The best way to improve your endurance and heart health is to engage in endurance training exercises, such as running, jogging and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is exercise that alternates bursts of high-intensity exercise with less intense exercise or rest. Jogging is a moderate-intensity cardio workout performed at a constant level of exercise intensity. There are benefits to both HIIT and constant-intensity exercise such as jogging. Depending on your goals, such as fast weight loss or quick conditioning, HIIT may be better than jogging.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is a method of exercising whereby you warm up for up to 10 minutes with some light to moderate aerobic exercise and then alternate high-intensity exercise with low-intensity exercise, and then repeat the cycle for up to 20 minutes. A typical ratio of high- to low-intensity exercise is one to three, or one minute of high-intensity exercise followed by three minutes of low-intensity exercise. Try to stay active during the rest period rather than stop exercising to rest. An active recovery period or light to moderate or low-intensity exertion allows your muscle cells to dispose of waste and prepare for the next bout of high-intensity exercise. High-intensity exercise does not necessarily mean you will be doing high-impact exercises, but rather describes the level of exertion. You can do HIIT on a treadmill, a stationary bike, an elliptical machine, a rowing machine or even swimming.
Benefits of HIIT
HIIT helps condition your body to become efficient at producing energy and using energy from your anaerobic, or non-oxygen, energy system. The muscle tissues become increasingly more effective at removing waste between high-intensity sessions. Your endurance and heart health will increase as your oxygen uptake becomes more efficient. HIIT is so efficient at burning fat and boosting your metabolism, you may see the same results from two weeks of HIIT compared to six to eight weeks of other cardio exercise. Do HIIT only two times each week on nonconsecutive days to allow your body to rest and heal.
Benefits of Jogging
Jogging is a steady moderate-intensity workout that can help you burn fat and improve your muscle and cardio health. Jogging is moderate to high impact so it has the added benefit of improving bone health. Impact exercises help strengthen bones to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. Jogging can help you burn fat if you jog for a long duration, such as 60 to 90 minutes. The longer you jog at a steady pace, the more stored fat you burn for fuel. Do low- to moderate-intensity exercise three days each week on nonconsecutive days.
Cardiovascular improvement occurs faster following HIIT and continuous endurance training, such as jogging. According to a study reported in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, HIIT resulted in a 10 percent greater improvement in cardiovascular health. Participants exercised at a constant moderate pace, while HIIT participants did four repetitions of four-minute runs at up to 95 percent of maximum heart rate followed by three minutes of light exercise active recovery done three days each week for eight weeks. If you are physically fit and cleared by your doctor, you can experience greater cardiovascular improvement doing HIIT in a shorter amount of time than jogging.
- Shape: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Colorado State University College of Applied Human Sciences: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- American Council on Exercise: What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and What are the Benefits?
- University of Rochester Medical Center: Jog or Walk? Both Boost Your Health
- IDEA: HIIT vs. Continuous Endurance Training: Battle Of The Aerobic Titans
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Aerobic High-Intensity Intervals Improve VO2max More Than Moderate Training
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.