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Do you picture perspiration streaming down your brow while sprinting on the treadmill or going for a brisk walk during your lunch break when you hear the word cardio? It's both of them. Cardiovascular exercise, often known as aerobic exercise, refers to any activity that requires the use of oxygen.

This type of exercise:

  • uses large muscle groups, such as your legs or upper body

  • requires respiration or controlled breathing

  • increases your heart rate and keeps it in an aerobic zone for a set amount of time

Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and fitness courses are all common forms of cardio. A rower, elliptical, stair climber, upright or recumbent bike, and treadmill are examples of cardio machines.

While cardio burns calories and aids in weight reduction, combining it with at least two to three days per week of strength training activities will speed up your weight loss.

The quantity of cardio you need to lose weight is determined by several factors, including your current weight, food, level of daily activity, and age.

Cardio for weight loss

You must develop a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. The number of calories you eat must be less than the number of calories you burn. The amount of weight you lose is determined by the quantity of exercise you are willing to do in a week.

Consider utilizing a calorie counting app if you are unsure how to build a deficit or if you need assistance completing your objectives. These trackers allow you to input your daily food intake as well as your physical activity throughout the day, allowing you to check your current calories in/calories out calculation.

To see significant results, you should engage in at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.

Strength-training routines involving all major muscle groups should be done at least twice a week.

If you want to lose one pound every week, you must generate a 3,500-calorie deficit, which means you must burn 3,500 more calories in one week than you consume.

Factors that affect how quickly you burn calories

Before you embark on a weight loss journey using cardio exercise, it’s important to understand that there are certain factors that affect how quickly you burn calories, and consequently, how fast you lose weight.

  • Age. The older you are, the fewer calories you can expect to burn.

  • Body composition. If you have a greater amount of muscle mass, you’ll burn more calories during exercise than someone who has a higher percentage of fat.

  • Intensity of workout. The more vigorous the workout, the more calories you’ll burn in one session.

  • Gender. Men burn calories faster than women.

  • Overall daily activity. The more sedentary you are during the day, the fewer overall calories you’ll burn.

  • Weight. The greater your weight, the more calories you’ll burn.

Best Cardio for Burning Fat

To maximize your time spent exercising, consider choosing physical activities that burn the most amount of calories in the least amount of time. This typically involves using the large muscles of your lower body at a moderate or vigorous intensity.

A 154-pound person can burn anywhere between 140 and 295 calories in 30 minutes doing cardiovascular exercise. Here are some different methods of cardio and the number of calories you can burn in 30 minutes:

  • hiking: 185 calories

  • dancing: 165 calories

  • walking (3.5 mph): 140 calories

  • running (5 mph): 295 calories

  • bicycling (>10 mph): 295 calories

  • swimming: 255 calories

Creating an initial workout routine

To shed one pound, you must expend 3,500 calories more than your body requires. If you want to lose one to two pounds per week, you'll need a daily calorie deficit of 1,000.

Assume you have a daily caloric need of 2,200 calories. You'll need to cut 500 calories from your daily intake and expend 500 calories through activity.

With this in mind, you should devise a workout routine that involves cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week and strength training on at least two days.

  • Cardiovascular exercise. Perform cardio exercise three to five days a week for 30 to 60 minutes each session.

  • Strength training. Perform two to three days a week of strength training exercises that involve all major muscle groups.

  • Flexibility and stretching. Include daily stretching and flexibility exercises.

  • Rest. Include at least one to two days of rest each week. You can participate in active recovery exercises such as yoga or light stretching on your rest days.

Does Cardio Burn Fat

The research from over five studies suggests that cardio burns fat through calorie expenditure and is mainly excreted through gases via the lungs. The most effective way to burn fat is through a mix of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight training.

Fat Burning Cardio Workouts

  • Low-intensity cardio. You don't have to exercise at a high intensity to lose weight.

  • Jump rope. 

  • Burpees. 

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 

Why Does Cardio Burn Fat

Cardio Burns Calories (And Therefore Fat) One of the main ways that cardio can help burn fat is through burning calories. Weight and fat loss happens when you create a calorie deficit, meaning you burn more calories than you eat.

The Takeaway

For each sort of workout, your body employs a particular set of muscle groups. Including a range of workouts in your overall fitness plan makes sense. For optimum weight loss, combining cardiovascular activity with weight training makes the most sense.

Consider doing cardio exercise most days of the week and strength training activity at least two days per week to accomplish this. Include at least two to three different types of aerobic activity in your cardio routine. For example, run one day, swim the next, cycle the next, then choose two different exercise classes to perform the next two days.

Consider taking a fitness class that involves strength training for added benefits. This will improve the quantity of calories you burn both during and after your workout.