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Kalev Personal Training Fitness Tip - Cardio Confusion

Posted Apr 30 2009 12:00am

One question that I am frequently asked is what’s the best way to do cardio. The answer to this is not as straight forward as it might seem, the answer depends on what your goals are. High intensity cardio which is generally defined as over 70% of your maximum heart rate is great for burning lots of calories and increasing your bodies capacity for exercise. If you’re looking to improve overall health, athletics or just loose weight this is probably the right choice for you. On the other hand high intensity cardio is very difficult for beginners and can lead to repetitive strain injuries if performed too frequently.

Another type of cardio to consider is interval training, an example of this could be running hard for 2 - 5 minutes and then decrease your intensity for 1 - 2 minutes or run for 45 sec and walk for 90sec. This type of training allows you to push yourself harder then would be possible with a constant intensity but also provides an opportunity to take breaks which is ideal for new exercisers. This is also great simulation for altheletes who perform in anaerobic state sports. The downside to interval training is that it won’t maintain your heart rate at a consitant rate so you may not get as much benefit to your cardio vascular system.

Finally there is a low/moderate intensity cardio which is usually defined as less then 70% of your maximus heart rate. Lower intensity cardio is good if you are already fatigued or wish to have a relaxed cardio session. Staying at a lower heart range also forces your body to burn a higher portions of fat to carbs then at a higher intestity. Unfortunatly, low intensity cardio does not burn as man calories, nor does it provide substansial cardiovascular benefit.

So for most people there is the best option is to do a mix of two or even all three types of cardio. The decision should be based on what would complement the rest of your fitness routine and what type best emphasises your goals.

by Kalev Personal Training Trainer - Eric walker
Vancouver Personal Trainer - Kalev Training in Yaletown


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