Cardio exercises that help you lose weight
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Team Gabit
2 months ago | 6 mins

Cardio exercises that help you lose weight


There are many ways to reach your health goals. Cardio exercises are one of the most effective methods to ensure that you are closer to your fitness levels. Let's dive in to know the best cardio exercises for weight loss.

The new year is approaching. And along with it, a sense of hope, the new year's resolution. The one time of the year we are at our most motivated. With clearly defined goals and a vision of the future. 

But more often than not, we forget to account for the planning process. Our new year's resolution often strikes us in the last week of the year. However, the execution of any goal involves weeks of planning to build towards that mindset. 

However, if your resolution is to lose weight this year, we've got you covered. Taking the guess-work out of the equation, we've come up with a cardio plan for you to follow in your quest to lose weight. Read along to know how much cardio to lose weight, how you can perform it, and more. 

know best cardio for weight loss

Relationship between weight loss and cardio

Cardiovascular exercises engage your entire body, starting from your heart. The intense nature of the exercise allows for improved blood flow, and it makes your heart pump faster. Cardio also engages the core, the muscles in your abdomen. This builds core strength, which is essential for every other workout that you may perform. 

People turn to cardio for weight loss due to its ability to burn calories. For a person consuming their maintenance calories, cardio allows one to get to a state of caloric deficit. 

know best cardio for weight loss

Best practises for cardio workouts

The best cardio for weight loss includes a variety of exercises, maintaining proper form, gradually increasing intensity, staying consistent, and listening to your body to avoid overtraining.

Also, choose activities you enjoy to make it sustainable, set realistic goals, incorporate both high-intensity and steady-state cardio, warm up before sessions, and cool down afterward. Include strength training to complement cardio, stay hydrated, and ensure proper nutrition for energy. 

Lastly, mix up your routine to prevent boredom and keep challenging your cardiovascular system.

know best cardio for weight loss

Combining cardio with other components

It is thought that you only need to do cardio workouts to lose weight. But it is best not to leave it to just that. You can combine it with various other aspects to reap maximum benefit from your cardio routine. 

Weight training

Weight training is the best way to build muscle and strength. Coupled with cardio, the routine will surely aid you in developing a holistic approach towards your overall health and wellbeing. It also helps improve endurance, which also plays a part in your cardio exercises. 

Yoga

Yoga has long been regarded as the most calming form of exercise, involving still positions and flowing movements. You can perform yoga before or after your cardio routine, either as a stretching exercise, or a cool-down routine. 

Diet

At the very heart of weight loss is diet. A rounded diet involving proteins, fibre and carbs will allow for maximum efficiency and allow you to perform your workout better. 

know best cardio for weight loss

Types of effective cardio exercises

Cardio is a diverse and exciting form of exercise. It is not limited to a mere few movements, but rather encompasses everything that you do, with the intensity turned up a notch. You may perform the following cardio exercises for weight loss:

Walking

Considered by many to be the best cardio for fat loss, walking is extremely fun and engaging. Compared to other cardio workouts, walking is low-impact, and does not put pressure on your knees. Due to this, it is the workout of choice for a lot of people, regardless of age or physical fitness.

know best cardio for weight loss

Running

Running is a high-intensity, high-impact cardio exercise that burns many calories in a short time period. An average person can burn anywhere between 120-180 calories in just 10 minutes of a high-intensity run. However, it is impactful on the knees, and should be performed with precaution and careful consideration. 

know best cardio for weight loss

Cycling

Cycling is an intense cardio exercise that major engages your calves and thighs. Cycling also greatly develops the core, and is seen as an amazing exercise for building endurance. 

know best cardio for weight loss

Jump rope

A simple routine that can be performed at home, jump rope is the ideal exercise to start your cardio routine. Its intensity can be calibrated as per your preference. It is also one workout that takes time getting used to. 

know best cardio for weight loss

Swimming

Swimming is the preferred exercise of people looking to build endurance. Swimming burns about the same amount of calories as a high speed run. However, it also aids you in building muscle, and swimmers are often associated with having broad shoulders. 

know best cardio for weight loss

How to create a cardio routine

The main aspect of cardio for weight loss that gets people demotivated is monotony. A lot of people start with great enthusiasm, but end up dropping their cardio routine because of how repetitive it gets. It is important to build a routine that is inclusive of different exercises that keep you engaged.

Here’s a 5-day workout routine that will keep you interested and occupied

Day 1: High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio (jumping jacks, jogging in place)
  • HIIT Workout: 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise (e.g., sprinting, burpees) followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat for 20-30 minutes.
  • Cool down: 5-10 minutes of light stretching

Day 2: Running or jogging

  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of brisk walking or light jogging
  • Main workout: 30-45 minutes of running or jogging at a moderate pace
  • Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching focusing on legs and hips

Day 3: Cycling

  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of easy cycling
  • Main workout: 40-60 minutes of cycling at a moderate to brisk pace. You can use a stationary bike or cycle outdoors.
  • Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching, focusing on quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

Day 4: Jump rope and bodyweight exercises

  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio (jumping jacks, jogging in place)
  • Main workout: 3 rounds of jump rope (1 minute) followed by bodyweight exercises (e.g., push-ups, squats, lunges) for 1 minute each. Rest for 1-2 minutes between rounds.
  • Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching

Day 5: Cardio circuit

  • Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio (jumping jacks, jogging on the spot)
  • Main workout: 30-45 minutes of mixed cardio exercises. You can follow incorporate various exercises such as rock climbers, burpees, crunches, and jogging.
  • Cool down: 5-10 minutes of stretching, focusing on the whole body.
know best cardio for weight loss

Conclusion

All in all, cardio exercises are great for weight loss, and allow you to eat better, as you can stay close to your maintenance calories and still be in a caloric deficit, by virtue of the cardio exercises you perform. As is the case with everything in fitness, ensure that you start out slow, and work your way up steadily. If you feel weak or uneasy at any time, abort the workout and consult with your doctor.  

know best cardio for weight loss

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cardio exercise for weight loss?

There is no best cardio for weight loss. Many cardio exercises will get you closer to your goal. You can choose one according to your preferred intensity, depending on your level of experience. 

How often should I do cardio exercises to see results?

For any workout routine, the time taken can be different for everyone, due to the numerous variables involved. When coupled with a good diet and weight training, expect to notice results in 6-10 weeks, but do not expect an instant transformation. 

Are cardio exercises more suitable for beginners?

Cardio exercises can be performed by beginners and experts alike. However, one needs to calibrate their level of intensity according to the experience they possess. Always start off slow and work your way up. 

Are there specific cardio exercises that target belly fat?

While much research has been done about it, spot reduction is not possible with any workout routine or diet. When fat levels drop, it happens throughout the body, without focusing on a specific area. 

How does stress impact weight loss, and can cardio help manage stress for better results?

Stress is an important factor affecting weight loss. When you are stressed, your brain releases the cortisol hormone which slows down metabolism, and makes you crave for fatty, savoury and sweet dishes and abdominal fat storage leading to weight gain. Depending on your current fitness goals, cardio can help manage stress in an efficient manner. 

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