Frequently doing cardio workouts is one of the best ways to lose weight and improve your overall health. Unfortunately, it is easy to get in a rut and believe that cardio workouts have to be boring, or you need to do the same cardio workout over and over to lose weight.
Contrarily, there are tons of different cardio workouts for weight loss!
Not only can you do aerobic cardio workouts such as jogging or walking, but you can also do anaerobic cardio workouts for weight loss, such as sprinting or high-intensity interval training!
Keep reading below to see the best cardio workouts for weight loss and learn more about which cardiovascular workouts you should do to lose weight!
Are Aerobic or Anaerobic Cardio Workouts Better for Weight Loss?
During physical activity, all three energy systems function at all times, yet the intensity of the activity and your overall physical condition determines which energy system is most dominant. During anaerobic exercise such as an all-out sprint, the most dominant energy system is the anaerobic phosphagen system. This system provides immediately available ATP-CP for 5-10 seconds.
During aerobic exercise such as a steady run, the body uses the aerobic energy system, converting ATP from either carbohydrates or fat, depending on the run’s speed.
If the run is intense yet longer than 2-minutes and shorter than 20-minutes, carbohydrates will be the preferred energy source. If the run is more moderate and longer than 20-minutes, fat will become the preferred energy source.
During light aerobic exercise, such as a walk, the body will utilize fat as the preferred energy source.
Fat use is most prevalent in aerobic exercise, and repeated aerobic training can affect the use of fat as an energy source. Training stimulates muscle cells to produce more and large mitochondria structures of cells, and these mitochondria structures produce ATP for energy.
With increased anaerobic training sessions, fat will be more predominately used in exercise than glucose.
Aerobic exercise uses fat as a predominant energy source, so it can be a better option for people looking to lose weight.
However, anaerobic exercise may burn more calories long-term, while also helping develop more lean muscle mass, which will increase your basal metabolic rate.
Additionally, although HIIT or Olympic anaerobic exercises can produce amazing results in a short amount of time, doing HIIT workouts or other forms of high-impact exercise is too strenuous for a lot of people.
For example, a good fitness coach will instruct those who have never begun a physical fitness routine before to stick with low-impact aerobic exercises because it will help them build a foundation of physical fitness without injuring themselves or wearing themselves out.
Another example is people who are recovering from injuries. Whether you are dealing with chronic back pain, recovering from something like Jumper’s Knee, managing arthritis and joint pain throughout your body, or any other form of physical injury, doing low-impact aerboic exercises can help you lose weight without causing any flare-ups in your injury.
Lastly, low-impact aerobic exercises can be great for advanced trainees, and even people looking to become a professional athlete or those who are professional athletes (like myself) can benefit from low impact aerobic exercise. I do low-impact aerobic exercises both during my season and in the off-season for some extra activity that doesn’t wear down my body.
Therefore, the best option is a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic cardio workouts for weight loss.
So, considering these factors, here are the best cardio workouts for weight loss!
Best Weight Loss Cardio Workouts
Not only will have I listed the best type of cardio exercise for weight loss here, but I will also provide some of my favorite specific workouts. Try them out and let me know how you enjoy them!
Walking is one of the best cardio workouts for weight loss because when you walk, the body preferentially uses body fat as the primary energy source. Additionally, it is one of the healthiest forms of exercise.
As stated by a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,
“Walking is a simple health behavior that can reduce rates of chronic disease and ameliorate rising health care costs, with only a modest increase in the number of activity-related injuries.”
Walking is our basic form of physical movement, and it can increase your physical health, improve your mental health and well-being, and provide the basis for a well-rounded weight loss plan.
According to the American Journal of Public Health,
“Although walking is popular, few people do enough walking to benefit their health. Those who walk as well as engage in other physical activities appear more likely to achieve recommended levels of activity.”
For most people, the average walking speed is about 3 miles per hour. There are many other things you could do in your life during that hour you will spend walking, but taking the specific time during your day to walk for one hour can help you lose weight more than you ever imagined. It truly is a great way to get in shape!
