Cardio is fantastic to boost your overall health, and you don’t need to run a marathon or cycle 50 miles to benefit from it.
Today, we bring you the best 4 cardio exercises for weight loss that will help you hit your goals faster in a sustainable way.
And we promise you they won’t be crazy hard exercises – you’ve probably done some of these at least once.
The best 4 cardio exercises for weight loss
There are lots of cardio routines out there for weight loss, and sometimes knowing which one is best for you can be a challenge.
We put together 4 of the most effective and adaptable ones to help you build a healthy routine and hit your fitness goals.
Running is a fantastic weight loss exercise and works the entire body. And the best part? You can take it at your own pace!
Whether in the park, around the block, or on a treadmill, running is one of the best cardio exercises for weight loss.
And it’s free!
All the equipment you need is a pair of running shoes and a bottle of water.
One of the best things about this cardio exercise is that you can take it at your own pace and alternate short bursts of running with some brisk walking, so you’re always in control of the intensity.
The second best thing about running is that it’s great to release both stress and endorphins, making you feel happier and calm.
When it comes to calories, the general estimation is that you burn about 100 calories per mile, so running for 3 miles will help you burn 300 calories.
Not bad, right?
Some studies suggest that a morning run on an empty stomach could burn twice as many calories, but the pace should be slower, and never last more than 75 minutes.
So a 20-minute jog in the morning before breakfast could help you burn the same calories as a 40-minute run later in the day.
Our recommendation is to build up your resistance with some light running or jogging 3 times a week, ideally for 20-30 minutes (you’re welcome to run for longer if you feel like it).
Keep consistent, and you’ll make a habit of running in no time.
2. HIIT training
HIIT training is great for weight loss, and definitely helps you burn those extra calories in nearly record time!
You don’t need a gym membership or to be a professional athlete to try this weight loss cardio routine out.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s a great workout for your whole body and can be a huge help when exercising for weight loss.
You normally alternate a period of high-intensity activity (like doing squats, push-ups, or sprinting) for 10-30 seconds with a rest period of anywhere between 10 seconds and a minute.
Your muscles get fired up while you work them, and you get a short break before continuing your workout.
HIIT helps you strengthen your body, increase your metabolic rate, and burn calories fast.
Experts found that a 30-minute HIIT can burn 25-30% more calories than any other exercise you do for the same amount of time.
Some workouts could help you burn up to 500 calories for 30 minutes of activity.
As a cardio exercise, HIIT is also a good option if you’re short on time. Sessions can range from 10 to 45 minutes, so you’ll be able to squeeze them in even if you have a busy calendar.
Gym HIIT classes can be a fantastic way of doing this, and you can have a qualified trainer show you the right techniques for each movement. You may also push yourself harder if you’re working out in a room with more people.
However, you don’t need to go to the gym to do HIIT, and depending on the circuit you want to complete, you’ll need very little equipment (you can do bodyweight HIIT circuits easily).
There are many free HIIT workouts online that you can do either at home or at the gym.
The important thing is to keep it consistent and always work at your own pace and level.
Boxing isn’t only a perfect cardio exercise for weight loss, it also works wonders for stress relief. This double whammy also brings a new, exciting routine to your week.
Boxing is a great cardio exercise to add to your routine because it also helps you develop your strength, so you’ll be burning calories while toning your body.
And you don’t even need to step into a ring.
Boxing can involve a bag, someone holding pads for you to punch, or nothing at all.
As a cardio weight loss exercise, you could burn up to 800 calories per hour.
There are many gym classes that include boxing or a variation, such as cardio boxing and fitness boxing. These are good options if you’re starting out and want to take it slow.
There are also exercises such as low-impact cardio boxing for weight loss that you can complete at home in your own time with no equipment.
Boxing is a great cardio exercise for weight loss and toning, improving your overall strength and boosting your energy.
Our last cardio exercise for weight loss is your good ol’ bike. Cycling can be as challenging or easy as you want it to be, and a great alternative if you can’t stand running.
Cycling improves joint mobility, burns fat, and boosts your strength and flexibility.
It’s a very effective low-impact exercise, so you can do it if you’re a complete beginner or if running puts too much pressure on your joints.
You can cycle outdoors, or you can use a stationary bike at home or the gym.
The best way to use this activity for weight loss is by using interval training, where you sprint for a short amount of time and then go back to your normal pace before sprinting again.
On average, you can burn from 450 to 750 calories per hour cycling.
Cycling doesn’t need to take too long either.
Lots of gyms offer spinning classes (around 25-45 minutes) where you can go and try high-intensity interval training guided by a trained professional.
If you have a stationary bike at home, you can also find free online spinning workouts.
You can also cycle outside if you prefer it. Just be careful with traffic, and make sure you have a set route before setting off.
Bear in mind…
- All these exercises help speed up the weight loss process, but they won’t be effective if you don’t follow a healthy diet too.
- You might have cravings after your cardio session, so when you come home after a workout, start by having a glass of water. You’ll probably need to rehydrate and water helps you feel fuller too. If you’re still hungry after a while, turn to healthier snacks like fruit, vegetables, or low-fat protein yogurts.
- If you have any injuries or health conditions, talk to your doctor before you start training.
- HIIT is a great tool to burn calories fast, but if you are a beginner you may want to make some adjustments.
- Boxing doesn’t need to involve contact to be effective, you can do shadow boxing or cardio boxing at home.
- If you’re doing any of these exercises at home, try not to get distracted by your phone or a TV.
- Try to create a playlist that motivates you and listen to it while you power through your workout, it’ll be over before you know it.
- Don’t forget to have some water available during your workout!
Do these cardio exercises really work for weight loss?
The 4 exercises in this article are a great way to burn calories fast.
If you consistently include any of them in your routine, chances are you’ll start to see and feel results soon.
If you want to find out what are the best exercises to do at home, we’ve got you covered.
However, exercise works best when you combine it with a healthy diet.
And if you’re serious about your goals and you need a tool to keep you on track and motivated, we have the thing just for you.
Miboko’s activity tracker helps you monitor your exercise and keeps you motivated, and Miboko’s program helps you understand how to fuel your body properly.
With Miboko, hitting and keeping your fitness goals is easier than ever.
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