The Benefits Of Intense Cardio Workouts
It goes without saying that intense cardio workouts can be good for the heart, assuming one doesn't have heart problems to begin with that would make these types of workouts risky. Cardio workouts are often done with weight loss in mind. It can vary from individual to individual, but exercise makes some people hungry while depressing the appetite in others. An individual's metabolism has much to do with feelings of hunger after a workout.
It's Not The Calories - One of the benefits of intense cardio workouts is that it can lead to fairly rapid, though safe, weight loss. Logic would tend to dictate that this is the result of more calories being burned, and of course the more calories we burn, the more weight we will tend to lose. There is a fallacy to this logic however. An intense cardio workout is at best going to burn only 300 to 400 calories, and if the workout leaves you with a strong desire to have a chocolate milkshake, your weight-reducing efforts will probably be in vain.
It's A Matter Of Survival - The reason an intense cardio workout can be of benefit isn't tied so much to the burning of calories as it is to hormones. An intense workout releases hormones that a less intense workout does not do, and it is these hormones that speed of the metabolism, while at the same time suppressing the appetite. Thus you have a metabolic rate that is going full bore, burning away body fat, without the desire to have that chocolate milkshake. This increase in your metabolic rate is simply a survival technique on the part of the body. When working very hard, your body tries to keep your heart and other organs from becoming overly stressed, and keeping your weight down is one way to keep that stress to a minimum.
Laws Of Nature - You can only fool your body for so long however, and as all things in nature strive for equilibrium, your metabolism is eventually going to start slowing down. This is somewhat similar to your heart rate slowing down when exercising as you get in better and better shape. Once your metabolism slows down, it's going to be a little more difficult to keep the weight off. When this happens, it's usually best to lower the number of calories in your diet for awhile.
Interval Training Works Well - The secret is really to add some variety to your workouts rather than sticking to the same workout, coupled with an intense cardio session day in and day out. High intensity interval training (HIIT) seems to be a good approach. In HIIT you move from one exercise to another with little rest in between. Besides helping keep body fat down, HIIT will keep you from getting bored, as it's not difficult to revise the routine from time to time, while adhering to the basic principle of work-rest-work-rest but changing the order or types of exercises being performed. It's also best not to do the same routine, or certain of the same exercises two days in a row. Muscles need work, and muscles need rest, regardless of what works best for your metabolism.
A Little Trial And Error May Be Called For - It can take time to find the best training approach, and you may have to try several. A personal trainer can possibly be of help, but you have to remember that the metabolism is somewhat unique to every individual, and it may take some time to figure out just how your metabolism functions. It may also take some time to adjust your eating habits, although a proper regimen of exercises should serve to keep your appetite in check.