HIIT vs. Cardio: Which is Better for Your Heart?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

What does science say about HIIT vs. cardio for your heart? Find out.


0:00 HIIT vs. cardio

0:23 Why is HIIT better for your heart?

1:10 Types of HIIT exercises

2:52 Benefits of HIIT

3:13 How to do HIIT

5:30 Share your success story!

Let’s talk about HIIT vs. cardio for your heart. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) may actually be better than a cardio workout for your heart.

In a heartbeat, you have a contraction and relaxation—it operates on a rhythm. HIIT mimics more of a rhythmic type exercise than some type of moderate sustained type exercise. Moderate sustained exercise may be harder on the heart.

Short-duration, high-intensity exercise with a good amount of rest may be very therapeutic for the heart. According to one study, HIIT exercise showed a significant increase in cardiovascular and respiratory health.

A few types of HIIT exercises:

• Spin bike

• Slamball

• Plyometrics like jump training

• Sprinting (if you have good joints)

High-intensity interval training can help increase something called VO2 max, which is the amount of oxygen that feeds the muscles. It can also help increase growth hormone and testosterone.

With HIIT, you want high-intensity, short duration, and a good amount of recovery. You want to create short-term stress as well as less cortisol and improve recovery and the parasympathetic nervous system.

I would suggest doing a 20 second or less intense workout and then rest for about 2-4 minutes. Then repeat for about 3-7 sets. I would also suggest adding this workout to what you’re already doing. I think you could see some really amazing changes, not just with your heart, but with your whole body.





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