Most people think the longer the training session, the better it is. Eh. Here's the thing-- like any machine, our bodies need fuel to work. You wouldn't get in your car with a full tank of gas and attempt to drive across the country. In the same way, our bodies hold a limited amount of glycogen that fuels our workouts. Once that's gone, our bodies need more fuel, and if we don't provide it, the body begins using muscle, not fat for fuel.
Long, lower intensity exercise sessions will definitely burn lots of calories. And they will build your overall fitness. But you can achieve better fat loss, more effectively in a shorter amount of time by doing high intensity interval training (HIIT).
If you are one of those people who go and sit on the exercise bike, or elliptical or treadmill for long periods of time (more than 45 minutes), try changing up your workouts and see what happens.
Sample Intermediate HIIT workout:
|High intensity training has made me a better runner. |
This was after my first 1st place win in a 10k trail race.
15 push ups
25 sit ups
15 body weight squats
(Adjust the numbers for your fitness level.)
Some extra reading on cortisol:
Bonus reading on long, low intensity cardio:
*I'm not a registered dietician or a doctor. I've got years of experience, a husband who's a CSCS, lots of research under my belt and am a level 1 CrossFit trainer. Get cleared by a doctor before beginning any exercise program. And start slowly and build your fitness.