If you struggle with walking enough each day on your own, try forming a walking group with some friends or family who live near you. You can walk each morning or night, depending on your schedule. According to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine,
“Walking groups are effective and safe with good adherence and wide-ranging health benefits. They could be a promising intervention as an adjunct to other healthcare or as a proactive health-promoting activity.”
Along with that, although it is not an option for everyone, walking to work is a fantastic way to build towards walking 3 or more miles per day. According to a study published in Health & Place,
“Workplace proximity was the most significant contributor to transport-related walking, especially among women. Regular walking to work resulted in the accrual of sufficient physical activity for health benefits.”
Furthermore, you can easily get up to 3 miles per day by spending some additional time playing an outdoor game!
Fasted cardio in the morning is my personal favorite way to walk a couple of miles. Usually, I do a 30-45 minute walk every morning. Fasted cardio is great for many additional reasons as well. If your goal is to lose weight, starting your morning with some fasted walking is a great place to begin!
If you begin consistently walking each day, not only will you improve your ability to lose weight, but you will improve your overall health in a variety of ways as well.
As stated by a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,
“Recent studies have linked regular physical activity with reduced likelihood of developing coronary heart disease. Even low- and moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, when carried out consistently, is associated with important cardiovascular health benefits. Walking has also been shown to reduce anxiety and tension and aid in weight loss. Regular walking may help improve cholesterol profile, help control hypertension, and slow the process of osteoporosis.”
You may also take a walk on a treadmill machine in your house or in a fitness center, but I suggest getting your walks in without using a treadmill as much as possible.
As a professional basketball player, I use walking as a main form of exercise to maintain my body and improve my health, and I am sure you will see similar benefits that I do once you begin walking more! It is an amazing low impact cardio exercise!
There are a lot of health benefits of jogging. Although jogging may be a little tougher on the joints than some of the other exercises in this list, it still is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and best cardio workouts for weight loss!
Along with burning calories, running at a steady pace will help with the release of endorphins, as well as toxins from your body, which generally makes us happier and more relaxed.
Jogging is a great cardio workout to lose weight because you can burn slightly more calories than if you are walking, but you do not need any additional equipment.
In most cases, comfortable men’s running tights, running shoes, and a simple sweat-absorbing t-shirt are enough.
However, you should be careful that you are always running with good form. Jogging can be taxing on your hips and lower back if not done properly. If you would like to build a habit of jogging, I suggest you start with a one-mile jog and then slowly increase your pace, and distance.
Remember, your form is the most important part of your success with jogging!
Related Reading: The Best Runners Supplements
Running stairs can be a replacement for jogging on the ground and it will provide you more benefits too! You just have to be sure that you don’t try to run up the stairs too fast so that there is a chance of falling down.
In the beginning, do it slowly. With time, you can increase your speed.
Running stairs puts more pressure on your heart and makes the blood circulate more freely.
A simple cardio workout for running stairs is to find a suitable staircase and run up, then walk down, and repeat Every Minute on the Minute.
Some take jumping rope as a game, but it is a very good exercise. To do a jump rope workout, you don’t need much space. One of the main reasons jumping rope is such a great cardio exercise is because you can do a jump rope workout nearly anywhere!
This exercise helps your heart take fast and long breathes, which exert all the carbon dioxide from your body. Also, after jumping rope, blood circulation becomes more fluent and comfortable. You can do this in exchange of climbing stairs or jogging, which might be annoying for you.
You can actually call your friends or family members and play it as a game as well!
It has become very easy to find the best rowing machine for home because of the internet and the e-commerce sites. The rowing machine is very good for your cardio exercise. In this machine you need to sit on its seat and pull a string which is very tight.
Using the ERG rowing machine and doing ERG workouts several times per week helps your heart work properly. This is a small device which can be fit at any place of your home and you can actually carry it to your required places.
This is considered to be the best exercise of all. In this exercise all your body parts get to work properly. You can lose a lot of calories and your heart will remain in a very good condition.
