel and how you look
* Better sleep
* More energy
* Setting a good example for your kids to stay active as they get older
Many of the benefits listed above may be something you would like to apply into your life.
Here in this section we will talk about mainly 2 different types of cardio which are HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) and later in this section we will talk about most likely the biggest controversy of all which is when to do the cardio.
This type of cardio is quite amazing at what it can do if you do it correctly. In a nutshell HIIT cardio is done only a 20-30 mins total. But in that amount of time you will be sweating bullets if the intensity is high. The following in a example of HIIT cardio.
3-5 minute warmup at a steady pace of walking to powerwalking speed
8-12 sessions then of sprinting fast for about 30-45 seconds and then walking steady for 1 minute and repeat
3-5 minutes cooldown session where you just take it easy and feel the burn.
This session will literally last you about 20-30 minutes which does not seem like a lot at all but believe me you will be begging to stop during the process or near till the end. If done correctly you should be sweating like crazy and feel very tired which is a good thing as you know you had a great cardio session. Some of the benefits of HIIT are:
* Short duration (20min – 30min) for when your short of time
* High intensity (interval training) for your heart
* Burn tons of calories & revs up your metabolism throughout the day which is also known as the afterburn effect.
* Overall you feel great throughout the day.
This type of cardio is more easier on the joints but burns a good amount of calories. It´s a slow and steady state keeping your heart rate at a certain level for a certain amount of time. Can be a bit boring unless you enjoy walking or power walking for a prolonged period of time but then again cardio in itself is sometimes dreadful. There are also a couple of great benefits to LISS which are:
* Long duration (45min – 1 hour) if you enjoy walking or powerwalking
* Low intensity in which you can still hold a conversation and are not out of breath
* Burn fat and not carbs
* Preserve joints
HIIT or LISS?
You may be asking yourself which do I choose. It really all depends on time frame and what your looking to get out of it. HIIT is great for on the run and burns more calories then LISS but at high intensity carbs are used more to fuel the workout since it is so intense then after carbs it would be the muscle stores which we do not want to happen. LISS is longer and burns less calories then HIIT but uses fat more as fuel then carbs since it is not so intense. Why not use both such as LISS on your lifting days and HIIT on your off days. So it really is up to you in which fits your lifestyle best.
When to do Cardio?
This is the most controversial issue I would say with cardio. The truth is whenever it´s best for you. There is no better or best way but just a window of opportunity where it can be more effective. The 2 biggest times debated are in the morning before breakfast on a empty stomach or after lifting weights. The issue being in the morning you doing cardio on a empty stomach where your body has not had food in about 8 hours or so which can be catabolic and muscle stores could be used instead of fat. Also after lifting weights is debated because after lifting your carbs are depleted from your workout and it can also be catabolic.
I truthfully like to do LISS cardio after my lifting sessions because my carbs are depleted but I have not been without food for 8 hours so to me it´s not as catabolic as people make it seem and LISS to burn more fat then what´s left of carbs as to me it´s not the calories I care about burning but the leaner I want to look.
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