Steady-State Cardio Vs HIIT – what Suits You Better?

hiit vs steady state cardio


Whether your goal is to lose those love handles or cardiovascular health, cardio plays a very crucial role. Whether you are a pro-athlete or a gym newbie, cardio has always been a part of the training routine.

We also have evidence where simple cardio exercises appeared to be enough for maintaining a certain level of body fitness without any addition of intense trails. Besides, this training is also recommended for children due to having no negative impacts on the body. 

But all the cardio workouts are not created equal, some have a greater impact on the cardiovascular system and others are used to maintain general fitness. Cardio workouts can be categorized into two wide categories-

  • HIIT: High-Intensity Interval training that challenges your mind and body.
  • Steady-state cardio: Slow cardio that is designed to improve stamina and calorie burning.

Instead of wasting any time further, let’s get deep into the basic differences between both workout patterns.

Steady-State Cardio:

When it comes to a moderate, easier, and less-intense aerobic sessions, steady-state cardio comes handy. Here, a person has to remain at a constant pace and time for a pre-defined period. No changes are made on the intensity levels while doing a Steady-State cardio session. 

Woman at a gym doing spinning or cyclo indoor with smart watch Free Photo
Source: Freepik

Fitness trainers or people independently set a speed, level of intensity, and duration of the cardio and remain consistent with it. It includes various aerobic or cardiovascular activities that usually last between 30 to 45 minutes. 

During this Steady-State Cardio routine, a person can run on a treadmill, having a moderately intense level of speed and elevation for a said time period. It can also include cycling or skipping. 

Evidences in the favor of Steady-State Cardio:

Here are some pros, benefits, or proven advantages related to steady-state cardio:

1. Best for novice trainees to build stamina or people with a medical condition to ward-off symptoms-intensity:

It is for novice people who are just starting with activating their entire body and muscles because usually daily routines don’t involve so many dynamic actions. Therefore, a body needs to start with activities at a moderate pace to get used to its new dynamic routine. It will help not only in maintaining a good lifestyle but also enabling one to perform daily activities. 

Also, there is evidence proving that Steady-State cardio works best for people suffering from health issues. Such as, a study showed that Steady-State aerobics exercise helped patients with systematic sclerosis, a state of vascular abnormalities that can affect the epidermis and internal organs like heart, kidney, or lungs, etc. 

2. Doesn’t let people to feel exhausted even after long sessions and work best against mood disorders:

In Steady-State cardio, though a person has to work for a little longer but its steady pace never lets him or her feeling exhausted. Why? Trainer and fitness experts choose the intensity and time of cardiovascular activities based on a person’s sole health so they end up feeling fresh even after prolonged sessions of cardio workouts. 

Besides this, when a person adopts a continuous routine of Steady-State workout, their mood disorders are improved. A study on patients with stress issues shows that continuous physical activities related to Steady-State cardio, helped patients to fight stress

Important tip

If you do not hydrate your body properly, you may end up bushed and fatigued. There are also chances tha t you will not be able to compete your aerobic exercise session. Therefore, always keep nutritious fresh juice in a blender to go

3. Keep a person from heart issues and improve the heart rate of patients with cardiac matters:

Normal people, with no active lifestyle, start to feel tired and their heart rate increases even while performing their daily activities. They feel like sweating more, breathing loud, and feeling intense. This is not a serious health issue however a state indorsing one to adopt an active lifestyle and perform Steady-State cardio to keep oneself from serious health problems like cardiac arrest.

There are also proven facts that cardiovascular exercises help against the development of heart issues and warding-off its symptoms. Many studies are done to showcase the positive impacts of cardio workouts on health, specifically in people suffering from cardiac problems. 

4. Steady-State cardio is fun especially when accompanied by music:

Steady-State cardiovascular exercises never let a person feel exhausted, so almost everyone enjoys doing them. Also, there are no intense workouts at the sharp speed involved, so people can shove their hand-frees in ears and enjoy their favorite music during running sessions.

