High-intensity interval training allows you to get your sweat on, burn plenty of calories and be out of the gym in as little as 10 minutes. However, you might not want to quit jogging just yet.
A new study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found moderate-intensity workouts can be more beneficial than high-intensity interval training in improving blood pressure, metabolism and cardiovascular health.
Interval training is recommended for a maximum of three times a week to prevent cardiovascular strain and allow proper muscle recovery. This leaves your body with four days of inactivity. In comparison, moderate workouts should be done five to seven days a week.
So, what’s more important: intensity or consistency?
Researchers in Canada tried to answer that burning question. They compared men who did interval workouts three times a week to men who did moderate workouts five times a week. They found the consistency of the moderate workouts was more important than the intensity of the intervals in decreasing blood pressure and shedding body fat.
Moderate-intensity workouts are 30- to 40-minute activities that raise your heart rate 50% to 60% above your resting rate. Brisk walks, jogging, swimming and playing sports are some suggested moderate exercises.
High-intensity interval training involves 30 to 90 seconds of intense movements followed by around the same amount of rest time. These workouts can be done in 10 to 30 minutes.
While there is still some debate over which approach is better, it may come down to personal preference. Both offer health benefits and, at the end of the day, anything that gets you off the couch and moving is what’s most important.