It’s easy to incorporate cardio workouts into your weekly routine, so no more excuses—get to work!
Cardio exercises, combined with healthy eating, help you lose weight and reduce the risk of many conditions, including obesity and heart disease. In addition to these physical benefits, studies have found that cardio also sharpens your mind.
There is no single best cardio training—the key is to find a cardio workout that works for you, in line with your fitness profile and goals. Keep in mind that the best cardio workouts depend on your lifestyle. If you are currently inactive, choose an activity that you can enjoy and practice regularly. Examples of easy cardio activities include brisk walking, running stairs, cycling, treadmills, and steppers.
Walking is an excellent habit that you can incorporate into your daily routine, especially if you work from home, or you use the car to go to work. A 30-minute walk every day can make a big difference in the long run. If you want to lose weight, you have to walk at a brisk, moderately-fast pace. This cardio activity can help you burn 300 to 400 calories per hour.
Biking can help you burn 600 calories per hour. Bike outside if you want to get fresh air and explore your city. Buy an indoor exercise bike and do your workout at home watching tv, if you prefer to stay home—especially when it is cold outside. Start an indoor cycling class if you like being surrounded by people who want to be healthy and motivate one another.
- Running Stairs
Running stairs can help you burn up to 1,000 calories per hour—and this is great news if you want to maximize your weight loss. Next time you have to choose between stairs and elevator, you might want to consider the first option. If you do not have a chance to run stairs on a daily basis, find a staircase near you that has more than one flight and get to work!
- Treadmill and Steppers
Treadmills and steppers are excellent workouts that you can do at the gym, and they are perfect alternatives to walking and running. Fast walking on the treadmill burns 276 calories for a person weighing 160 pounds, and steppers can help you burn approximately 446 calories per hour.
If you are moderately to very active, you may want to include some kettlebell exercises and rope jumping in your fitness routine. You can also add intensity workouts such as HIIT to your fitness program.
Kettlebell is a cannonball-shaped weight that is used in cardio exercises. Kettlebell workouts are not just great as cardio training, but they also combine strength training. You can try these exercises to get started. Kettlebells can help you burn 800 to 900 calories per hour.
- Jumping Rope
Did you know that jumping rope may just be better than running when it comes to losing weight fast? According to WebMD, you would have to run an 8-minute mile to burn more calories than you can burn jumping rope. This workout can help you burn 600 calories per hour. Keep in mind that you need a 4-by-6-foot area and about 10 inches of space above your head to jump the rope—use a wood floor or mat.
High-Intensity Interval Training, known as HIIT, includes short bursts of high-intensity activity performed at maximal effort (to find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220, then multiply that number by 0.17), separated by short periods of lower intensity work that allow partial recovery. A typical HIIT session might include a 3-minute warm-up, four to six repetitions of a 30-second sprint followed by a 60-second active recovery, and a 3-minute cool-down. HIIT can help you burn around 600 calories per hour.
There are so many cardio activities to choose from, so pick an activity that interests you and give it a try! You don’t have to do something you dislike just because you read it is good for you. Choose something that can be beneficial and fun at the same time. If you choose a workout you like, it will be easier to commit to it.
Don’t obsess over fat loss—be patient and consistent. We all have different bodies and metabolisms, so don’t get discouraged if your workout buddies lose weight before you do—keep on working! You may see some small changes after a couple of weeks, but give yourself at least 90 days to evaluate results. If you are not satisfied, consider talking to experts or hiring a personal trainer. Don’t stop training when you reach your goal weight—make fitness a part of your lifestyle to keep a healthy weight and strengthen your body.