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How should I be doing Cardio? Fasted? HIIT? LISS?

Cardiovascular exercise or "cardio" is an important aspect to any exercise program. But what is the best type of cardio to do? When should I be doing it? There are so many ways to go about implementing cardio in a program that it can sometimes become confusing on how to do it. Knowing the benefits of the different types of cardio is an important step in knowing how to implement cardio into your program.


The most common forms of cardio are "LISS" & "HIIT." LISS stands for low intensity steady state, examples are walking on the treadmill at an incline, riding the exercise bike, or walking on the stair master at a constant steady state that will bring your heart rate up, but not so high you are having trouble breathing or keeping up with the cadence of the exercise. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, examples of this would be running sprints for ten seconds & then walking at a slow pace for fifty seconds & repeating. This will bring your heart rate up much higher than LISS & requires a far harder effort during those intervals. HIIT is typically performed for less time than LISS.


LISS benefits include: burning calories, being easier on the muscles & joints comparatively to HIIT, a stronger heart & more.

HIIT benefits include: burning a high amount of calories in a short period of time, raising your metabolic rate for a period after performing the exercise, blood sugar being reduced & more.


While both provide their own unique sets of benefits, they both burn calories which is vital when trying to lose weight or burn body fat by helping to put you in a deeper caloric deficit which is necessary in order to lose weight & burn fat.


One other topic to include & be aware of is the discussion of whether or not perofmrining cardio in a fasted state is optimal compared to doing so when fed. Doing cardio in a fasted state means performing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or post workout when you're depleted from your weight training session. While there are no studies that prove fasted cardio is better in comparison, I would not recommend performing cardiovascular exercise before any type of weight training due to the fact you will be depleting your muscles of energy that could be better used for lifting weights.


Now that you know the basic terminology & methods of cardio start implementing the type of cardio in your program you feel to be the best fit for you!


P.S. Doing cardiovascular exercise is not only about burning fat it's great for overall heart health & can be performed at any time not just during a period of trying to lose weight!


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