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Best Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

Losing weight is easier said than done, and there is no magic drug that can help you shed pounds. Instead, you must expend more calories than you consume. A nutritious diet, as well as a combination of cardio and strength training, are required.

Are you ready to get rid of those extra pounds? Here are some of the finest cardio and strength-training routines for weight loss, as well as recommendations for staying active throughout the day.

4 Best Cardio Exercise for Weight Loss

Cardiovascular workouts (often known as cardio) raise your heart rate. According to Multazim Shaikh, a fitness trainer and nutritionist at FamFits, these are some of the most efficient forms of exercise for weight loss because the higher your heart rate, the more fat you'll burn.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you'll need up to 300 minutes of moderate physical exercise every week to lose or sustain weight loss. This takes roughly 60 minutes per day, five days a week.

If you're short on time, divide your cardio into three smaller exercises per day. For example, exercise for 20 minutes before work, walk for 20 minutes during your lunch break, and exercise for 20 minutes after dinner.

Great cardio workouts to help you lose weight include:

  1. Low-intensity cardio

To reduce weight, you do not need to engage in strenuous activity. Low-intensity cardio can also help you burn calories and lose weight if you are a novice or have physical limitations.

Jogging, bicycling, power walking, swimming, and aerobics are examples of these workouts. Begin slowly and progressively increase the intensity as you get used to your new regimen.

5 days a week, aim for 60 minutes of low-intensity cardio. Carry hand weights when jogging, strolling, or doing aerobics as your physical fitness improves.

  1. Jump rope

Jumping rope not only improves coordination and cognitive function, but the intensity of this workout elevates your heart rate, helping you burn about 1,300 calories per hour, explains Shaikh.

  1. Warm up with 8 to 10 jumps.

  2. Then jump continuously for 1 1/2 minutes.

  3. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat.

  4. Complete 3 sets.

You can switch up your routine, too. Jump one set on a single leg, one set with both legs, and one set while running in place.

  1. Burpees

Burpees combine squats, jumps, and pushups. It’s an effective workout because you’re burning fat from your overall body, and you’re training multiple muscle groups like your chest, legs, and core, says Shaikh.

  1. Do 10 reps in 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.

  2. Repeat for 5 minutes.

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This cardio workout has increased in popularity due to its ability to maximize calorie burn and fat loss. It involves intense bursts of exercise to elevate your heart rate, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

HIIT is great if you don’t have a lot of time. You’re able to exercise for a shorter length of time, yet complete a more intense and strenuous workout. As a result, you’ll continue to burn calories for hours after the workout, notes Shaikh.

Here’s an example of a HIIT routine:

  1. Complete butt kicks for 45 seconds, and rest for 15 seconds.

  2. Next, perform jumping lunges for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

  3. Complete burpees for 45 seconds, and rest for 15 seconds.

  4. Repeat for 10 to 20 minutes.

  5. You can also incorporate other movements like mountain climbers and jump squats.

Or, you can try to complete a HIIT workout on a treadmill:

  • Warm up for 5 minutes.

  • Then sprint at a high-intensity speed for 1 minute.

  • Walk for 30 seconds, and then sprint again at a high-intensity speed for 1 minute.

  • Complete 8 to 10 sets.

  1. strength-training exercises for weight loss

Even though strength training alone doesn’t have fast results, don’t ignore weight training or strength training when losing weight.

These training sessions can fire up your metabolism. And because they build lean muscle mass, you’ll burn more calories during exercise and at rest, according to Stephanie Blozy, an exercise science expert and the owner of Fleet Feet in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Great weight and strength-training exercises to help you lose weight include:

  1. Kettlebell swings

This full-body, demanding workout will amp up your heart rate while increasing your arm and leg strength and helping you develop a strong core, explains Blozy.

  1. Complete a two-handed kettlebell swing for 20 seconds.

  2. Rest for 8 seconds.

  3. Repeat 8 sets.

Blozy recommends lifting faster to boost your heart rate even more and have a more cardio-intense workout.

  1. Pushups

Push Ups are an excellent exercise for stabilizing the core, building upper body strength, and increasing muscle mass in your arms.

If you’re a beginner, start with 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 60 to 90 seconds between each set. Gradually increase your number of reps as your strength improves.

  1. Lunges

“I love the options lunges provide because you can do them forward, backward, weighted, and unweighted,” says Blozy. “For the weighted version, hold a kettlebell or weight plate next to your chest, or make it even more challenging and lift the weight overhead.”

  • Complete 1 set of 8 to 12 lunges per leg.

  1. Step-ups

Blozy also recommends step-ups as another great exercise to strengthen the legs while stabilizing your core and lower back muscles. “Start with a small step height (6 to 12 inches) and then progress to a higher height, like 24 to 30 inches.”

  • Complete 5 sets of 5 to 10 reps per side.

Want to make it challenging? Add weight by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell next to your chest or hold one in each hand, Blozy says. “Not only will your quads burn, but your heartrate will accelerate and sweat will pour.”

  1. Deadlifts

Blozy also suggests deadlifts as an exercise to build muscles in both the lower and upper body, while reducing fat. She encourages lightening the load to 50 to 70 percent of your max, and increasing the reps so it’ll feel more like cardio than weight training.

  • Complete 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.

Simple ways to be active every day

Along with a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet, look for other ways to be active every day.

Remember, the more you move, the more calories you’ll burn. This can maximize your weight loss efforts and help you reach your goal sooner.

  • Pace the room during commercial breaks, between show episodes, or while talking on the phone.

  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator.

  • Park your car in the back of parking lots.

  • Get a fitness tracker. Some trackers send alerts when you’ve been sedentary for too long. These alerts remind you to move.

  • Schedule walking meetings with your coworkers.

  • Fidget in your seat, such as tapping your hand, rocking your leg, or engaging your abdominal muscles as you sit. 

  • People with obesity who fidget might expend an additional 350 calories per day.

  • Get off the bus or subway a stop earlier, and walk the rest of the way to your destination.

  • Put on headphones while cooking or completing other household chores. This will encourage you to move or dance.

  • Walk the dog as a family.

Best Cardio Workouts

  • Sprinting

  • High-intensity interval training

  • Rowing

  • Swimming

  • Cycling

  • Kettlebells

  • Jumping Rope

  • Stair Climber

  • Running (moderate pace)

  • Elliptical

Best Cardio for Burning Fat

Low-intensity cardio

You don't have to exercise at a high intensity to lose weight. If you're a beginner or have physical limitations, low-intensity cardio can also help you burn calories and drop pounds. These workouts include jogging, bicycling, power walking, swimming, and aerobics.

Strength And Cardio Workout

These workouts include jogging, bicycling, power walking, swimming, and aerobics. Start slow and gradually up the intensity as you adjust to your new routine. Aim for 60 minutes of low-intensity cardio five days a week. As you become more physically fit, carry hand weights while jogging, walking, or doing aerobics.

The Bottomline

High-intensity interval training is a highly efficient form of exercise that may help you burn more calories than other forms of exercise.

Some of the calories burnt during high-intensity interval training come from an increased metabolism that lasts for hours after exercise.

Overall, HIIT provides many of the same health advantages as other forms of exercise while taking up less time.

These advantages include reduced body fat, heart rate, and blood pressure. HIIT may also aid in the reduction of blood sugar and the improvement of insulin sensitivity.

So, if you're short on time but want to stay active, try high-intensity interval training.