Man works out at home using a chair

How Hard Do We Need To Train?

Many hard workout programmes promise impressive results however that doesn’t mean that intense exercises are always needed to see yourself making progress. Whether you’ve set yourself a goal of weight loss, improved sporting performance, or boosted fitness, there’s a place for moderate, easy and, of course, intensive workouts within each exerciser’s schedule.

When Is It Best To Do A Low Intensity Workout?

An easy workout of low-intensity exercises will still boost your heartrate, although not to such a point that you’ll need to breathe more heavily. If you imagine a scale between one and ten, easy or low intensity workouts should rank at a 4-6.

During this kind of activity, your heart rate should be around 40-50% of your top heart rate. Essentially, you should feel sufficiently comfortable to continue doing the activity over a longer time period.

This type of activity has a great value in that you’re able to do it for a long time. Low-intensity exercises improve your joints’ range of motion, lowers stress levels, increases the total number of calories you burn, and helps you to recover from harder workouts.

A lot of your daily chores and activities might count as easy, low-intensity exercises. Walking the dog, taking a bike ride, or strolling to the store are all low-intensity activities which help you remain active and assist in burning more calories during the day.

When Should I Do Moderate Intensity Exercises?

Moderate intensity exercise is often recommended by experts for better health as well as weight loss. If you do moderate intensity exercises you’ll be able to continue burning calories for longer and be able to do it more often.

Moderate activities improve your cardiorespiratory endurance, reduce your stress, and improve your heart health, all while boosting your metabolism with the bonus advantage of there being less chance of you injuring yourself or burning out than there would be with high-intensity exercises.

Nevertheless, what amounts to a moderate intensity workout for somebody may be a high intensity workout for another. How can you determine, then, if your activities fall within the moderate intensity category?

If you participate in a moderate intensity workout, you’ll feel as if you’re working, however you’re not working so much that you’ll need to quit within a few minutes. You’ll be breathing more deeply, but you won’t need to gasp for breath. If you imagine the scale between one and ten, moderate workouts should be around a 6-7.

The amount of time you need to spend on moderate intensity workouts depends on your specific goals. For example:

·        To achieve a modest amount of weight loss you should do around 150-250 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.

·        To achieve a clinically significant amount of weight loss, you should do over 250 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

·        If you want to maintain your current weight and guard against gaining more weight, you should do a minimum of 250 minutes each week of moderate exercise.

When Should I Do High-Intensity Workouts?

The workouts that are most effective for fat burning are those that can only be maintained for a shorter time period. You shouldn’t do high intensity exercises every day. As these workouts are challenging, your body needs sufficient recovery time, not only during the exercising session itself but also after the workout.

For those who want to work out to drop pounds, a high intensity workout is ideal. People doing this type of workout lose more weight and burn more fat. This is because high-intensity workouts are more efficient, allowing you to burn a lot more calories during a shorter space of time.

Whenever you do high intensity workouts, you breathe very deeply. In fact, you’ll almost need to gasp for breath. It’s normal to feel as if you’re unable to continue doing the activity at that intense level for longer than a couple of minutes. On the perceived scale of exertion, you should work at an 8-9.

Since you can only do high-intensity exercises over a short timeframe, they’re usually included in interval workouts, such as HIIT. Doing HIIT workouts means combining short bursts of high intensity exercise lasting between 30 seconds and several minutes with recovery periods lasting at least 30 seconds.

How Do I Plan My Workout Schedule?

High intensity workouts bring their own drawbacks. As high intensity workouts are extreme sessions, they leave you at a higher risk for burnout and injury. They also require you to plan for low-intensity activities during the days after the session to recover. For this reason, you need to plan your workout schedule carefully to ensure you’ve scheduled your week correctly to allow for rest days in between intense workout sessions.

If you’re sufficiently healthy to do physical activities at all levels of intensity, you should plan a couple of high intensity workouts into your week. These shorter workouts help you to burn the maximum amount of calories in the shortest possible time while also building muscle and boosting your metabolism.

It’s important, though, to ensure you don’t work out too much too often. The days after your intense workouts, you should rest your body by planning a lower-intensity workout. The improved range of motion you achieve during those easy days help sore muscles to recover quickly and you can still increase the number of calories you burn during the day. The most important thing is not to put so much stress on your body that you cause an injury or burnout.

The remainder of your week should be filled with moderate workout sessions, but you can challenge yourself and make those sessions longer. You’ll derive good calorie-burning advantages from those moderate intensity workouts if they are longer.

Bear in mind that if you’re aiming to drop a few sizes, dieting and exercise in combination will produce the best results. Make sure to eat lean protein, vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats so your workouts will be properly fuelled. This will ensure you achieve good results and also maintain them in the long term.

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