Cardio - get your sweat on!
Despite its relative ease, cardio is so often one of the most over complicated elements when it comes to fitness - possibly because it’s many people’s least favourite fitness pastime.
So, when it comes to cardio what is best and when is best? In truth, any form of cardio performed at any time of day is best but there are of course things to consider. First, there are different types of cardio which we’ve covered in previous posts but let’s recap.
LISS: Low-Intensity Steady-State cardio is a form of cardio in which you do aerobic activity at a low-to-moderate activity. In short, LISS should be easy but will take a little bit longer than other cardio variants.
MISS: Moderate-Intensity Steady-State cardio is a form of cardio in which the workout is steady, challenging but completed at a manageable pace.
HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training is a form of cardio in which the workout is short, sharp and incredibly challenging. Sprint intervals for example could include 10 seconds of full sprinting at maximum effort followed by 50 seconds of walking or light jogging, completed for 20 - 30 minutes.
So, when should you complete your cardio? Before or after weights? There are cases for both. Performing cardio before weights is a great way to get your heart rate into the correct zone for burning fat. Followed by lifting weights you will then benefit from the well known ‘after-burn’ effect of weight lifting where your body continues burning calories after you’ve finished your workout.
Lifting weights before your cardio is great if your goal is to build muscle and increase strength as doing cardio first will, even if only slightly deplete your energy levels leaving you less likely to lift heavy during your ‘main’ workout. But, lifting weights first is also great at depleting your glycogen stores meaning that following this up with cardio will, in theory put your body into a state of using fat for fuel.
Whatever you do and whatever works for you, don’t over complicate it. Cardio is so important regardless of your main goal as it will always be the most important way to keep us truly fit and healthy, improving our cardiovascular system has so many benefits like lowering blood sugar levels, improving heart health, aiding sleep and so many more!
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