Everything in Moderation

By Coach Kendall

Peloton, Orangetheory, Cyclebar, and the infamous Crossfit. What do all of these powerhouses have in common? High-intensity training. High-intensity training, by definition, is a workout that gets you anywhere from 85%-95% of your peak heart rate or around an 8-9 on the RPE scale. High-intensity training has taken the fitness world over! The appeal of high-intensity training is that it offers health benefits in a shorter amount of time, which is perfect for those with busy schedules. According to a recent study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health high-intensity training has been shown to increase exercise capacity and cardiac function. However, it can be easy to get swept up in the idea that every workout needs to be high-intensity for you to be able to get a “good workout”, but the reality is that all forms of movement are necessary for balance and health. You do not need to work at 110%, be dripping in sweat, and barely able to walk in order to say your workout is successful. If anything, those things actually can disrupt your progress, increase injury risk, decrease health outcomes, and more.

According to new research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, exercising at a moderate intensity more times per week can be just as, if not more, beneficial than exercising at a high intensity fewer times per week. The overall findings of the study found that those who exercised more frequently at a moderate intensity had improved glycemic response and a decrease in blood pressure when compared to individuals who exercised at a high intensity a few times a week. Although the findings of this research study may seem to suggest that moderate-intensity training is better than high-intensity, researchers have noted that incorporating all types of movement into your workout regime is important to maximize health benefits and reduce the risk of injury. 

Additionally, incorporating moderate-intensity training into your normal workout routine can help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Too much high-intensity training can cause cortisol levels to increase resulting in fatigue, anxiety, mood changes, and lack of motivation to workout. Using moderate-intensity exercise as a form of rest is an important part of a balanced routine and enables you to see positive results from your high-intensity days. Forms of moderate-intensity training include; strength training at an RPE that reflects the moderate intensity goal, walking, playing tennis, riding a bike, dancing, and recreational swimming. 

All types of movement are important to maintain both physical and mental health. While it can be beneficial to use research as a guide to working out, it is equally important to listen to your body. Exercise should make you feel happy and be a part of your daily routine that you can look forward to! The more you listen to your body’s needs, the more likely you are to stay consistent with working out. When your body and your mind are in agreement, you will develop a healthier relationship with yourself and with exercise.

At Paragon, we utilize specified RPE and training blocks to ensure you are working at the appropriate intensity. Want to learn more about our training? Sign up for a trial today!

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