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Episode 123: Fitness 101: Types of Exercise and Their Benefits

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Do you ever walk into the gym feeling unsure and self conscious, so you just hop on the treadmill to avoid any possible embarrassment?

Do you feel like when you workout you're just spinning your wheels, not getting the results you're looking for?

Do you wish you knew how to optimize your sweat sessions to get the most burn for your buck without injuring yourself?

In today's episode I'm going to help you gain more understanding of the different types of workouts to choose from, their benefits, and how to apply them so you can walk into the gym feeling confident.


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training where you alternate between short bursts of intense activity (usually lasting 10-60 seconds) and recovery intervals (usually lasting 10-120 seconds).

An example would be sprinting on the treadmill for 30 seconds, taking it down to a walk for 60 seconds, and repeating for the duration of your workout. 

The rule of thumb is to start at a 1:2 ratio of work-to-rest, and move your way to 1:1 or even 2:1 as you get more fit. 

During this type of workout you're pushing yourself to 80-95% of your maximum effort and the workout itself usually only lasts between 10-30 minutes total.

Benefits: This extremely efficient workouts burns 25-30% more calories than other workouts done for the same amount of time. It increases both aerobic and anaerobic fitness (aerobic fitness burns a higher percentage of fat, while anaerobic burns more total calories, making this a great weight loss workout). It decreases fasting insulin while improving insulin sensitivity. It has been shown to reduce abdominal fat and it increases your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. Not to mention it's been shown to decrease blood pressure as much as, if not more than the traditionally recommended moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.

A note on HIIT: too much of this type of workout can set you up for injury and burn out. Start with only 1 session per week and do no more than 3 per week. 


LISS stands for low intensity steady state. It is a cardio workout performed at a low-to-moderate intensity for a continuous, extended period (usually 30-60 minutes). Think jogging, biking, or swimming. 

Its benefits include improved aerobic endurance, heart health, and circulation. Plus it's a great option for active recovery after an intense resistance training day by promoting blood flow (and therefore nutrient delivery and metabolic waste disposal) to your recovering muscles.

This style of training is a great option for beginners who are intimidated by more intense workouts.

While it may not burn as many calories as a HIIT or resistance training session, it will still help get you closer to the calorie deficit you need to lose weight.

It also is a good workout option when you're feeling particularly stressed. More challenging, intense workouts cause higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol to be released which can sometimes just be too much for your body. Maintain consistency by taking it down a notch with a LISS workout. 

Resistance Training

Resistance training is a form of exercise that improves muscular fitness by exercising a muscle against external resistance. It increases resting metabolic rate more effectively than aerobic exercise. There are 4 main types of resistance training: endurance, power, hypertrophy, and strength.

Active Recovery

 Active recovery is when you follow a strenuous workout with a low-intensity workout designed to help your body rest and recover. Some examples include walking, yoga, pilates, and swimming.

It's benefits include increasing blood flow to tired muscles, reducing lactic acid build up in muscles, eliminating toxins, improving mobility, reducing soreness, and helping you stay on track with your fitness routine.

Putting it all together

Now you may be wondering how to put all of this together into a routine that's going to get you to your goals as quickly as possible. I would love to tell you a one-size-fits-all approach, but I don't have one.

The ratio, order, progression, and type of workouts you do are going to depend entirely on your goals, fitness level, lifestyle, and schedule.

Interested in getting that individualized advice and support? Click here to book a free consultation!


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The information shared in this blog and podcast are intended for informational purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions and you should always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.


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