Is Steady State Cardio a Waste of Time?
Some people think that steady state cardio isn’t worth doing at all, because surely if you’re lifting weight and engaging in some HIIT (high-intensity interval training cardio) then you shouldn’t have to do much more than that.
There are positives and negatives to most types of exercises, so here are some of the reasons why you should be doing steady state cardio.
It’s great if you have mobility issues
People who don’t have a huge amount of mobility are often left feeling like they can’t do any form of exercise. However, if you can move any part of your body, there’s a type of exercise that you could do.
If you have some minor problems with your joints and other body parts, you might find HIIT exercises impossible, while steady state cardio provides a gentler and steady way to move your body.
It’s a good way to vary your routine
You don’t have to focus solely on one type of exercise program, which means that you can spend some days of the week doing HIIT and some other days doing steady state cardio exercise.
Remember to give yourself at least one day off per week, and alternate between HIIT and steady state if you can.
Why perform steady state if HIIT is more effective?
Some people think that if they’re going to make the effort of going to the gym, they may as well get the most out of their time with the most effective type of exercise possible.
While this is certainly logical, our bodies are not machines that are able to withstand anything and everything we throw at them.
As a result, it’s a good idea to vary the type of exercise that you do. If you did HIIT exercise every single day, you may find that your body becomes tired very quickly and then you have to take a complete break from the gym.
Is steady state worth doing?
Yes, you should definitely try to engage in steady state cardio exercising at least once or twice a week.
You can do is through a wide variety of channels, since it includes almost every type of exercise, including walking and running, swimming, cycling and using the elliptical.
Go at a pace which suits your body – exercising is very individual and depends on your own physical health, how long you have been exercising and what you hope to achieve.
Why Steady State Cardio is Good for Your Heart
Looking to improve your heart health?
Exercise is by far the best way to go about it, but not all exercise is equal.
Although high intensity routines have certainly been getting all the attention in recent times, it’s cardiac output training–or steady state cardio–that does the best for your heart.
Cardiac output training is all about increasing stroke volume.
In other words, it helps increase the amount of blood that each heart beat is pumping through your body.
With time, this will lower your heart rate–meaning your heart is getting stronger, beating less, and in general being more efficient.
Steady state cardio does this by growing the left ventricle of your heart. This is the chamber that pumps the oxygenated blood throughout your whole body.
Steady state cardio is able to do this by keeping your heart rate in a certain range, generally about 120 to 150 beats per minute, for an extended period of time that ranges from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.
In the time, the chambers of the heart repeatedly fill themselves with large amounts of blood.
The left side of your heart has walls that will respond to the stimulus, leading to them stretching.
With repeated steady state cardio sessions, this leads to a larger cavity in the left ventricular that makes your heart more efficient in pumping blood about your body.
A lower heart rate while resting and exercising means your heart isn’t working nearly as hard as it used to, and that’s really important for its longevity.
If you have a high resting heart rate that comes in at 70 beats per minute or above, steady state cardio should definitely be part of your routine to gradually help lower that rate to a healthy level, which is around 60 beats per minute or lower.
If you’re new to training or just getting started again after taking a long break, steady state cardio is also going to be ideal for you.
Just about any type of low intensity exercise, like swimming, jogging, skipping, or biking, can be used for your steady state training.
The important thing is to start slow and gradually work up the difficultly level as your endurance and strength increase.
Within a matter of a few months, you should begin to feel changes in your body composition, your health and stamina, and how fast your heart is beating while exerting energy during a workout.