Short, High Intensity Exercise Burns More Calories

By Elizabeth Quinn, About.com Guide

When it comes to calorie burning during exercise, research shows that short, high-intensity aerobic session

burn more calories than longer, lower-intensity aerobic workouts. According to the American College of Sports Medicine,

more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercise.

For example, a 154 pound person who runs at a pace of 8 mph will burn 320 calories in 20 minutes. That same

person, walking at 3 mph for an hour, will burn 235 calories.

Safety Considerations

Although shorter, high-intensity workouts burn the most calories, they aren’t always the best option. They are

not recommended for a novice exerciser because they can contribute to injuries in individuals who aren’t

prepared for the physical demands of this type of workout. They are also hard to maintain and should be used

sparingly. Even a highly fit athlete should vary his workout and have some long and slow days for endurance and

recovery. Finally, if you work at a high intensity, odds are you will fatigue sooner and be forced to stop after

about 20 minutes. If you go slow, you will likely to be able to continue exercising for several hours.

If you’re already exercising regularly and progressing in your exercise intensity, you may want to try shorter,

more intense workouts to enhance your calorie burning. However, if you’re just starting an exercise program, a

slow and steady progression of longer and less intense exercise is probably a better option.

The sort of exercise you chose depends upon your ultimate goal. If you are training for mountaineering or

backpacking, you’d better plan some long, steady days of hiking. If you want to lose those newly acquired

holiday pounds, give the high intensity workout a try.

Keep in mind that if you have specific training goals you should adhere to the principles of conditioning and follow

an appropriate training program for your sport.

It is recommended that you see your doctor before starting an exercise program if you’re older than age 40 and

have never exercised, a smoker, overweight or have a chronic health condition.