Cardio does just that - it exercises the heart. Endurance exercises such as running or Stairmaster temporarily increases the work that your heart does making it stronger by growing thicker heart muscles which helps pump more blood when you are not exercising. In the rest of the body, endurance exercises increase the number of mitochondria (little things in your cells that create energy for your body). While these are just a couple of reasons why cardio is good for you, what's the best way to approach it?
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a method where short bouts of intense exercise is sandwiched in-between periods of more moderate exercise. For example, running at 95% maximum speed for one minute followed by three minutes of 30% maximum and repeating that cycle five times.
The other method is continuous training which is running at one speed the entire length of the workout.
Which is better according to research and science?
Over time, it's shown that HIIT actually performs with the same efficacy if not more than continuous exercises. In some cases, it has been shown to increase the amount of blood your heart pumps by 10% and also lead to the same increase in mitochondrial density in your body! Overall, both are great modalities and you can even incorporate both in your routine to get the best of both worlds and add some spice to your routine.
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