Cardio workouts are a set of exercises intended to improve the cardiovascular activity of an individual for a strong heart and lungs. These exercises are also known as aerobic workouts and often involve large muscle groups. Through cardio workouts, one can achieve pronounced benefits for a healthy lifestyle. And these workouts changes often based on the abilities, strength and the gender.
Is a Cardio Workout Good for Weight Loss?
Cardio workouts are recognized best for burning fat and weight loss and good health. It follows a series of moderate to high intensity exercise routines to make the heart rate go higher and higher till the heart rate reaches 75% of its usual rate.
The typical cardio exercises involve walking, jogging, running, riding a cycle, and paddling. Swimming, skipping ropes, tennis, climbing stairs or stair sprints also fall under this category which help in burning calories and obtain a lean muscle.
Besides the basic aerobic workouts mentioned, rowing, High Intensity Interval training, Basketball, kickboxing, Zumba, kettle bell, provide high calorie burning training alongside cross fit, elliptical trainer, racquet ball, and burpees and are the best cardio workouts, suited for weight loss and burning off calories.
To start the cardio exercises with, one must choose the comfort and ability level and also the pace at which one can work out. Beginners might feel pressure and cannot continue more than a few seconds or minutes. Slow and steady increase in training might help. For example, if sprints are aching before you complete half way through your goal, then walking or jogging at a slower stride is better to get a good exercise.
At this point, note that the time of workouts and the best choices of cardio exercises depend upon every individual and differ from each other based on their strengths and abilities. There are cardio workouts that can commonly be practiced outdoors or at a gym studio or at home. But the cardio exercises give best results if done under a supervision of a personal trainer or a gym trainer.
It is also very important to remember that we have to check our body weight using most accurate body weight scales at regular intervals of time.
Most Effective Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss
1. Walking or Jogging
The cardio exercises like walking, running, jogging or sprinting yield best results outdoors or at a gym studio with the help of a trainer. Those who do not have the time can make up to the goal on a treadmill at home. Speed walking or a brisk walk is always good to keep us going on and make our workout fun. At home, on treadmill, to keep up the tempo, one must make sure that you only keep an eye on the pulse rate than any other figures it shows.
Studies say that haste walking of 45 minutes combined with other toning exercises have shown the best results in losing weight and burning abundant calories for men. For women, this can vary and a walk or jog at a slower pace uphill or on an inclined treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes might yield the same results.
Similarly, sprinting or jogging on a track in a field or outdoors is always refreshing with a gust of air. But appropriate footwear must be worn in order to save yourself from any injuries because of the stress we feel on the knees or soles. Apart from the sprints or jogging, stair sprints or jumping ropes provide similar kind of results.
Another cardio exercise you can try outdoors is cycling. Cycling is very good for toning leg muscles and for burning lots of calories. Cycling uphill produces the extreme results. Professionals say extreme cardio workouts are best completed while cycling uphill landscape. And if this cannot be a likely, a static bike at home or gym can recompense for it. Biking for half an hour to an hour at a steady pace is always good for heart all the while maintaining your heart beat above 75% ever.
Also, cycling at varied speeds of 12mph, 15 mph and 18mph for 15 minutes or 30 minutes or 45 minutes, results is yielded accordingly. The slower the pace and lower the workout time is the lower burning of calories. Nonetheless, cycling always burn calories and in turn burn fat better. This is one sport, where the male and female athletes can work out at the same pace and time.
Swimming is an indoor activity, best known as a cardio workout with all the strokes and free style swim, results toned muscles, burns tons of calories and is good for cardiovascular health. A good swim for an hour to an hour and a half for advanced swimmers or half an hour swim for beginners keeps the heart rate going above than usual till 65 to 75%.
Freestyle swimming is the best form of toning out the muscles and accordingly, swimming free style for different intervals of time at varied pace like 35 yards/min or 50 yards/min burns calories at varied rate.
Rowing, is a workout that can be done at gym on a training equipment or outdoors which is best yielding. It’s a part of strength training exercise, which strengthens the quadriceps, and thigh muscles as the workout requires thighs and buttocks to support and to pull the oar or the weights.
