There are almost a billion different approaches to losing weight. Some people focus more on a diet, while others focus more on exercise. The way you approach losing weight also depends on your health, height, weight, gender, lifestyle, and many other variables. However, a common debate in almost every conversation about weight loss is whether the high intensity is better than low intensity and vice versa. The truth is you can lose weight doing either one or both. With that being said, let’s break down what each approach entails and what it means for your weight loss goals. 

High-intensity Training

High-intensity Training

Also known as HIIT (High-intensity Interval Training, is an approach to exercise where you decrease rest time, perform exercises and movements at a heavier, faster and generally intense manner. This type of exercise means you are keeping your heart rate at constant high levels as well as burning more calories in shorter periods. Especially in the UAE, high-intensity training can be made even more intense due to factors such as the hot weather as well as working adults and expatriates trying to get a workout in during their busy schedule. Here a few benefits of high-intensity training:

Convenient and effective. High-intensity exercises take a shorter time than low intensity while still burning the same amount of calories. What makes high-intensity training popular in the UAE is that most people ‘don’t have the time to spend on exercise due to their busy schedules as well as trying to avoid the hot weather. High-intensity training means burning as many calories as you can in a short period. This makes your exercises convenient and highly effective.

A quicker solution to weight loss. A 2012 study by the ”US National Library of Medicine” concluded that people performing HIIT three times a week, 20 minutes per session lost 2kgs of pure body fat in 12 weeks without the need to change their diet. The study also found that 17% of the fat being burnt was visceral fat, the type that promotes diseases that usually surround itself organs.

Improved oxygen consumption and breathing. This type of physical toll on your body will encourage you to oxygenize better as well as teaching you to control your breathing. The increase in breathing as well as the prolonged-time needed to recover also means ‘you’re burning calories throughout the day. This is also known as afterburn.

Builds stamina. High-intensity training can build your endurance and stamina, not to say that low-intensity training ‘can’t, but high-intensity will help you to improve your performance, push your body beyond limits at a quicker rate than any other type of training. ‘You’ll notice improvements in your stamina, mental and physical endurance as well as physical performance.

Low-intensity Training

Low-intensity Training

Just Like High-Intensity training, the workouts and exercises are practically the same. The only difference is the pacing and intensity levels. What makes low-intensity training so great is that it burns just as many calories, the only difference is that it may take a little longer and that it doesn’t stress you out physically and mentally. Low-intensity workouts are suited for people who aren’t used to high-intensity training or have a certain health condition that doesn’t permit them to. Here are a few benefits of Low-intensity training.

An intensity that is ”perfect” for you. High-intensity training is excellent. However, by testing the limits of your body, you may suffer from burn out or possible injury. With low-intensity training, you can find what works best for you while still being able to burn calories at a good rate. 

Less stress for the body. Training at a lower intensity means that you ‘don’t need to push your body parts incredibly hard. This is much lighter for your muscles, bones, and joints. Lower intensity training also means you can focus on your technique, form, and quality of exercise as opposed to rushing these fine details. After all, these are crucial in determining how much weight you end up losing.

Good for your mental health. As low-intensity workouts mean less mental drain, such workouts can help you to unwind, refresh and get relaxed. Simple exercises such as walking, stretching, and light jogging can release endorphins into your body. This is a hormone that is naturally produced and makes you ”feel good”. 

Burns just as much fat as HIIT. Just because the intensity is less, does not mean the workout is as easy as you think. When done correctly, low-intensity training can be just as effective as high intensity. As your body is not being pushed at heavy limits, this means it can go on for longer, endure even more, as well as burning just as many calories. 

Which is Better?

It all comes to preference. Stick to what works for you. Depending on personal preference as well as physical condition or lifestyle, neither is better than the other. The best approach to losing weight and improving your health is to incorporate both as well as maintaining a healthy diet. After all, without eating properly, any physical exercise you do would just be wasted. If you have a certain health issue or medical condition, its best to speak with your doctor before you adopt any physical regime or diet plan.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.