.. For Your Healthy Red Life!
By: Kimberly Bither, M.S.
There has been a trend in recent years of emphasizing low to moderate intensity workouts. This, in part, is due to the fact that people associate high-intensity (meaning your heart rate is approximately between 75 to 90% of your maximum heart rate) with high-impact (jumping or landing hard on the ground). Because of concerns over injury due to high impact landing, many higher intensity workouts are being ignored.
However, if you are conditioned, and have no health issues that would pose a problem, high intensity or vigorous workouts can have many benefits. Of course there is no single type of workout that is best for everyone, and some forms of exercise, like high intensity workouts, are not appropriate for everyone (always check with your doctor if you are unsure of what types of exercise are safe for you).
But if you are healthy and they are deemed safe for you, here are some advantages to incorporating more vigorous exercise into your routine:
1. You Burn Calories For A Longer Period Of Time After The Workout. A recent study in 2011 compared vigorous cycling with low-intensity cycling and found subjects burned more calories for 14 hours after the vigorous cycling sessions, yielding 190 more calories burned, in addition to what was burned during the exercise.
2. You Can Exercise Less Days Per Week. Of course, it is good to get exercise into your daily routine in many forms, including recreational and general physical activity (walking rather than driving, taking the stairs, etc…). However, as for dedicated exercise time, if you participate in higher intensity workouts, such as running, you only need to do these 3 or 4 days a week and you reap the full benefits of working out. In comparison, if you stick with low to moderate intensity workouts, such as walking or light dancing, you would need to do these 4 to 6 days a week for the most benefit.
3. Your Workouts Can Be For A Shorter Duration. Running for 2 miles equates to walking for 4 miles, as far as cardiovascular benefits. So if you run for 2 miles, it may take your 20-25 minutes, but walking for 4 miles may take you an hour.
4. You Burn More Calories Overall. Higher intensity workouts may burn nearly twice as many calories as low intensity workouts, for the same amount of time.
5. Better Cardio-Respiratory Fitness. Higher intensity workouts can really boost your overall cardiovascular and respiratory fitness levels due to the increased challenge on both systems.
Remember, high intensity workouts do not need to be every day, and they aren’t appropriate for everyone. And if you are concerned about impact, try cycling instead of running.
However, if deemed safe and appropriate for the individual, incorporating these types of workouts into your routine can bring many health benefits to your Red life!
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