Which Works Better: Low Intensity Cardio Workouts or High Intensity Cardio Workouts

So you’ve decided to lose some weight and the best way to do that is by doing a cardio workout. Now comes some choices. There are two major schools of thought when it comes to cardio workouts. There’s a high intensity cardio workout and a lower level intensity workout. There are drawbacks and benefits of each. Let’s take a deeper look into them.

Many trainers say that a lower level intensity cardio workout is ideal for burning fat. So if you’re looking to shed some pounds, then this route is likely ideal for what you want.

A low intensity workout targets body fat by using fat calories instead of muscle carbohydrate calories for energy. Since your body is using fat calories for the workout, you’ll burn more fat.

The important thing to remember with this workout is that you need to maintain your ideal heart rate throughout your entire workout. The easiest way to figure out your ideal heart rate is to subtract your age from 220 and then multiply this by .6. This is not an exact number but it will give you an idea of where you should be. It’s important to stay at this heart rate for at least 30 minutes for this workout to be effective.

The difference between this and a high intensity cardio workout is how difficult the actual workout is. High intensity workouts push you past your pain threshold and are too intense for most people, but you can burn more calories during this workout. The thing to keep in mind is that you’re not just burning fat calories. With this workout a lot of what you’re burning is coming from glycogen, which is carbohydrates found in your muscles.

Keep in mind that no matter what workout you choose to do, you still need to create a calorie deficit (burning more calories than what you consume throughout the day). That’s the only way that you’re going to lose weight.

For a different way to approach your workout, it may be best to start with some small intervals of intense cardio to get your heart rate up to the ideal level and then ease back into a lower level for the rest of the workout. That way you won’t be wasting the first ten minutes or so of your workout while trying to get your heart rate up to that level to maximize the fat burning.

Here are some examples of low intensity cardio workouts: biking, swimming, racquetball, rowing, or walking. High intensity levels are sprinting, spinning, or jumping rope. Basically, keep this thought in mind: if you can talk full sentences to someone while doing the exercise then it’s a lower intensity level. A high level would only allow you to say a few words before needing to gasp for breath.

For the best results try combining both workouts. It will help to get your heart rate up and burn more calories but then you can focus on burning fat rather than glycogen.

Shed Off Unwanted Pounds Through Yoga

It’s no secret that obesity is among the most prevalent health problems today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States has experienced a significant increase in obesity during the past two decades. In 2008, Colorado was the only state with an obesity prevalence of less than 20%. With the increasingly busy lifestyles we are leading these days, most of us no longer have time to exercise on a regular basis or prepare nutritious meals for ourselves and our families. According to the CDC, American society is now “obesogenic”.

If physical appearances were all you had to sacrifice with being overweight, it probably wouldn’t be too bad. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Obesity can lead to numerous health problems, some of which can be serious and even fatal. According to the National Institutes of Health, obesity increases the risk for coronary heart disease, cancers (breast, colon, and endometrial), stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, liver and gallbladder disease, respiratory problems, and gynecological problems (infertility, abnormal menstruation). But how can you avoid these health risks if you don’t even have time for a decent weekly workout?

The answer may lie in yoga. Based on ancient Hindu concepts and principles, yoga is an effective way to not only lose weight but also to improve one’s physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. One of the great things about using yoga to lose weight is that it can work for anyone regardless of gender, age, or current physical condition. Yoga also doesn’t require much time and it can be done practically anywhere, making it the perfect weight loss solution for someone who has a perpetually jam-packed schedule.

Unlike other regular workout routines, yoga addresses the issue of excessive weight mainly through the mental and spiritual aspects. Through meditative breathing and mind control, yoga enables an individual to become more emotionally stable and reduces the need to binge on comfort food. The stretching exercises and various positions in yoga are also effective in strengthening the bones and muscles, as well as boosting the metabolism and improving the flow of oxygen throughout the body. All these help in breaking down excess fat cells and flushing them out of the body, ultimately resulting in weight loss.

If you have never done yoga or any other sort of meditation before, you may be skeptical as to its effectiveness in helping you lose weight. This is quite understandable; after all, how can simple breathing techniques melt off the extra pounds on your body? However, once you’ve tried yoga, you may end up pleasantly surprised at how it can help you lose excess weight in a way that isn’t stressful or time-consuming.

