Cardio vs. High Intensity Interval Training for the Over 40 Crowd?
I have talked much about all of the benefits to staying fit and exercising daily. There are many risks for those of us who are 40 plus that exercise can reduce. For example, you can significantly reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and staying fit is good for your skin. We as humans were made to move and we stay healthier by moving.
Cardio (Aerobic) Exercise
Some exercise is better than no exercise. Cardio is relatively simple to do and there is no doubt that it is good for our health. Cardio involves the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to working muscles. According to Medicine.net, it;
stimulates the heart rate and breathing rate to increase in a way that can be sustained for the exercise session. In contrast, anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise is activity that causes you to be quickly out of breath, like sprinting or lifting a heavy weight. Examples of aerobic exercises include cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, aerobics classes, dancing, cross country skiing, and kickboxing. There are many other types. Aerobic exercises can become anaerobic exercises if performed at a level of intensity that is too high.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Like I said earlier, some is exercise is better than no exercise. However, the research supports the overall effectiveness of using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) over the usual cardio exercises. Not only that HIIT has the added benefit of increasing your human growth hormone (HGH), something “regular” cardio exercises do not do. The increased HGH levels help reduce insulin resistance and improve your ability to maintain a healthy weight. HIIT takes much less time than cardio. You can do it in 15 to 20 minutes versus the hours that you might currently used to doing.
So if you are thinking about your health after the age of forty and want to reduce the risks associated with lack of exercise, the first step is to do some exercise, regardless what that might look like. If you have a busy life, then HIIT would be a good choice over cardio with the added benefit of increasing your Human Growth Hormone levels.