Low Intensity Workouts Might Be More Effective- Here's Why

We tend to think of exercise as pushing ourselves to the max, but it doesn’t have to be that intense. There are actually a lot of benefits to lower-intensity workouts, like walking, yoga, and swimming, and those can be just effective as higher-intensity routines, plus they come with other benefits as well.

“Low-intensity training is when you are training between 57 to 63% of your maximum heart rate for a sustained period of 30 minutes or more,” explains Brian Nunez, a performance coach and “master trainer” for Nike. This kind of exercise is typically done at a steady and consistent pace and it gives you the cardiovascular benefits of high-intensity workouts without the impact and stress on your joints.

These are a few reasons to give low-intensity workouts a try:

  • You’ll experience increased brain activity - A study that compared the effects of both high-intensity and low-intensity exercise on the brain using MRIs reveals that the high-intensity exercise had a bigger effect on emotional intelligence, while the low-intensity exercise showed a bigger improvement in cognition and “attentional response levels.”
  • It’s easier on your body - Since the exercise is done at a less intense rate, there’s less stress on your muscles and joints.
  • It can relieve stiffness - Doing physical activity at a steady and consistent pace can help ease stiffness, pain and injury to joints and muscles.
  • You can do it anywhere - Low-intensity exercise can be as simple as walking outside and going for a walk, so there’s no gear and special equipment required.
  • You can do it every day - Since it’s easier on your body, you don’t need rest days to recover.
  • Your balance may get better Studies link low-intensity workouts to an improvement in balance.
  • You’ll get an energy boost - Sedentary people can feel 20% more energized by doing low-intensity workouts, according to one study.

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