If done properly, you can maximize your cardio workouts and customize it according to your goals. In this article discover why and how cardio helps you lose weight faster and which cardio is the best to do - steady state or high intensity. You will also find different types of cardio exercises which you can include in your workout sessions.
Cardio will only help you to burn fat if your total daily calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure. You can create a calorie deficit to help you lose fat, by eating fewer calories and by doing more cardio.
Cardio in general boosts your metabolism. If you do HIIT (high intensity interval training) style, you will boost your metabolism even more. HIIT style burns more calories and fat than steady state cardio; speeding up your fat loss results. Click here to read why I prefer interval training among other cardio workouts for fat loss...
And the more interval training cardio you do the more fat you’ll burn. This is according to Canadian researchers who reported that 2 weeks of interval training boosted women’s ability to burn fat by 36%.
Weight training depletes your glycogen stores. If you do weight training and then 15-20 minutes of cardio, your body will be “forced” to burn your excess fat stores as a source of energy (due to the depleted glycogen stores).
Which type is best for fat loss? Steady state cardio or intense cardio? Both help burn fat, but steady state style demands a lot more time to see significant results than intense cardio.
Side Note: Steady state cardio is steady and continuous type of cardiovascular workout while intense cardio a.k.a HIIT is composed of alternateof short bursts of intensity and steady cardio.
A study published in Obesity found that after a year of doing 1 hour cardio sessions for 6 days a week, the people in the study only lost 3.5 pounds during that time without changing their diet.
On the other hand, a recent study tested women doing high intensity and women doing steady state (with a lower heart rate). The group of women that did the intense cardio lost on average 5% of body fat in 13 weeks where the steady state group lost no fat at all.
Although steady state will still help you lose weight, it takes longer than high intensity cardio. If you can’t spend hours and hours running, jogging or anything like that, high intensity cardio is ideal to burn fat without spending that much time. Good indicators of an effective cardio workout are slight redness of skin, some shortness of breath and sweating.
There are a lot of different types of intense cardio varieties that you can do. The trick is to do cardio that you are comfortable with and to vary the type of cardio to prevent a fat loss plateau and won’t bore you. You can do gym-based cardio like the treadmill, the rowing machine, bike or stepper. Or you can take your cardio workouts outside and run or hike.
Other cardio styles which you can include in your weight training sessions are exercises like mountain climbers, burpees, high-knees or jumping rope. If you really want to challenge yourself, take a cardio class at gym. Some of popular gym classes you will enjoy include Zumba, spinning, step-classes and kick-boxing.
Regular exercise is one of the keys to fat loss. The trick is to pick up the pace with interval training and to vary your cardio types. And for maximum fat loss, do your cardio sessions after your weight training session.
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