High Intensity Interval Training or steady state cardio?

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Our clients tend to be active people. We have mixed martial artists, distance runners, yogis, Cross-Fitters and SoulCyclists. Each member will tout the benefits of their preferred activity, but we wanted to investigate if training intensely for brief bursts, high intensity interval training (HIIT), was better than taking a long run in the park (steady state cardio). In more recent times, the popularity of CrossFit has shone the spotlight on HIIT.  The fitness industry always has to showcase something fresh, a good old-fashioned run at a 10-minute-mile pace has earned more detractors.

It turns out both forms have benefits, so it will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle. In our research we learned that mixing both styles is ideal and as with many things in life, the things you don’t enjoy doing are probably good for you.

Both high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio are effective in their own ways.
— exercise physiologist Jonathan Mike, MS, CSCS, told Experience Life

Mike explains that a blend of both higher and lower-intensity cardiovascular training that’s tailored to your body and your goals is ideal.

The benefits of steady state cardio:

  • It causes unique adaptations in your heart, lowering your heart rate.
  • It can be relaxing and meditative.
  • It improves the efficiency of your overall aerobic engine, great for feeling good in life overall.

The benefits of HIIT:

  • If you are trying to lose fat, it is a very effective form of exercise. Many researchers attribute this to post-workout in which your metabolism is boosted for hours afterwards.
  • The intensity prepares your body to tolerate challenging athletic challenges, allowing you to “push through” to the next level.
  • You can get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time, similarly to whole body cryotherapy

Our conclusion after reading up on the topic is: Find a workout you like and do it. Mix it up everyone once in awhile. And don’t forget to come in for regular cryotherapy sessions so you can recover faster and get the most out of your active lifestyle.

Kathy Butters