Welcome to our Energy & Endurance section. We provide valuable online nutrition advice such as diet tips, fitness guides, and general health information.

Exercise For More Energy And Endurance

Low intensity exercise versus medium intensity exercise versus high intensity exercise. Which is best and for what?

First up, what is exercise intensity! The most objective way to measure exercise intensity is how it affects your heart rate. This is done by measuring how much an activity increases your heart rate, calculated as a % of your maximum heart rate (MHR). So, exercise that increases your heart rate to about 40 – 54% of your MHR is considered low intensity. Exercise that increases it to 55 – 69% is considered medium intensity exercise. Exercise that bumps it up to more than 70% is high intensity exercise.

Your maximum heart rate is roughly calculated by subtracting your age from 220. Therefore, a 50-year-old person would have a MHR of 170 beats per minute. The older you get, the lower your MHR gets, which makes sense.

Low, Medium And High Intensity Exercises – What Are They?

Low intensity exercise includes activities like sedate jogging, walking, swimming and so on. Any exercise in fact that accelerates your heart rate to about half its MHR. Of course, if you step these activities up a notch by jogging a bit faster or incorporating a few hills into your daily walk, you can move them up to medium intensity. High intensity exercise includes activities like sprinting and other vigorous exercise that really gets your heart pumping.

It’s important to note that exercise intensity is also subjective to a person’s overall health and fitness levels. An unfit, very overweight person may find that just walking for half an hour becomes medium intensity exercise. A super fit person on the other hand will barely raise a sweat doing that! If you’re planning on taking up jogging, your level of fitness and overall health will determine not just the intensity at which you do it but also the intensity level that it becomes for you.

Low Intensity Exercise – Is It Beneficial?

Each level of exercise has its advantages and its disadvantages. Low intensity exercise burns fat but rarely results in significant weight loss unless accompanied by a drop in caloric intake. If you continue to pump more calories into your body than what you’re burning then you’ll keep putting on weight. Those excess calories will simply be converted into fat, replacing what you’ve just burnt!

On the plus side, low intensity exercise causes far less wear and tear on your body than the other two. For some people, their health and weight may be such that low intensity exercise is the only one they can do safely, at least until they’re fitter and have lost weight.

The Energy And Endurance Benefits Of High Intensity Exercise

At the other end of the scale, high intensity exercise burns calories. It uses readily available glycogen first. This has usually come from your last meal or two, which is why athletes make sure their last meal and snack before competition provide the type of fuel they’re going to need. Once these supplies are depleted, stored glycogen is used. Once all the stored glycogen is gone, the body starts burning fat.

Importantly for fat and weight loss, regular high intensity exercise also doesn’t give calories time to get converted into fat and stored. Therefore, people who regularly do high intensity exercise are seldom fat, even though they’re predominantly burning calories rather than fat. High intensity exercise also continues to burn fat long after exercise has stopped. And it’s great for keeping your energy levels high.

The disadvantage with high intensity exercise, and even some medium level exercise, is that it is hard on the body. Without proper warm up and adequate preparation, injury can and does result.

More Energy And Endurance Information

Looking for more information about exercise and how it can affect your energy and endurance? Visit Planet Supplement’s Health & Fitness Blog for great articles about proper running techniques, exercise induced changes in body fluids and many other health and fitness topics.

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