For a long time, health and fitness fanatics have gone back and forth on whether a high- or low-intensity cardio workout is the quickest way to blasting away excess fat. Originally, it was thought that the best way to burn fat was to perform low-intensity cardiovascular exercise. The theory behind this is that during high-intensity exercise, our bodies burn glycogen, and during low-intensity exercise our bodies burned fat. Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate made primarily in the liver and the muscles that acts as our bodies’ long-term energy storage. It’s typical for marathon runners to experience a glycogen deficit around mile 20; however, many marathon runners try to overcome this by carbo-loading the day before a race.
While low-intensity activity does burn fat, it does not burn as many calories as a high-intensity cardio workout. High-intensity workouts such as swimming and sprinting burn many more calories than walking or other low-intensity activities. Even if sprinting does burn more glycogen calories, plenty of fat calories are also burned. Ultimately, weight loss boils down to burning more calories than you consume. This is the only way you can shed pounds.
So why is a high-intensity cardio workout such a great way to lose weight? It keeps your metabolism going strong even after your done working out! This means that your body will keep burning fat, which is something that low-intensity exercise can’t do.
To burn the most fat, add high-intensity intervals to your normal workout routine. If you jog on a treadmill, try running at full-speed for 1 minute (you should be huffing and puffing by the end of the minute) followed by 1 minute of walking to rest. Continue doing 1-minute intervals for 20 minutes, and this cardio workout will have you on your way to your goal weight in no time!