High-intensity interval training and high-impact aerobics are popular for their calorie-burning potential. Yet, the low-intensity cardio has its own relevance. It is a tried-and-true method of exercise, which might not seem new or exciting way to many. However, it can become a crucial part of anyone’s work out plan, as it offers a number of benefits.
What is low intensity cardio?
Low intensity cardio is performed between 40 to 60 per cent of the maximum heart rate of a person. Maximum heart rate can be calculated by subtracting the current age of a person from 220, and multiplying the result by 0.4 and 0.6 to know the end points of a person’s low-intensity cardio range. To fully reap the benefits, one must ensure that what they are doing is actually low-intensity.
Effects of low-intensity Cardio
1. Calorie-Burning Potential:
As many forms of low-intensity cardio exercises help in burning calories, one can drop pounds or maintain the current weight. For example, for a weight of 180 pounds, a person can burn 257 calories per hour by walking at 2.5 miles per hour. Whereas, the same person can burn 343 calories per hour by bicycling at a leisurely pace. A person who weighs more than 180 pounds is likely to burn more calories.
2. Muscular Endurance:
In order to build muscular endurance, low-intensity cardiovascular exercise can be an effective method. Where sprinting and high-intensity exercise helps in building muscle, long sessions of low-intensity cardio can be great for muscular endurance rather than mere raw strength. This is because low-intensity cardio provides higher number repetitions at low resistance, such as steps or cycle pedal strokes.
3. Appetite Control:
Low-intensity cardio can also help in controlling the appetite. According to psychology, a person who doesn’t exert herself/himself to a point where he sweats heavily, he may feel less hungry and tired. Research from the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology indicates that long sessions of low-intensity cardio also impact hormone activity in a manner that blunts hunger. A study also revealed that a cardio session of 60-minutes increased the release of an appetite-blunting hormone in the body and decreased the release of a hormone that encourages hunger.
Methods for low-intensity cardio
Two methods for low-intensity cardio work that are well worth the time are:
1. An hour to burn it slow:
Run, row, or stair climb for 60 minutes at the heart rate of 120 to 140 BMP. One must be able to maintain this heart rate. Besides, working out this way for a full hour is enough to see the benefits.
2. Go on a hike
Hiking at a brisk pace for 60 minutes can work wonders. This is more than a simple walk in the park. Hitting the trails with some hills and challenging topography can be the best choice. Taking a person into nature, this method relieves stress and promotes recovery.
It’s critical to know that a person should not go too hard on the long sessions of low-intensity cardio. Going too hard can make one miss out on the heart benefits and also hurt his/her recovery.