The Best Cardio Exercise to Lose Weight

Cycle

The good news about losing weight through cardio is that the best exercises are the ones that you enjoy. Having some fun while you exercise is important. To lose weight through cardio, you have to devote yourself to an exercise program. Feel free to vary your cardio to keep things fresh. A good weight loss regimen through cardio is to lose approximately 1 lb. each week.

Types

The two main types of cardio are slow-and-steady and high intensity. Slow, steady cardio means you work out for a long duration of 45 minutes to one hour at a low intensity. High intensity means you work out for a short duration of 20 to 30 minutes at a high intensity, such as interval training. You may want to try both for six weeks. Monitor your progress to see which works better for you. A great machine to accomplish both types of calories is an elliptical trainer. A front flywheel elliptical from NordicTrack provides a natural striding motion with an adjustable incline so you can tailor your workout from slower to higher intensity. They also have built-in workouts designed by a certified personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals!

Burn Calories

Remember, to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. To keep things interesting and to work different muscle groups vary up your exercise. Try aerobics, bicycling, swimming, racquetball, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, running, using an elliptical trainer, jumping rope, sprinting and brisk walking.

The Math

You need to burn 3,500 more calories than you eat to lose fat. So, to lose one pound a week, you need to burn 500 calories more than you consume. During low-intensity cardio, your body uses fat as its fuel source. But, picking up the pace allows you to burn more calories. For example, if you choose to roller skate at a leisurely, low-intensity pace for 30 minutes, you could burn 100 calories, 80 percent being fat calories, which, in this case, is 80 fat calories. If you skate at a high intensity for 30 minutes, such as skating fast on a hilly course, you could burn 300 calories, 30 percent being fat calories, which, in this case, is 90 fat calories. Percentage-wise, you burn more fat calories during a low-intensity workout, but at the higher intensity, you burn more calories overall. If you can’t keep up the high intensity pace, however, you might burn more calories by going slower.

General Guidelines

General guidelines, from the American College of Sports Medicine, for healthy adults under age 65 to maintain a healthy weight are to do moderate or low-intensity cardio for 30 minutes a day, five days a week or to do high-intensity cardio 20 minutes a day, three days a week. You should also add strength training twice a week. To lose weight, you might need to increase physical activity to 60 to 90 minutes.

Be Safe

You want to be safe when you exercise. Find out from your doctor what your target heart rate is for your age and weight. You can buy a heart monitor and wear it while you exercise. Some exercise equipment, such as treadmills and elliptical machines, comes with a heart monitor. You can get a quick accurate heart reading by holding the handlebars while you work out or purchase a Bluetooth Smart wireless chest strap which sends a continuous reading to the display to keep you in the right training zone. Another way to determine your heart rate is to place your index finger on your artery between your jaw and your collarbone. Count the beats for one minute.

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