Yoga comes in different forms so it’s easy to choose the type that will work best for your body and your schedule. If weight loss is your objective, one of the best forms of yoga you can try is the Kundalini, which was made popular in the United States in the late 1960s. It involves a combination of breathing techniques, meditation, and moderate movement. You don’t have to stop doing yoga either even after you have dropped down to your ideal weight. You can continue with your chosen yoga program for the purpose of staying fit physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Look Hot Naked on a Budget

Do you want to look sexy naked? Maybe you’d like to reduce stress, or fit into a favorite pair of jeans. Whether you’re seeking to lose some weight, increase your ability to handle stress, or keep your body oozing sex appeal, it’s easy to keep fitness a priority, and you don’t even have to join a gym.

There are ways to build muscle and work your heart that don’t require a gym membership or costly equipment. For muscle tone, you can use books or milk jugs filled with water like handheld weights to work your arms and legs. You can also buy cheap hand weights at many discount stores if you don’t want to get flak from roommates about your responsible spending.

Cardio is also something you can tackle without joining a gym. The human body didn’t evolve to run on a treadmill. It evolved to chase dinner. This means there are multiple added benefits, for your mind and your body, from working out in ways that match the body’s reasons for wanting exercise. Use your neighborhood like an urban track, and if you do a combination of walking and running (interval training) you’ll really get your heart pumping which makes it easier to drop the weight, look hot naked, and catch someone’s eye to get your heart pumping in another way. 

If you don’t like the idea of running or walking in your neighborhood, you can check out the local parks. Running in an area with lots of plant life, like a park, has an added stress-busting benefit. (Notice how doctors’ offices often have plants in the waiting room? That’s because the green of the plant has a soothing effect. Don’t believe that? Close your eyes, imagine standing in a forest full of luscious green, and see how it feels to be there.)

You can save money by not buying a bathroom scale, or make some money by selling the scale you have. You can reach fitness goals more easily by not looking at the number on a scale, since that number can change due to many things that don’t gauge physical fitness. Scales can get you too focused on the numbers to enjoy what you’re doing, and having fun with your fitness routine makes it so much easier! Rather than getting on the scale all the time, focus on how your clothes fit. Think of how awesome it feels to be more than a number.

If you prefer to work out indoors, you can still reach your goals on a budget. Keep an eye on local classified ads and sites like Craigslist, or join the local Freecycle group for exercise equipment at low or no cost. You could also find or start a running group in the area, so you can meet people who also want to look hot naked without spending extra money.  Maybe you’ll meet someone in a running group who wants to look hot naked with you. Talk about positive motivation to stay in shape!

Keeping Healthy on Your Own

Who would have thought your basic living habits would change this  dramatically so quickly?   You used to walk everywhere on campus, and take advantage of the track or shoot hoops on weekends.  Now, you find yourself sitting behind a desk for the majority of the week and are really beginning to miss your ready access to fitness facilities. 

The new job doesn’t pay enough quite yet for you to buy a gym membership.  Besides, you’re just getting settled into your new digs.  You could easily use the cash just for  furniture .  Still, you don’t want to get out of shape right off the bat, so what do you do?

Take charge of your health.  This is the best time in your life to form healthy eating and fitness habits. Start with food.   It’s ok if you’re not a great cook right now, but there is absolutely no excuse for your not being at least a good one, this time next year. It isn’t rocket science.  Just  sign onto the Internet and do some basic research on nutrition.  Find out what you need in terms of nutrition for your particular age and body type, or check with your doctor.  Then,  take it upon yourself to learn to cook four healthy dishes over the next six months. Again, turn to the Internet, where you will find a plethora of cooking sites and nutrition tips.  After you have mastered four simple, but nutritious dishes, add another four in the following six months.  By the end of the year, you will know how to cook one health meal every day of the week with an alternative left so you can switch things around when you feel like it.

Fitness doesn’t have to be such an obstacle to face either. Mind you, our bodies weren’t made out to sit at a desk all day.  They were designed to move, and moving is the only way you will stay healthy and fit.  There are certain things you can do right at your desk to help.

When you find yourself alone, roll your fists into a ball and pump those arms up over  your head. Do this  every chance you can find in from 30 seconds to 1-minute intervals.  While you’re at it, try tapping those toes on the ground rapidly for the same period of time.  Lift your knees as high as you can, given office attire and décor.  Each time you go into the restroom,  shadow box, whether in a toilet stall or, if you’re alone, in front of the mirror.  Swing hard.  Use your whole body to throw punches.  Thirty seconds here and thirty seconds there will add up faster than you realize. 

Always opt for stairs instead of elevators.  Ride your bike or walk to work if you can, and if that isn’t practical, make a point of walking whenever it is possible.

The bottom line is to develop healthy habits now. Common sense. Keep moving. It works!