You’ve no doubt heard that cardio exercise can help you lose weight, but that doesn’t mean every type of cardio has the same effect. Cardio workouts are generally divided into four main categories: steady-state cardio, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity cardio and strength training. While all of these types of cardio workouts can be useful in helping you meet your fitness goals, some are more effective than others. Here’s a look at the most effective types of cardio, along with some key things to keep in mind when trying them out yourself!
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Contrary to popular belief, jogging can be one of the great types of cardio workout. While it’s not nearly as good for weight loss as some other forms of exercise, it’s still far better than doing nothing. To start running successfully you need to begin slowly and build up your endurance over time. This is how to start running safely and get into shape! Once you’ve built up your distance and speed, jog back home or do laps around a local track. It can also be fun to throw on some music while you run; I recommend throwing on an eclectic mix so that when you find a particularly upbeat song it keeps you going even longer.
Swimming is a great way to lose weight and get in shape. It’s low-impact, so it doesn’t put too much stress on your joints. And since you’re submerged in water, swimming allows for longer workouts than most other exercises—and burns more calories because of the resistance from the water! In addition to helping people who are overweight or obese lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as strengthening bones and muscles (especially those important postural muscles), research has found that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day can lead to significant cardiovascular health benefits. If you have asthma or some other condition that makes running difficult, swimming is one of your best options. Plus, it’s easy on your muscles and joints—even if you’re overweight or obese—making it a great choice for losing weight fast. Therefore swimming is considered as one of the most effective exercise among all the types of cardio workouts.
To lose weight safely but quickly, cycling is your best bet. Studies show that an hour of cycling on a stationary bike has similar benefits as an hour of running: higher endurance levels and better metabolic health. Here’s how it works: When you run, your body uses oxygen to produce energy through a series of chemical reactions called aerobic metabolism (or burning fat). While running, there’s no rest for your muscles—they burn fat in order to keep moving. As you get more fit, your body gets better at burning fat efficiently. But when you cycle at a high enough intensity level (aka pedaling hard enough), your body can’t keep up with demand for oxygen and lactic acid builds up in your muscles.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
One of HIIT’s biggest benefits is that it can be done on a timetable and intensity level that fits in with your daily schedule. HIIT involves short bouts of incredibly high-intensity exercise, followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity work. One example would be sprinting full out for 30 seconds, then walking or jogging easily for a minute or two to recover, and repeating that cycle multiple times over. A big advantage of HIIT is you can use it at any time that works for you — no gym membership required. Another upside is that all you need is a good pair of running shoes, as opposed to special equipment like resistance bands or weights.(read more about HIIT cardio)
Aside from being a great workout, boxing offers a range of other health benefits as well. For one thing, research has shown that regular boxing training can help relieve stress and anxiety. It’s also considered to be an intense cardio workout, and since it doesn’t put any extra strain on your joints or ligaments, it’s a good choice for individuals with joint injuries (for whom running and other activities could be problematic). A 15-minute round of punching bags burns 200 calories—and works major muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, chest, abs and back. So if you want to look and feel great from head to toe—while you work up a serious sweat—then do what Rocky did!
Rowing is a full-body exercise that works almost every muscle in your body. Because it uses all of your major muscle groups, you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. So what’s the best way to track your distance, you ask? Well, if it’s an option at your gym, consider using rowers. They’re typically equipped with a little monitor that will count up how many meters or yards you’ve gone in total and let you know when intervals are up. If they don’t have rowers available at the facility where you work out regularly but do offer other types of workouts like spinning bikes for example (which may not be as conducive to checking progress), try downloading one of those fitness apps that tracks time spent working out so then go by time instead!
From a calorie-burning perspective, jumping rope is one of our favorite exercises. Per minute, you’ll expend more energy jumping rope than doing just about any other exercise. (Plus, it doesn’t require any equipment.) Research shows that some people can burn up to 300 calories in 20 minutes—the equivalent of running three miles—and depending on how hard you go, you may even break a sweat and start breathing heavily. This type of exercise builds lean muscle that makes your body burn more calories throughout the day while resting or sleeping. To learn how to jump rope properly with good form, check out our guide here .
The difference between low-intensity cardio and other forms of exercise is that low-intensity cardio does not raise your heart rate or breathing rate enough to burn calories. Low-intensity exercises, including walking at a regular pace, are designed to improve cardiovascular health and endurance without inducing weight loss. Examples of low-intensity exercise include walking for more than 20 minutes per day at a steady pace and riding a bike at a moderate speed for 30 minutes per day. Longer durations can help you lose weight, but only by increasing how many calories you burn during these activities (while expending less energy). To lose weight with low-intensity workouts, increase their duration. It’s best to engage in low-intensity exercise on nonconsecutive days.
A great option for people who have time constraints. Circuit training uses weights and other exercises to keep your heart rate up. This type of training is high-intensity and relatively short (5-10 minutes). The best part? One circuit can be made up of many different exercises, so you can mix things up often! Circuits are usually focused on 1 or 2 muscle groups. Be careful though: it’s easy to overdo it with circuits because they’re designed to push you very hard in a short amount of time. Don’t forget that rest days are important too, as is getting enough sleep!
It might seem like an unlikely workout, but dancing is a surprisingly intense cardiovascular activity. And even though you may be sweating to a Latin beat, dancing is also fun and helps prevent boredom—and keeping it interesting will make sure you continue to reap these rewards. Dancing burns calories quickly and easily, as it’s both weight-bearing and rhythmic. The exact number of calories burned while dancing depends on speed, intensity and form of dance. Additionally, having fun with your exercise will keep you interested in exercising overall—which can help ensure that you stick with your program and reach your health goals.
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, it’s time to turn your focus away from crunches and extensions and toward cardio workouts. A great weight-loss workout includes a variety of different exercises, most of which are going to leave you sweating buckets. The best cardio exercises burn fat quickly; improve endurance, speed and agility; build lean muscle; and make your heart stronger so that it can pump more blood throughout your body. Whether you choose swimming or running on a treadmill, here are five types of exercise that will get you results without bulking up. (Read 8 shocking Whey Protein Side Effects That May Surprise You)
Cardio workouts are generally divided into four main categories: steady-state cardio, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity cardio and strength training. While all of these types of cardio workouts can be useful in helping you meet your fitness goals, some are more effective than others. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day can lead to significant cardiovascular health benefits. An hour of dancing has similar benefits as an hour of running. Dancing burns calories quickly and easily, as it’s both weight-bearing and rhythmic. HIIT involves short bouts of incredibly high-intensity exercise, followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity work. Even though you may be sweating to a Latin beat, dancing is also fun and helps prevent boredom. Circuit training uses weights and other exercises to keep your heart rate up. This type of training is high-intensity and relatively short (5-10 minutes). From a calorie-burning perspective, jumping rope is my favorite exercise.