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cardio fitness class at the gym

Cardiovascular exercise has been proven to be the best exercise to lose weight. There are several different types of cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, dancing, aerobics, cycling and many, many more. Some of which are low intensity such as walking or swimming, and others are high intensity such as running or aerobics.

            Cardiovascular exercise raises the heart rate for an extended period of time, which improves oxygenation throughout the body. Cardiovascular exercise is very important for anyone who is looking to burn calories and lose weight. In addition to weight loss cardiovascular exercise is good for the heart and lungs by building them up and making them strong, it reduces stress and promotes healthy restful sleep and reduces the risks of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. All cardio exercise is good for the body and helps burn calories. So which ones burn fat and burn fat the quickest?

Initially man thought that high intensity cardio exercises would burn fat faster because you are increasing the heart rate faster to burn more calories. This is true, however what scientists figured out is that during high intensity cardio exercises the first thing the body uses are glycogen, which are the bodies stored carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important for the body to use energy. However, the point of doing cardiovascular exercise is to burn fat. What scientists figured out was that during low intensity cardio exercises the body burns fat leaving the glycogen stores for regular everyday activities. Still you would have to do a lot of low intensity cardio to burn even 1 pound of fat because low intensity exercises burn fewer calories than high intensity cardio.

            Ultimately, what man figured out was that even though low intensity cardio burns fat, high intensity cardio boosts the metabolism to burn calories and continues to burn calories long after a workout is through. So even though high intensity exercises use glycogen stores first, once all of the stores are used up the body moves on to fat stores. Additionally, after high intensity exercises the body will convert food from later meals back into glycogen and store them for energy, rather than turning the food into fat.

            So to get the most out of your cardio workouts it is important to do both high intensity and low intensity cardio exercises. One way to do this is through interval training. Interval training involves bursts of high intensity work alternated by periods of low intensity or rest. An example of this would be walking for 5 minutes then running for 5 minutes. Then walking for 3 minutes, while the body has a chance to recoup and catch your breath, then run for 1 minute followed by walking 1 minute. And continue to alternate walking and running for 1 minute each up to 20-30 minutes (depending upon how long your workout is). No only will you burn more calories, you will burn more fat and also increase your lung capacity so you catch your breath quicker and are able to do more high intensity activities.

            Implement interval training into your workout plan. Or you can do one day of low intensity and the next day high intensity. It is all up to you how you want to implement cardio exercise into your exercise routine but remember it is necessary so don’t leave it out.