Apalla #24 – Fitness, Part 2

If weight training is good for aesthetics, then cardio is good for general health. You probably won’t look ripped just by running, but you’ll certainly gain a healthy heart. Of course, the ideal combination is both of these — but since this episode is cardio, let’s focus on that.

Traditionally, there are three main types of cardio exercise: runningwalking, and high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Running and walking are… pretty much exactly how they sound. You might ask why you’d choose to walk instead of run — to be honest, walking is recommended exercise for the elderly, while running is recommended for those who are younger (although you can switch either way and still feel the positive effects!). There’s a lot of rules on optimization, but since Apalla focuses on the high level view, I’ll just give you this: greater than or equal to 30 minutes. If you’re young (less than 40), you’ll want to run for around 30 minutes every other day. If you’re old (greater than 40), you’ll want to walk for around 30 minutes every other day. The elders have it even easier in this case, as research has shown that exactly 8,000 steps (or more) per day should be just fine. So if you choose, you don’t even have to walk for thirty minutes — just get your steps in!

Finally, we have HIIT. HIIT is pretty much how it sounds — work for X amount of time, rest for Y amount of time, and repeat Z amount of time. The durations of X, Y, and Z depend very heavily on what type of exercise you’re doing. For example, if you’re working sprints, then typically you’ll want to sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 90 seconds, and repeat for 15 minutes. If you’re doing something real brief, like a Tabata workout, then you’ll work for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat for 4 minutes.

Now, one last note: some of you might be asking where biking fits into all this. Honestly, it can be pretty flexible: going straight biking can have the same effects as a run, but you can also try out plenty of HIIT exercises on a bike. Overall biking (whether it be a real one or an exercise one) is a great tool on cardio, and is definitely recommended!

Well, that’s all for now. Next week we’ll be rounding things off with some advice on stretching. See you then!

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