Cardio for weight loss

Cardio for weight loss

Many people who’ve decided to lose weight find themselves stuck with a tricky question — should they do cardio or lift weights?

They’re the two most popular types of workouts, but it can be hard to know which is a better use of your time.

You are well aware of the fact that you lose weight when you burn more calories irrespective of how much you eat. The best way to lose weight is to follow a combination of cardio, strength training and a healthy diet. Cardio is one of the key components because:

You burn more calories at one time. Getting your heart rate into your target heart rate zone means your blood is pumping, you’re breathing hard, and you’re sweating and burning calories.

You can easily add intensity to increase your calorie burn – With cardio exercise; it’s easy to increase your calorie burn with small changes: Running or walking faster, jumping higher, climbing hills or trying new activities that your body isn’t used to. It adds to your overall calorie deficit – Burning calories with exercise means you don’t have to cut as many calories from your diet.

You can do cardio most days of the week – With strength training, your muscles require rest to recover and grow stronger. Cardio can be done most days of the week without worrying about injury or overtraining.

Depending on what your fitness goals are, there are certain types of cardio that are better suited than others. For example, if you want to focus on fat and weight loss, then LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) is perfect. This is because walking burns the most fat per calorie compared to jogging and sprinting. Without going into too much detail, fat requires oxygen in order to be metabolized (broken down) for energy. The lower the intensity, the more oxygen is available to be used by the body to break down fat. When you are jogging or sprinting, less oxygen is available meaning that your body will use other energy sources, such as carbohydrates, for energy. Regardless of the intensity, cardio is great for increasing fitness levels and building stamina.

For weight loss, the National Institutes of Health recommends at least 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three to five days a week. But you can maximize your sweat sessions for efficiency if you alternate between high- and low-intensity workouts each day.  Suggestion is  aiming to work out five days a week, alternating the intensities each day and working out no more than two consecutive days to allow your body time to recover.

Best types of cardio for weight loss:

  • Elliptical
  • Running (moderate pace)
  • Stair Climbing
  • Jumping Rope
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Sprinting

Basically, the amount and type of cardio you have to do to lose weight is super flexible per your schedule and your preferences. No matter which ways you choose, cardio will help you shed pounds and keep them off.

If you’ve got extra time, aim to fit in some longer, lower-intensity exercises, like walking or jogging, biking, or using the elliptical. Note: You’ll have to do these longer to burn more cals, at least 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

Cardio isn’t just for weight loss. It also helps condition the heart and lungs and promotes health and well-being.


A healthy diet and good exercise program are two of the most critical factors for long-term weight loss success. Weight loss programs that include exercise can lead to greater weight loss and better weight maintenance over time.


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