There is increasing interest among the exercise and fitness community in increasing the intensity of adjustments that result from physical training. Cardiovascular exercise should be a part of your workout routine, whether you want to lose weight or build muscle. Cardio is where you burn the most calories at once while strengthening your heart, lungs and muscles.

Any activity that increases the heart rate is considered cardio. Two popular forms are steady-state or traditional cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If your goal is to lose weight, both forms of cardio are helpful. By burning calories, stable-state cardio helps with weight loss. However, when it comes to HIIT, there are several factors at work.

The big question is, which one is more effective? This article compares the two types of cardio and how they affect weight loss and overall health.

HIIT Vs. steady-state cardio

Cardiovascular exercises promote a healthy body, reduce the risk of disease, reduce stress, and have many other benefits. High-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio are both effective; However, each affects the heart differently.

Steady-state cardio is aerobic, and HIIT is anaerobic. This shows that stable-state cardio requires oxygen to the muscles to function, which places less pressure on the body and, as a result, doesn’t burn as many calories. However, HIIT requires more oxygen than the body can. Since the demand for oxygen exceeds the supply of oxygen, the body releases energy (glucose stored in the body) without oxygen. Therefore, it makes a person feel tired more quickly because anaerobic exercise releases large amounts of lactic acid (a metabolic byproduct).

It involves a burst of intense exercise that burns more calories than steady-state cardio. Due to the high workout intensity, HIIT is highly effective at burning calories in a short duration. In addition, the body burns calories even after HIIT training, which is known as the “after-burn effect”. However, traditional cardio or steady state cardio, such as running, swimming, dancing, playing tennis, etc., increases heart rate and overall metabolism, leading to significant calorie burn.

The main difference between these two is intensity and duration. High-intensity interval training uses 80-90% of maximum heart rate for short periods. In steady-state cardio, only 50-60% of one’s maximum heart rate is used for about 45 minutes. In addition, the type of muscles used by each of them differs. High-intensity interval training cardio focuses more on fast-twitch muscles. These are muscles that are used for short bursts of intense exercise. On the other hand, stable-state cardio relies on slow-twitch muscles, which are used for endurance exercise. Slow-twitch muscles are much leaner than fast-twitch muscles. Therefore, sprinters appear to be more muscular than long-distance runners.

The HealthifyMe Note

High-intensity interval training cardio is just as effective as steady-state cardio but takes much less time. Also, HIIT exercise burns the same number of calories in half the time. Finally, if you have diabetes or insulin resistance, HIIT is even better because it causes positive hormonal changes.

Benefits and Differences Between Steady State Cardio and HIIT

There are several differences between high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio. To begin with, HIIT has a better reputation for delivering quick results; However, it is a challenging regimen to stick to for people starting with an exercise routine. Furthermore, HIIT is a complex workout and thus requires an instructor or guide, whereas steady-state cardio is beginner-friendly.

Steady-state exercise releases feel-good endorphins and is enjoyable without any discomfort. If one does not have the stamina, condition, speed, or age to perform high-intensity workouts, steady-state training is a suitable alternative. Weight loss isn’t the only benefit of steady-state cardio. It is excellent for increasing cardiovascular endurance and improving aerobic fitness.

HIIT has gained popularity because it burns a significant amount of calories in a short amount of time. one in study, the calories burned during 30 minutes of HIIT were 25–30% higher than those of other types of exercise. It also increases the metabolic rate for hours after exercise.

Studies There are indications that HIIT increases post-exercise metabolism even more than running or weight training. In addition, high-intensity interval training can cause the body’s metabolism to shift toward burning fat instead of glucose for energy. Since most high-intensity interval training workouts involve different speeds, it targets different muscle groups in a single workout. For example, a HIIT session may include squats and push-ups targeting different muscles.

according to a review Published in 2020, high-intensity interval training may benefit people with depression. It may also benefit people with other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia spectrum disorder. In addition, steady state cardio and high-intensity interval training help lower blood pressure and manage blood sugar levels. Plus, both are great for the heart and improve lung function. It also helps in reducing the risk of metabolic diseases.

The HealthifyMe Note

Developing a steady-state cardio regimen is simple. A 45-minute steady cardio workout on a treadmill, bicycle, stair climber or elliptical is a great way to add cardio to any workout routine. If one likes to exercise outside, jogging, horseback riding, walking and hiking are all great ways to incorporate a steady-state cardio program into a workout routine.

To begin high-intensity interval training, choose an activity (running, jumping rope, etc.). Then, depending on the duration of the intense training and the rest time, you can play with different exercises. For example, for 30 seconds, cycle as fast as you can on a stationary bike. Then pedal at a moderate, comfortable pace for 2-4 minutes. Then, repeat this process for 15-30 minutes.

workout exercise

HIIT Workout


skipping ropes:

Skipping rope is a great way to get into a cardio workout. All you need is a rope to get started. This exercise improves your shoulders and calves.


