Wellness Wednesday: HIIT vs. Cardio

HIIT or cardio? Which is the best exercise for fat loss? THERE are two main factors to consider when looking at what kind of exercise burns fat in the most efficient way.

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Firstly we need to consider which energy source the body is dipping into to fuel your workout. Is your body using your fat stores or your glycogen (basically sugar) stores?

Secondly, we need to consider the effect the exercise has on your resting metabolic rate. Is there an after effect where you continue to burn more fat post workout from cell recovery (increase in resting metabolic rate) or are you only burning fat while you’re actually doing the exercise? To lose 1 pound of body fat, you must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume over a period of time. In a long cardio workout, you exercise at a consistent, moderate level for the entire session; in a high-intensity interval training workout, or HIIT workout, you alternate periods of moderate intensity with bursts of high intensity. Either type of exercise can help you lose weight.  

SO WHICH EXERCISE IS BEST?

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An extended gentle cardio session burns a higher percentage of calories from fat, a HIIT workout of the same length will help you lose weight faster. When you exercise at a higher intensity, you burn calories at a much faster rate, so you don't have to spend hours on cardio equipment to burn fat. Try one of these HIIT cardio routines for faster fat loss.

As always, consult with your physician before beginning any exercise or exercise program.


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A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!