When one thinks of cardiovascular exercise, thoughts of someone running for long periods of time at a slow pace may come to mind, as it is one of the most common forms of cardiovascular exercise. However, jogging on a treadmill for long periods of time can become boring, and individuals may lose interest in working out. The countless number of exercise equipment that is annually kicked to the curb is a testament to the fads of various exercise trends and developments. The good news is that new theories have emerged that may make cardio exercise more efficient for people trying to drop a few pounds and tone up their bodies.
One common theory for cardio exercise has been around for awhile, and has been generally perceived as the most effective theory. The theory states that an individual has to exercise for at least 20 minutes at 60%-80% of their maximum heart rate before they even start burning fat. The 60%-80% number is known as the “fat burning zone.” The information is commonly seen on treadmills and other exercise equipment, and usually reinforces that the user needs to stay in that range if they want to keep burning off the pounds, but it has been proven that the fat burning zone may not be the most efficient way to burn fat after all.
If research is done on whether the fat burning zone is a myth or not, it is tough to really say whether the theory is completely false or not. It is true that your body will burn fat in that zone, but it is false that your body will not burn optimum fat if the heart rate is outside of the intended heart rate zone. It has been proven that a person’s body can actually expand energy at higher intensities, which will burn more fat and ultimately have the final say in how much total fat is burned. The fact that more energy is burned at a higher heart rate has created an entirely new theory of cardiovascular work outs which focus on short bursts of maximum effort with a certain cardiovascular body movement.
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, can be used with running, or just about any piece of gym equipment that is intended for cardio. There is no set method on high intensity interval training. An example could be with running sprints. Running for a short period of time at maximum effort, resting for a short period, then repeating is a great example of HIIT exercise. Sprints will greatly increase the heart rate and keep it high so fat can be burned at a higher pace. HIIT exercise could also be used with riding an exercise bike at maximum effort, and then riding at a more relaxed pace in intervals.
Remember, it is important to ease into HIIT workouts. Proper stretching and warm up routines are imperative for preventing injury. A good ratio to follow at first would be 1:2. An example of this would be sprinting for 15 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds. As an individual becomes more experienced, they could adjust the ratio to 1:1.
HIIT exercise is a great way to perform cardiovascular workouts in a limited amount of time. These workouts can burn fat and increase stamina even more than traditional long-distance jogging. It also presents a great challenge for an individual to achieve a better ratio of exercise to rest. HIIT training is a truly unique aspect to the fitness world.