A steady exercise accompanied by music never lets a person feeling tired. Hence, there will be no breaks from the workout. With no breaks, a regular routine will help in improving health as well as affect the complete lifestyle of a person in a positive manner. 

Drawbacks of Steady-State Cardio:

Nothing in this world comes without drawbacks, so some cons attached to Steady-State cardio are:

  1. You need to spend more time exercising – not for people with tight schedules.
  2. You are putting pressure on the same joints and muscles steadily that can result in injury – not for people with serious physical health issues.

HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training:

The other type of Training is the High-Intensity Interval Training, commonly known as HIIT. HIIT workouts involve short interval of high-intensity workouts, sprinting and plyometric jumps is one of the most common form of HIIT. Intensity of the interval may vary based on the power and energy of a person. Also, the time spans can vary based on the type of HIIT work set. 

Intensive workout with kettlebell Free Photo
Source: Freepik

After each work set, a short period of rest or recovery is a must in order to bring back your heartbeat at its stable rate. This is because HIIT workout sessions can increase the heart rate from 80 percent to 90 percent. However, if not proper measures are taken, serious cardiac issues can occur

This is not all, HIIT has so many benefits and can bring amazing changes in your physique, helping you to get a perfectly shaped and well-defined body. 

Evidences in the favor of HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training:

Here are some pros, benefits, or proven advantages related to HIIT:

1. Better Results along with over Health Improvement:

As in HIIT, intense exercises are done where complete energy of a body is conversed, therefore, the results come faster. If a person is trying to lose fat, gain muscles, and bring body into a good shape, short intervals of HIIT will come extremely handy. People trained with HIIT are physically more fit.

A test on police officers was done to check their fitness. In the results, police officers prone to doing High-Intensity Interval Training appeared better to fit that the those on simple aerobic exercises. The study also recommended police officers to start with intense fitness training

2. Works Against Insulin Sensitivity – Medically Proven:

Insulin sensitivity is a state of body where its dependence upon insulin is stated. A body sensitive to insulin can cause diabetes in the patients due to increased sugar level in blood. However, when a person does high-intensity interval training, the body starts using glucose as fuel and helps in maintaining insulin levels. 

A study regarding this published in a paper that showed HIIT has more abilities to improve conditions of diabetic patients compared to aerobics. Therefore, HIIT is recommended to the patients suffering from type 2 diabetes

3. Best to Lose Belly Fat and Brings Faster Results:

People having fat on their overall body can use some a detailed plan or diet to lose it. However, people having fat on the specific portions of their body such as belly, thighs, upper limbs, and legs will have to go specific to lose fat. HIIT offers so many steps and sets to lose fat and has shown proven results regarding this. 

It happens because a person puts more pressure on certain parts of the body. The pressure is too intense and the body requires too much energy so excessive fat gets turned into energy. According to studies, HIIT has better and greater impacts to converse glucose

4. HIIT Improves Mental illnesses of Various kinds:

HIIT involves better power and more intense exercises and though they end up a person with exhaustion however the exhaustion is not depressive but is always followed by an improved mood. Your body and mind have a very strong relationship towards each other with directive proportions. The fit a body is, sound its mind will be.

Moreover, if we look at the medical side, studies show that high intensity interval training can improve mood, escalate happiness, erase depression, and makes a person overall happy. However, the result can vary because of intense mental ailments. 

Evidences Against HIIT:

Nothing in this world comes without drawbacks, so some cons attached to HIIT are:

  • Increase heart risk.
  • Can cause injuries.
  • Can bring adverse impacts in case of negligence. 

Conclusion and Suggestions:

In the end, now it is time to conclude the discussion with results and suggestions. It is suggested that a person should opt and adopt a workout type that goes well with his or her body requirements and health. For example, if you are a novice to the world of fitness or have some sort of serious ailment, Steady-State Cardio exercise would suit you best. On the other hand, if you are searching for some better and faster ways of losing weight, HIIT would come extremely handy. However, don’t forget to consult a health expert before starting with any intense workout. 

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