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Low Intensity Workout vs. High Intensity Workouts
Let us solve the debate on low intensity vs. high intensity workouts. There are many conflicting statement about how long and how hard you need to exercise in order to lose weight.
A high intensity workout, which is defined as exercises which push your heart rate up to 75% of its maximum or more, is infinitely better. High intensity workouts have been proven to increase metabolism and burn more calories. In fact, high intensity burns 9 times more fat per each calorie burn during exercise. The reality is that the activity that expends the greatest amount of total calories will lead to the most amount of fat burned! Best of all, the benefits become evident in a matter of weeks! High intensity exercise it’s not for beginners or those with certain health problems.
American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand – The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardio respiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults, Med. Science. Sports Exercise., Vol. 30, No. 6, pp. 975-991, 1998:
“The combination of frequency, intensity, and duration of chronic exercise has been found to be effective for producing a training effect. The interaction of these factors provide the overload stimulus. In general, the lower the stimulus the lower the training effect, and the greater the stimulus the greater the effect. As a result of specificity of training and the need for maintaining muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility of the major muscle groups, a well-rounded training program including aerobic and resistance training, and flexibility exercises is recommended. Although age in itself is not a limiting factor to exercise training, a more gradual approach in applying the prescription at older ages seems prudent. . .”
The reality is that low intensity exercise burns fewer calories. To achieve the same benefits of a high intensity workout, you are going to have to exercise longer. So, if you are going easy with your exercise, your are going to have to exercise longer!
Maximum Heart Rate (MHR or max HR)
Your maximum heart rate is a specific number, the maximum number of contractions per minute that your heart can make or the highest number of times a heart can beat in a minute of exercising, usually expressed as beats per minute.
It is very easy to determine an estimate of your maximum heart rate. For moderate intensity physical activity, simply subtract 220 – (your age) = Maximum heart rate. For more information on Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate, visit the CDC Web site.