All your body pain will reduce if you do it on a regular basis.
You can make a small swimming pool so that you don’t need to go anywhere else.
If you are going to swim often, you might want a Swimmo Swim Watch to track your results!
This is another good workout for your heart. It is not necessary to go out for a bicycle ride nowadays, you can buy a stationary bicycle and use it for an easy workout at home whenever you need it!
Every morning, wake up and start using your stationary bike before going to your work. After doing this exercise, take a nice bath which will make you fresh and energetic for the whole day.
For a good health, exercise doesn’t have any exception. You have to do it regularly so that you get the benefit soon.
Make your home your workout place and save time and money.
Learn More: Stationary Bike Benefits
Pilates Reformer Exercises
When Joseph Pilates, the twentieth-century inventor of the controlled breathing, stretching, postural alignment, and stamina-building physical fitness program known around the world as Pilates, invented the fitness routine, he did not think it would become a health and fitness craze.
Today, Pilates is practiced worldwide from the western nations like the United States and Canada to African countries like South Africa and Kenya, and it is a great low-impact exercise.
Pilates can do many things for the human body; from helping to alleviate back pain to improving balance and conditioning in both the young and old.
As a low-impact fitness exercise, Pilates, when practiced consistently, is also known to:
- Improve Flexibility
- Increase Strength
- Help Develop Absolute Control of the Human Body
- Increase Endurance
For many years, athletes and dancers who have suffered fatigue or several forms of injury have used Pilates to recover and regain their physical shape.
Whether using a yoga mat or a specialized training apparatus like the Pilates reformer, there are many ways Pilates can be used to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Without explaining too much about the Pilates reformer itself, it is a valuable piece of equipment for those who are practicing this form of exercise.
Reformer exercises are not just good for athletes, but they are also suitable for women who intend to get their bodies back into shape after childbearing or after many years of inactivity.
There is a reason why pilates reformer exercises seem like a very daunting and challenging fitness exercise to beginners who are trying out Pilates for the very first time.
This is because most reformer routines add resistance to movement and by working to overcome/impede this resistance, the participant increases their fitness level, building strength, resilience, and endurance in this grueling process.
Pilates done on the pilates reformer machine involves the body moving through a full range of motions from stretching to bending.
To try out the Pilates reformer exercise requires a proper form and technique. This form puts pressure on your abdomen and the muscles of the lower back.
This form of core exercise increases the body’s ability to generate power to the muscles, giving them strength, flexibility, and balance. Moreover, core muscles are essential for endurance during the exercise.
There are no Pilates reformer exercises without a series of posture adoptions, variation, and many more posture based routines.
Furthermore, Pilates has been known to correct muscular imbalances to changing wrong body postures.
Every tweak in posture results in the body muscles been stretched, elongated, and this often results in varying degrees of flexibility.
Pilates is the complete exercise regimen that allows for flexibility, when compared with other forms of physical fitness, such as weight lifting or sprinting.
Trampoline training is one of the best cardio workouts for weight loss because it is easy on the joints and incredibly effective for burning calories!
Trampoline training is often called “rebounding” and is used by individuals going through physical therapy or lower-body injuries, NASA astronauts in training, professional athletes, and an extensive list of other trainees. Trampoline training is effective for anyone looking to build stability in their muscles and joints, while also not stressing the joints with forceful impact on the ground.
Children should especially use trampolines to enhance their cognitive functioning ability, as well as their fitness level.
If you are interested in finding the best trampoline to purchase for your training sessions, check out Hot Trampoline to learn more!
As you bounce on a rebounder trampoline, the main concern for you is to make sure you are constantly aware of your body position in relation to the frame for a healthy bounce.
Avoid bouncing too high such as two inches off the mat. You could easily lose control. You will control the bounce better if you keep it low. You can focus on a stationary object in the room in order to further regulate your bounce.
Trampoline workouts can provide benefits for many aspects of your physical conditioning. In terms of calorie burning, trampoline training is excellent since it is a fairly intense aerobic workout, and works many muscles in the body at the same time.
