The best cardio for weight loss exercises rise and fall in popularity depending on the latest trend in weight loss. Cardio is great for your heart health, getting a great workout in with limited time, and burning some serious calories. So, don’t hang up your heart rate monitor yet, Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss has created a list of the 7 best cardio weight loss exercises.
- Sprint or Power-Walking
- Aerobic Strength Training
- High-Intensity Aerobic Strength Training
- Competition Sports
- Team Sports
HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training, has been growing in popularity recently. There are numerous studies that support these short and intense workouts. HIIT is great for busy, on-the-go professionals since it is all about speed and efficiency. You can use machines, body weight or treadmills for short 15 to 45-minute workouts. HIIT workouts require alternating between high intensity and low intensity for short periods of time. Alternate your rest and exercise days to allow your body to recover and then gradually increase the amount of exercise time or the weights used during exercise. Remember, variety is important with all exercise programs, so mix it up!
Sprint or Power-walk
Do you ever get bored running around the neighborhood or walking on a treadmill? Try mixing up your cardio session by adding in some sprinting or power-walking. Pick a distance between mailboxes, or a set amount of time and kick up your cardio for a quick burst. Slow down for another set distance or time to allow your body to recover and then repeat! You will be amazed at how many more calories you burn and how much faster the time goes!
Aerobic Strength Training
Using lighter weights during strength training for higher repetition is a great way to get your heart rate up and build lean muscle. Start with basic exercises like a biceps curl, chest press, squat, lunge, or wall sit to ease into a strength training program. Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps taking breaks of 30 seconds between each set for each exercise. Once you have adjusted, start adding in more and more exercises and then gradually increase the weight.
High-Intensity Aerobic Strength Training: All-Around, Perhaps the Best Cardio for Weight Loss
These exercises are similar to the ones in the aerobic strength training. The main difference is these exercises will be performed with heavier weights and with fewer reps and sets. High-intensity aerobic strength training exercises will have 1-2 sets with 8-10 reps maximum. These will push your muscles almost to fatigue, so it is important to ensure that you progress slowly and take at least 24-48 hours of rest between exercise days.
Playing sports with friends is a great way to have some fun and as a result, is one of the best cardio for weight loss exercises. Sports such as tennis, squash, frisbee, bicycling or skiing are all great ways to get in some cardio. You will create memories, get outside, burn some calories, and have some fun. Many competition sports allow for periods of rest and high activity, so they are similar to performing HIIT exercise programs.
Joining a team is a great way to get to know new people, exercise with some structure and routine, increase accountability, and have fun. Team sports are also great if you have many friends together at once. Sports such as basketball, baseball, and soccer require explosive movements, periods of high intensity and rest, sprinting, walking, jumping and jogging. It’s a great way to work on coordination, build strength and endurance, and have fun meeting new people!
Rowing machines are a great way to get a total body workout both inside and outside of the gym. Few machines or exercises can simultaneously tone arms, back, legs, and core. Rowing machines are also great for HIIT cardio since you can go through bursts of sprinting and resting during a session. There is also a growing opportunity to begin rowing outside, with teams becoming increasingly popular for adults and teenagers looking for a low-impact exercise!
Share your favorites. What are your best cardio for weight loss exercises? Let us know on Facebook and send us a contact form if you would like a fitness assessment!