This core-strengthening routine will require an exercise mat. Several muscles, including your abs, back, hips, arms and shoulders, are used to maintain the spine during planks. First lift the whole body weight [for 10 to 20 seconds, gradually increasing to 60 seconds] While lying on your elbows or hands. Do 2-3 repetitions with a break of 15-20 seconds between each set.

push ups:

Push-ups are an excellent technique for developing your arms. Lower your body into a plank position on the floor, then use your chest to lift yourself up. Do 8-10 push-ups in each set. Try to do at least 2-3 sets with a recovery period of 30-40 seconds after each set.

Air Squats:

To do this exercise, stand with feet shoulder width apart, sit on the floor and then stand back. Add weight to hold and breathe in on the way down, and exhale as you go back up. Do 8-10 squats in each set. Try to do at least 2-3 sets with a recovery period of 30-40 seconds after each set.

jumping Jack:

Start jumping with your feet, spread them apart and move your arms. Increasing the pace will increase your heart rate. Do 10-15 jumping jacks in each set. Try to do at least 3 sets with a 30 second recovery period.

Walkout for Push-Ups:

Start with a push-up and then bend down to reach your toes. Then release your hands into a plank pose. Hold it for 2 seconds before walking into a standing position. Do 5-7 walkouts to do push-ups in each set. Try to do at least 2 sets with a 30-40 second recovery period.

Alternating Step-Back Lunges:

This exercise works on the legs. Step back with one leg, bend both knees, separate the front leg, and step back together with the other leg. Do 6-8 alternating step-back lunges in each set. Try to do at least 2 sets with a 30-40 second recovery period.


This workout will require the use of a chair. move your hands to the edge of the chair and sit tall; Bend your elbows and lower yourself until your upper arm is parallel to the ground, then push yourself back. Do 10-15 triceps dips in each set. Try to do at least 2-3 sets with a recovery period of 30-40 seconds.


Start with a plank and lift one knee from plank position to chest, alternating legs. Do it asap. Do 15-30 climbs on each leg in each set. Try to do at least 2-3 sets with a recovery period of 30-40 seconds.


Running is a versatile exercise that can be done indoors or out, on a treadmill or outside. Depending on the level of intensity, interspersing jogging, jogging or sprint times with rest intervals can be turned into a high-intensity interval training workout. For example, you can warm up with a five-minute run at an appropriate pace before launching into a 60-second sprint at your top speed, then pause and rest for 1-2 minutes before repeating. It’s important to remember that HIIT is about intensity, not duration.

circuit training

The following workout consists of two circuits; One can do a high-intensity interval training exercise. Do each activity for 20 seconds before resting for 10 seconds. Before moving on to the following workouts, repeat the exercises from the beginning.

You should do 2 sets of each exercise. Each set can be around 6-8 minutes.

Circuit 1:

  • jog in place
  • Above the knee
  • speed rope
  • please pops
  • Alt knee thrust side.
  • alt snap kick
  • behind the back jack
  • crossover jack
  • Burpees

Circuit 2:

  • fast legs
  • alternate punches
  • speed rope
  • modified climber
  • rockstar jumps
  • uppercut punches
  • Long jump running.
  • surfer get-ups
  • modified star jumps

After every HIIT workout, it’s important to rest to avoid muscle injury. The best way to cool down is to do light stretches, breathing exercises, or a short yoga session. Rest time should be at least 5 minutes.

Steady-State Cardio Workout

Steady state or low-intensity cardio is doable because you can do it in a variety of ways. For example, jogging and cycling are two common training activities. However, moderate exertion is appropriate for individuals new to steady-state cardio.

Listed below are some other forms of cardio-

  • move quickly on an inclined surface; Your speed may decrease as you climb. Maintain a steady pace while jogging.
  • Take a Zumba session or join a dance class.
  • Bike primarily on flat terrain or on a stationary bike at a comfortable pace.
  • Try the elliptical to work both your upper and lower body simultaneously. Both forward and backward motion is possible.
  • Sit down and use a rowing machine.
  • Do a brisk walk for 30-45 minutes.
  • Try stair steppers for 30 minutes.

The HealthifyMe Note:

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more calories than low-intensity cardio. However, it also burns calories after training. Even though HIIT burns more calories in the short term, the HealthifyMe team recommends you consult with fitness instructors to determine an appropriate exercise regimen.


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and steady-state cardio are very effective forms of exercise. Both can help people burn more calories and improve their heart health. Plus, steady-state cardio exercises are enjoyable and beginner-friendly. In contrast, HIIT requires the guidance of a qualified personal trainer.

Steady-state cardio is suitable for people of all fitness levels. In addition, it is especially beneficial when preparing for an endurance event. It is helpful for older people. People who have joint problems should stick to steady-state cardio. Individuals striving for weight loss or other cardiovascular goals need to be consistent. The most important factor in any type of training is consistency. It is also essential that we make it enjoyable for us to do our exercise over a long period of time.

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