Choosing The Right Cardio Exercise

Everyone has wondered at some point in time which cardio exercise is better – the high intensity, or the low intensity exercises. 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.

Scientists have discovered that during intensive exercise, your body burns glycogen, which is a form of stored carbohydrates primarily stored in your liver and muscles for energy.  During low intensity exercises, your body will burn a lot of fat as a proportion to other macronutrients.

So then, why are people who only walk still big in size? Ok, let’s explain one step further. The scientists were right when they said the human body burns more body fat during low intensity exercises like walking or swimming.  However, and here is the kicker, during a high intensity exercise such as running, the body will burn a lot more calories.

High intensity cardio exercise will juice up your metabolism even after you have completed your workout.  What this means, is that your body will continue to burn body fat hours after you have left the gym.  This effect is nearly non-existent in low intensity cardio or aerobic workout. Are you getting the hint yet?

Cumulatively, 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 – which means alternating high and low intensity exercise.


For example, you can walk for five minutes or so, then break into some jogging for another five 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. As an added bonus, switching between high and low intensity also uses up a lot more energy and burns more calories because it is seen as a shock to the system.

One of the best things about cardio is the more you do it, the more energy you will have. Cardio will help you to burn calories, although it’s more useful for keeping your energy levels high. If you’ve never tried cardio before, you should give it a shot.  If you like to exercise, you’ll find that cardio is the best way to boost your energy and keep in top shape.

If you are just starting out, you’ll want to go slow and keep your cardio exercise in track – as it is very easy to over exert yourself. The type of exercise you do all depends on you and what you like to do, what you hate doing, paying membership fees, and whether or not to buy equipment are all things you need to consider as well.

Let’s be honest here – if you choose something that you don’t like to do, you aren’t going to keep doing it for a long period of time.  Give it some thought – if you don’t like jogging, you aren’t going to get up at 6 AM and go running.  If you can’t find something you like to do, choose something you hate the least, which will normally be walking.

Walking is great exercise, as it suits all levels of fitness.  Anyone can start a walking program at any time; it is normally the intensity and duration that differs.  Walking is also a social exercise, as it isn’t difficult to find a training partner to chat with while you exercise.  Walking with a partner will also make time go by faster.

However, as we mentioned a little earlier in the article, you should always be trying to improve if you can. That means that even if you start off with a slow walk, you should eventually try and progress to brisk-walking. Of course, if you have injuries or other reasons why that’s not possible, then fair enough. You can instead compensate with a longer session, and a better diet.


No matter what exercise you choose, you should start at a low level of intensity and build it up over a period of weeks, which is essential to the longevity of your exercise program. If you start off too hard, you could end up with an injury which will require time off to get over. And this is what you don’t want. This is discussed in more detail in the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint.

If you are really in bad shape, you should start off by walking for ten minutes each day. Then, increase it by five minutes every two weeks.  To make things more interesting, you should try walking a different course every few days.  You can also roster a different friend to walk with you each day of the week. If walking isn’t your thing, then you may want to try a fitness centre.  They have loads of variety and normally have trainers on hand to answer any questions you may have.

When you choose a fitness centre, make sure that they give good service. If they aren’t willing to treat you well before you join, then they certainly won’t after you join. You should also make sure that the equipment they use is well taken care of. It is easy to find out, as all you have to do is listen to the machines.  If they squeak a lot or make noise, then chances are they are not being taken care of.

Another option, of course, is to purchase equipment and have it at home. If you choose this route, you will need to be committed to both educating yourself on how to use it, as well as ensuring you use it often enough to yield results. If space is an issue, you can get a resistance band set from Granite Fitness, which comes with instructions on how to use them. Another option is to check out the Granite Fitness Online Store. Quit hesitating – let’s go!

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