At any instance, the abdominal muscles and spine muscles bear the body weight and support the body while working out. This is a high intensity exercise that is done with a minor pause of one minute for four to six times on medium resistance. This cardio workout is a complete body exercise as it involves all the muscle groups.
This workout is good to get the heart beat higher and higher and burns calories well more than any other cardio exercises, burning around 800 - 900 calories per hour and is good for reducing over weight.
5. Basket Ball
Basket Ball is mostly viewed as a sport but it is a very good exercise to get the heart beat up in few minutes and keep it going till the completion of the game. It is a kind of resistance training and provides strength, and flexibility. The game entails lot of running and also constant shifting which is very good for toning and exercising the core and side muscles. A game of Basketball for one hour approximately burns around 600 – 800 calories and is a fun way to lose calories if you like the game!
Kick-Boxing training is a part of strength training which requires strong and hard muscles to throw punches. This sport is a fun way to burn off calories of 600-700 approximately all the while, releasing stress onto the opponent and is pronounced for cardiovascular health. Kick boxing resulted as a mix of various martial art techniques and does not require much movement in the body. Hence kick boxing can be said to be the easiest way to burn calories in a singular movement than any other cardio workouts like jogging/walking or running or swimming.
7. Zumba/Aerobic Dance
Zumba is a kind of aerobic dance that has gained popularity in the recent times and is a great workout to the complete body all the while enjoying it. It is a fast rhythm based training with moves derived from various dance forms.
This form of cardio includes a lot of stretching, squats and lunges and has been known to tone and strengthen the entire body on top of the core muscle groups. One hour of Zumba aerobics is branded to burn more calories than rowing and helps build strength, flexibility, posture and resistance or immunity.
8. Weight Training/Kettle Bell
Kettle Bell is basically a weight with handle, used by weight lifters to train for strength, stamina, stronger muscles and joints. Weight training with Kettle bell is similar to lifting weights or dumbbells and few exercises that are possible only with kettle bell burns around 800 calories per hour aerobically and anaerobically.
9. High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Trainings are a customized workout routines that are to be practiced under the supervision of a trained professional and every workout changes with the trainer. These exercises, while offering a short break between each training set, is best known to lift up the cardio rate more than the normal fixed cardio exercises. Also, it increases metabolic activity and has higher rate of burning fat. The workouts Racquet Ball, Burpees, Cross-fit (which is basically used to train army), martial arts fall under this category.
Tennis is viewed by thousands of spectators around the world just as a sport but it is another great way for exercising cardio vascular muscles and focusing the mind. It helps one in training for strength, speed, and mind hand coordination. Also, this workout burns calories quickly, of around 900 calories per an hour’s game.
Apart from this, there are also workouts like any form of dance, elliptical training, skiing, martial arts, Belly dance, etc. that are great for cardiovascular health and also to burn calories off by losing the overweight. Nevertheless, one must make sure that their targeted heart rate is maintained at all times.
Benefits of Cardio Workouts:
- Through Cardio workouts, one can benefit immensely, as it ensures the well-functioning of the heart and lungs in the first place and also improves the respiratory conditions to a great extent.
- Burns calories effortlessly, and in turn burns overweight.
- Eases anxiety and strain, and makes the heart muscle resilient, improving the pumping function and escalates flow of blood all through the body.
- Upsurges metabolic rate and body functioning and increases strength and immunity.
- Drops blood pressure and fat levels.
It is important to note that not just cardio train outs can help achieve the goal, appropriate diet and resistance training is also needed to achieve the maximum and best results. The diet plan for the people who train for cardio exercises must consume a minimum of 1200 calories a day, increasing it by day to 2000 calories, by end of the week including carbohydrates and proteins highly packed in the diet with lean meat, vegetables, whole grain and low fat dairy products.
Whatsoever the settings be, it is always worthy for an individual to workout cardio exercises under a trained professional as the trainer will guide us in an apt way to achieve better results and also help you to burn calories or lose weight according to our abilities and without any injuries. Customize your exercises consequently to your comfort level and your strengths. There’s no constraint or a precise system to select a cardio exercise.