Which One: High Intensity or Low Intensity Workout?

high intensity or low intensity workouts

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What are your workout routines and what are their results so far? It is beneficial to check your actual workouts and your progress with those.

When you are still starting or reworking your exercise program, consider the intensity level.

Both high intensity and low-intensity workouts have their advantages. It all depends on what your fitness goals are.

Now let’s make some comparison between low-intensity workouts with high-intensity workouts.

Hopefully, this helps in finding what will be your focus in your exercise program.

High Intensity

This is the most popular type of exercise these days because it gives more results in less time.

We are all hard pressed for time nowadays and many would rather get their workout done and over with so they can move on to their many other responsibilities.

High intensity burns more calories because you reach about 75% or your maximum heart rate as opposed to only 50% of your maximum heart during low-intensity workouts.

Your metabolism will be really pumping and you will continue to burn more calories after completing high-intensity workouts.

You also burn more calories from fat per minute than you would do a low-intensity workout.


If your goal is to burn fat, gain strength, and do it in less time, high-intensity workouts the right choice for you.


It should be noted that high-intensity workouts should not be overdone as it could be very taxing on the body and cause a burnout.

It is best to perform high-intensity workouts within 20 to 30 minutes and not beyond an hour.

Examples of high-intensity workouts are sprinting, interval training with bodyweight exercises and plyometrics.

Read here about HIIT for more information: http://prcvir.com/blog/what-to-know-about-metabolic-conditioning-workouts-or-hiit/

Low Intensity

Low-intensity workouts are more traditional but don’t provide as many results as high-intensity workouts. That’s not to say that low-intensity workouts are a waste of time.

Many people enjoy a low-intensity workout and have the time to dedicate to it and there is nothing wrong with that. Some find that a low-intensity workout is much more stress relieving.

women doing yoga

Although it takes much more time to get the results you would see from high-intensity workouts, you can still burn fat with low-intensity workouts. In fact, it is the best workout for certain cases.

The elderly usually can’t do high-intensity workouts but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to get in their cardio. Low-intensity workouts allow them to stay fit and healthy without the risk of injury.

What about those who already have injuries? They can’t perform a high-intensity workout either. Again, low-intensity workouts are good for them.

Also, there are fitness professionals who are trying to lose that last inch of fat without losing any muscle.

They are eating a very strict low-calorie diet and wouldn’t want to do high-intensity workouts as this would deplete their muscle mass.

So, they perform low-intensity workouts to get rid of fat without losing precious muscle.

Examples of low-intensity workouts are: jogging on a trail or treadmill, simple cycling, elliptical machines without intervals, or water aerobics.

How about a combination of high intensity and low intensity exercises?

Here’s an example of doing so and why it is a successful recipe.

How to Incorporate Yoga to Your HIIT Fitness Routine

As a fitness buff and a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) practitioner, incorporating yoga to your regular routine is truly one of the best ways to add more spice and variety to your practice.

While most people think that yoga and HIIT are worlds apart, and incomparable, incorporating them can only lead to positive gains in your fitness and overall health.

Mixing up fitness routines prevents burnout. It also allows for the use of muscles that aren’t often used in the usual HIIT routine.

Plus, yoga helps build muscles in the upper body, thanks to its challenging strengthening poses.

As a matter of fact, even the most experienced bodybuilders will find it difficult to execute some of strengthening poses of this ancient art.

The Benefits of Adding Yoga to Your Fitness Routine

As you combine yoga with your HIIT routine, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds. In yoga, practitioners get to enjoy a plethora of health benefits, including weight loss, stress reduction, flexibility and increased fitness.

Not to mention, yoga helps manage chronic conditions, such as sleep problems, depression, anxiety, and pain.

HIIT, on the other hand, results in overall improvement in physique, toned muscles, better bone density, prevention of muscle loss, and flexibility in joints.

Of course, it also helps weight management because it burns more fat than any other cardio workout.

Yoga is a low-impact and effective way to lose a few calories during your non-HIIT days, without compromising your recovery.

In addition, this ancient art helps prevent injuries from your intense HIIT workouts.

With yoga, you are flushing out excess lactic acid in your over-worked muscles, helping you reduce your chances of experiencing stiffness and soreness that can make your next HIIT workout a lot more challenging.

Yoga, ultimately, draws oxygen into your muscles, allowing them to perform in a more efficient manner as well as become stronger.

The Ideal Yoga Style to Pair with Your HIIT Program

As with HIIT, yoga comes in a variety of styles and form. As expected, each yoga style or discipline has its own specific goals.

There are some yoga styles that are tailored for those who want to build strength, while others are designed for stretching, meditation, and relaxation.

But in this case, you should stay away from Vinyasa style and other power yoga styles, as it can stunt muscle growth.

Furthermore, combining these yoga styles with your HIIT routine can make it difficult for your tissues to recover.

Just imagine doing a power yoga session the day after a vigorous full-body HIIT workout with dumbbells and kettlebells.  Your body may not have enough energy to execute the demanding flows of Vinyasa.

However, if you opt for a lighter style of yoga, then this ancient practice can be a great complementary restorative workout for your HIIT program.

Hatha Yoga and HIIT: A Winning Combination

The best yoga style you can pair with your regular routine is Hatha. Founded in India more than five centuries ago, Hatha is a gentle, slow-paced yoga style that is focused on meditation and breathing.

With Hatha, you get to improve breathing, relieve stress and stretch out fatigue muscles. Moreover, it introduces you to the relaxation techniques and basic poses of yoga.


As a form of active recovery, yoga can be practiced during your off days, when you are not doing any cardio workouts and intense exercises.

A good and relaxing yoga session will only take thirty minutes to an hour.

It is also possible to practice yoga after an exhaustive workout.  It’s good for stretching, cooling down, and restoring the body to its normal functions.

In this case, yoga can help balance your energy after a stimulating activity like a full-body HIIT workout.

Can You Handle It?

Anyone who regularly participates in HIIT workouts can pretty much handle anything.

High-Intensity Interval Training is one of the most intense workouts in fitness, and Hatha yoga in comparison is like taking a nap, at least as far as exertion and endurance are concerned, though the poses are no cake walk.

Learn the proper way to do Hatha yoga by taking a class with a qualified instructor or by purchasing any one of the great Hatha Yoga workout programs on DVD, like Hatha Yoga on the Forgotten Coast or Element: Hatha & Flow Yoga For Beginners, both available on Amazon.

It is important to learn the proper techniques for the poses and breathing exercises to get the most out of incorporating yoga into your HIIT fitness lifestyle.

Now, which do you think you would benefit from?

Many would choose to do high-intensity workouts for the best results, but understandably there are some who would say that low intensity is all they can handle.

Even if the high intensity is your workout of choice, there may be days where you don’t feel up to a hard workout but getting in anything is better than nothing. This is when low-intensity workouts will come in handy.

Therefore, you can be flexible in having both or in mixing up your exercise routines.

Whether you choose high intensity or low intensity, consistency is the key. Any workout program that you follow regularly will serve you in promoting good health, healthy weight management, and effective weight management.

How about a combination of high intensity and low-intensity exercises? Here’s an example of doing so and why it is a successful recipe.

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