There are three different types of cardio that I will prescribe clients:
LISS- Low Intensity Steady State.
Example: brisk walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical or stair master at 50-60% of your maximum heart rate.
Pro's: less stress on the body, enjoyable leisure activity for exercise, can multitask.
Con's: Can be quite time consuming. Metabolism may adapt quickly.
MISS- Moderate Intensity Steady State.
Example: fast paced jogging or any similar activity at 65-70% of your max.
Pro's: less adaptive than LISS, the sweet spot to start fat loss, not as taxing as HIIT, leads to great amount of fat oxidation.
Con's: Somewhat time consuming, typically non adaptive.
HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training.
Example: Any exercise performed in an interval at 100% of your maximum effort.
Pro's: BEST cardio choice to increase muscles' oxidative capacity- the "afterburn effect"- keeps burning after completion, saves time, retains more muscle mass during injury and during a deficit, greater releases of growth hormones (including testosterone), maximum energy expenditure. Con's: Requires recovery time (refrain from doing daily), taxing on the body, greater risk of injury.