High Intensity vs. Low Intensity Cardiovascular Exercise
What is the purpose of learning the difference between high and low intensity exercise?
A knowledge of the effects of high intensity versus low intensity cardiovascular exercise will allow you to increase the efficiency of your workouts so that you will be able to burn more body fat in a shorter period of time.
Why is it so important to have an understanding of high intensity versus low intensity exercise?
Low intensity cardiovascular exercise (i.e., 40 to 50 percent of VO2 max. or 60 to 65 percent of your max. heart rate) burns fewer total calories, but a higher percentage of fat calories than high intensity exercise.
- High intensity cardiovascular exercise (i.e., 60 to 80 percent of VO2 max. or 80 to 85 percent of your max. heart rate) burns more total calories in less time and more absolute fat calories than low intensity exercise.
- Higher intensity exercise yields the same results as lower intensity exercise, but in a shorter period of time.
Guidelines for proper cardiovascular intensity to help me attain my fitness goals:
- Monitor your target heart rate by referring to the target heart rate chart. You should work out within a range that is most challenging for you.
- Novice exercisers should work within a range of 50 to 60 percent of their maximum heart rate.
- Once you adapt to an exercise intensity level, it is important to increase your workout intensity. By changing the intensity and/or duration of your aerobic workout every four to five weeks you will avoid plateaus and continue to lose body fat.
- Your Fitness Professional will work with you to design a workout which will incorporate interval training into your aerobic workout in order to improve your stamina, intensity and ability to burn fat.
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