Exercise tapes, live aerobics style classes, training on cardio equipment, etc are largly a waste of time. Yes, if you are totally unfit you will see improvement but you could get the same from a consistent walking program. Long term the above cardio based programs will make you weaker and hungrier. Most people use them as a misguided way of purging calories.
A properly done, high-intensity cardio workout improves your cardiovascular fitness in a manner that cannot be obtained by walking. (Unless you’re talking about “power walking” at a very high intensity. And even that doesn’t exercise all of your muscle groups.)
What you wrote does not contradict what I wrote. The SAID (specific adaptation to imposed demand) principal bears out your point. Yes, the cardiovascular adaptation to long duration cardio is specific to that demand. And the adaptation to high intensity cardio is specific to that demand. You cannot dance at all weddings at the same time as the adaptations are not compatable beyond very basic fitness levels. For most people a well designed strength training program combined with walking on non lifting days for active recovery yields the most useful adaptations
-increased strength base
-increased bone density
-adequate cardiovascular adaptations for non long duration athletes
-adequate mobility and balance for non dancers / gymnasts
“Unless you’re talking about “power walking” at a very high intensity. And even that doesn’t exercise all of your muscle groups.”
There are actually 4 types of “high intensity” walking
-Power walking (around 4 mph)
-Speed walking (is an actual Olympic event and can get up to 9 mph for long distances.
-HIIT (High intensity interval training) where you change up walking, jogging, and sprints
-Farmers walks, where you walk for short durations while carrying heavy weights
But I was just talking about using moderate intensity walking as a form of active recovery on non lifting days to achieve and maintain adequate levels of cardio fitness that will not ruin your strength gains like high intensity cardio will.
For someone who has not exercised on a regular basis ANY cardio activity for 20 minutes or longer several times a week is a good start. Work up from there to activities that will raise your heart level to 80 percent of max for your age but if that’s not feasible, just keep walking (go up and down the stairs at work). Add some weight and resistance training if you can…use isometrics if not.
Anything is better than nothing….