There must be some mythical fitness gods out there who want you to believe there are such things as "bad" workouts. As if the only type of exercise worth doing is the shirt-drenched, inhaler-required kind. Jumps, sprints and big weights are effective, impressive and kind of intimidating, and if you're not doing them, you're not doing enough. Wrong!
Movement is movement. Your body craves it. It doesn't matter if you're doing hill sprints or taking a mile-long walk–both make a dent when it comes to weight loss.
High intensity workouts are attractive and trending right now because you can do more work in less time. It also comes with a handful of benefits like the EPOC effect, which is when your body continues to burn calories for hours and hours after you've left the gym. But this type of workout isn't for everyone, and sometimes it's nice to slow down.
Low intensity exercise is an excellent method for fat burning. If you're looking to drop weight, you can do so with a walking schedule. Looking at it from the inside-out, your body's physiology adapts to exercise. When you perform low intensity workouts, you're usually doing them for longer stretches, like 45 to 60 minutes. This improves your heart's endurance as well as its ability to move blood in and out, dispose of metabolic wastes, boost oxygen, spare carbs and burn fat, increase fat oxidation and power up the mitochondria regions of your cells. (via UNM)
All of those benefits make your body more efficient at getting rid of unnecessary fat storage and helping your systems change from sluggish to steady. Check out these nine low-impact moves for beginners.
This goes for strength-based workouts, too. Cardio is not the only way to burn fat and lose weight. A combination effort of resistance training with cardio is a recipe for quicker weigh loss. Low intensity workouts in this arena would include fewer reps with lighter weights and more rest time in between sets. You build up the number of reps first, decrease your rest time, then you can drop the reps and build up the amount of weight as you get stronger or want to change your routine.
>> WATCH: Lazy Day Workout
Throwing in a low-impact workout can also help your body to recover from the more intense exercise you've been doing. Active recovery helps relieve delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. Just like a beer might cure a hangover, a good, slow pace on the elliptical can cure soreness. Regardless, it beats sitting on the couch!
The answer is yes, low intensity workouts can help you lose weight; however, your body will require some variation to continue your weight loss.