Ah, cardio. Although we all love to hate cardio, it’s important to remember that not ALL cardio was created equal.
INTENSITY VS IMPACT:
When it comes to cardio, there’s a big difference between the INTENSITY and IMPACT of a particular activity.
Intensity is the amount of effort you exert when performing a specific activity, which can be determined by how high your heart rate is. Maximum intensity can be reached no matter what type of cardio you are doing, as long as you are pushing yourself hard enough.
Impact, on the other hand, is the impact (or stress) a specific type of cardio has on your body, generated by force. The higher the impact, the more risk there is on your joints - particularly when both feet leave the ground - such as running, jumping, hopping and plyometric exercises.
Since we can control intensity but can’t control impact, it’s important to know what types of cardio is best for your body at any given time. Here’s a list of the types of cardio you can incorporate into your fitness routine, including their impact levels and (some) benefits:
HIIT training (this includes sprints, burpees, jumping jacks and plyometric movements)
→ One of the most difficult methods of cardio (not for beginners)
→ Very hard on the joints, but great for muscle growth
→ Increases endurance levels
→ Increases stability & coordination skills
→ Improves overall heart and bone health
→ Burns calories WELL BEYOND actually performing the activity
→ Outdoor cardio known to have therapeutic properties
→ Not for beginners; however, can become addicting once you work up to this level
→ Increases endurance le