Now that the weather is becoming nicer and nicer, I love to get outside as often as I can. One of my favorite things to do is walk with my dog, Emma. She and I both enjoy it thoroughly, and I always have a clearer mind with a burst of energy afterwards. I believe walking, at times, gets a bad connotation when it comes to fat burning potential. Yes, walking is a form of moderate cardiovascular activity but some might argue that it is just not intense enough to really zap a ton of fat. Well, I totally disagree. Not only is walking a great low impact way to be active, a few studies have actually shown that among individuals who successfully reached and maintained a low body fat percentage, almost 80% of them walked as their main physical activity.
While I do believe walking is a form of cardio as it raises your heart rate, I am also a believer that only certain forms of walking can be considered cardiovascular activity. For instance, sauntering to the bus stop or through the grocery store is NOT cardiovascular activity. What form of walking is cardio then? Walking fast, standing tall, using your arms and keeping that pace while your heart rate elevates. This would be considered low intensity cardiovascular activity. Low intensity cardiovascular activity has been labeled beneficial by health experts, especially if you are trying to build and maintain muscle, as it derives most of its energy (calories) from fat. Now, what about high intensity cardio? The argument is that with high-intensity cardio, even though you do not burn as many calories from fat, you are burning more calories overall, so subsequently you are burning more fat. The other plus side to high-intensity cardiovascular training is that, as studies have shown, not only do you burn more calories during performance but your metabolism is raised for hours post activity.
As you can see, both high-intensity cardio and low-intensity cardio are beneficial to your health. However, which is more efficient for burning fat is something discussed with much ambivalence among personal trainers/health experts/bodybuilders Ect. It is my personal belief that both forms of cardiovascular activity are equally important, which is why I work with low-intensity training and high-intensity training both separately and interchangeably, In other words, 2-4 sessions of HIIT (high intensity interval training) per week and 4-6 sessions of low intensity training per week.
Tomorrow morning I will be posting a great cardiovascular routine I perform 3x a week while walking my dog. As it combines HIIT with low intensity cardiovascular conditioning, I believe it is the ultimate for burning calories, fat and improving your overall well-being…After all, cardiovascular activity is not only beneficial for your physique but it lowers stress, blood pressure, boosts energy, combats disease and raises your overall mood. How can you say no?!
Check back tomorrow for my workout!!
Lynnea Marie xoxo