According to a study published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine,
“A group of previously sedentary college women who trained on rebound equipment three times a week for eight weeks showed a 9% increase in max (aerobic conditioning) but no significant change in percent body fat. A control group showed no significant changes. The improvement was similar to results produced by conventional aerobic dance programs of like intensity but moderate in comparison to other established forms of aerobic exercise.”
if you plan on buying a rebounder for home use, make sure to choose one that is made of high quality materials. We recommend the Needak rebounder, as it is extremely sturdy and it comes with different options for different weights.
As you can see, trampolining and health go hand in hand!
Things to Remember When Doing Cardio Workouts for Weight Loss
When it comes to cardio workouts, you need to choose a set of exercises that will best fit your fitness goals and help you reach a healthy, aesthetic physique. Fortunately, there are plenty of training methods and movements for you to choose from and it’s always a sound idea to consult a fitness coach or even a doctor before settling on a specific training approach.
A certified personal trainer such as myself will be able to suggest the best exercises for your body type and fitness level, making sure you’re not overtraining from the get-go, or that you’re not being too liberal with your workouts.
Ask your trainer about steady-state cardio, interval training, and HIIT cardio training, and work together to choose the exercises and work out a weekly training split that fits your needs.
Don’t Push Through the Pain
If you’re a beginner, you will experience what is known as beginner’s rush, feeling enthusiastic, positive, and down-right invincible. That’s good, stick with that feeling, but don’t let it take over so much that you stop listening to your body and its needs.
It’s too easy to become enthralled in your fitness journey, so much so that you start to ignore the warning signs of an impending injury.
Injuries can come in many forms, from sprains, bruises, and bumps, to overtraining and CNS breakdowns. You need to take a step back every once in a while, and stop to assess your energy levels and whether your body is trying to tell you that it needs a break in order to recover and come back stronger than before.
Stay Safe at all Times
When it comes to training and fitness, safety should be your number one priority.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, injuries can come in various forms, and they can develop over a long period of time. Just because nothing is hurting now doesn’t mean that you’re not building up to an ankle sprain, a herniated disk, or even a torn hamstring in the near future.
This is why, no matter how intense or light your workouts might be, you want to wear proper fitness gear, such as the tights and sweatshirts from Ivy Park clothing in order to stay warm, dry, and flexible at all times.
Remember, safety first.
Don’t Tie Yourself to the Gym
If you had chosen strength training, then the gym would be the only place where you could reach your fitness goals, but with cardio training, you have the freedom to take your workouts into the great outdoors. So, don’t confine yourself to the walls of your local gym, but rather go outside to the local park, or run around your neighborhood.
The great thing about cardio workouts is that nature can be your gym if you hate staying inside, so go kayaking, mountain climbing, trekking – be creative and embrace the intoxicating feeling of the outdoors.
You Can Do Cardio Workouts Frequently
Finally, cardio training, unlike strength training, allows you to train every single day, if you so wish. Diving your workout split into everyday 30- to 40-minute training sessions is a great way to stay active, energized, and banish the winter blues.
Remember to stay hydrated and to devote enough time to warming up and post-workout stretching, and you will have no problems training every single day and feeling better, faster, and healthier than ever before.
Concluding Thoughts – The Best Cardio Workouts for Losing Weight
Doing cardio workouts for weight loss might seem boring until you understand how many different options there are. Additionally, you can do these workouts at fitness centers such as Anytime Fitness or your local YMCA, or you can do many of them outside, which is even better for your health.
Regardless of which cardio exercise you choose, it is important to track your workouts so that you can maintain progress at an appropriate rate. There are many ways you can track each workout, depending on the type of workout you do.
For example, investing in a fitness tracker, such as the HELO LX watch, Fit Bit, or an Apple Watch, is one of the simplest decisions you can make to help yourself.
These weight loss cardio workouts will help you burn body fat and improve your overall health!
If you are looking for another resource to use for health and fitness advice, you should check out All Day Fitness.
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