What's the best cardio to burn fat?
Wouldn’t we all love to know? Who wants to thrash away working ourselves into a lather week after week only to find the cardio we’ve been doing is the least effective fat-burning exercise on the planet?
Fortunately, most cardio methods have evolved and advanced to a point where they all have their merits – well, most of them. But are there any standouts? If you could choose the three most effective cardio workouts to do each week, you would. So what would those workouts be?
What is the best type of cardio exercises for weight loss?
To lose weight, fat has to be used as your primary energy source. As that fat is burned to feed your body with the energy it needs to battle on through a workout, you lose weight. No worries there.
But how? A lot of cardio exercises are a little on the passive and low-intensity side; after all, walking is a form of cardio. However, if you are looking for a fast track to losing fat then walking may not be the best option.
Running, cycling and rowing? These are much more strenuous; much more likely to burn fat fast if - and here’s the key – if you put the effort in and raise your heart rate then steady state cardio will unlock a huge amount of benefits. This is because these exercises use the body’s largest muscle groups at once.
Are exercise classes good for weight loss?
How long is a roll of lycra? Yes, anything from Zumba and basic aerobics to aqua aerobics, even yoga and Pilates, will help you lose weight. But there are many variables such as class level, class intensity or the ability of the instructor.
If you find a good medium to high-intensity class with a qualified and effective instructor, yes, add it to your weekly plan and make sure the class is 30 minutes in length for optimum results.
Here though, we will spell out the cardio exercises you can latch onto immediately based on quantifiable results.
1. Walking burns about 350 calories per hour
Not exactly earth-shattering and probably disappointing news. If you are of healthy, have no underlying health problems and are reasonably fit then walking may not be your answer for fast loss. If, however, you are obese, recovering from injury or older and need to err on the side of caution for medical reasons, do embrace walking. A brisk walk will help you, at least, maintain your current weight and enhance your general wellbeing. And yes, you may well lose weight; just not at a rapid rate.
2. Running burns about 600 calories per hour
So you may as well say running burns about twice as many calories as walking; pretty significant. And we are talking running – aerobic exercise – not sprinting – anaerobic as a pretty high-intensity way to burn fat in a hurry.
3. Cycling burns about 600 calories per hour
Don’t own a bike or scared of taking your fitness effort into the path of buses and car doors? No problem, your local gym will have loads of exercise bikes to give you a great, low-intensity cardio workout that burns fat. If you are looking for a higher intensity increase the resistance and opt for a rolling hills program to up your heart rate.
4. Swimming burns about 600 calories per hour
So, run, cycle or swim – it’s a toss-up depending on your personal preference. However, one of the great things about swimming is that it’s a whole body, high-intensity cardio workout with none of the jarring impacts running or cycling can have on the body. Swimming is fantastic for keeping your heart rate up while building endurance and muscle strength.
5. Rowing burns about 800 calories per hour
Impressive, even if most of us don’t have a river running conveniently past our front door, let alone a single scull rowing boat. Not to worry, a high-intensity session on a rowing machine at your local gym will do the same job and burn fat fast. If looking for more of a challenge try gradually increasing your amount of time or aim for a distance in a shorter period of time each session.
6. Jumping rope burns at least 1000 calories per hour
Didn’t expect that curveball, did you? Just when you thought it was safe to flop into a nice pool or sit on something for your weight loss, we had to throw in a skipping rope. Even if you haven’t done it since school, do skip if you seriously want to lose weight fast through a higher intensity cardio session. Yes, it’s hard, but you’ll burn fat and tone at the same time. Skipping is great to add to high-intensity interval training such as a HITT workout. Skip for one minute and take a 30-second break when you are first starting out to help build your endurance. Skipping can be added to your program so that you vary your intensity periods to ramp up body fat loss.
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