Cardio- some people dread it and some people yearn for the endorphin rush that follows it. It’s simple, cardio is such an important aspect when it comes to staying healthy. We are training every other muscle on our body to be in the best shape we can get it into when we go to the gym. We cannot leave the most important muscle out; our heart.
In addition to training our heart, cardio is a necessity to leaning out or losing weight. I want to talk about the best cardio workouts to lose weight on a day to day basis. You can change it up daily or do the same thing for a few weeks. It’s up to you!
This method of cardio is one you see in all the famous movies of people prepping for competitions and fights. Why, you ask? Simple, because it works! It burns a ton of calories, increases agility, is extremely cost-efficient and will leave you dripping in sweat. Just pick up a jump rope and start skipping over it.
This cardio exercise is one you can perform pretty much anywhere!
Swimming is another spectacular cardio exercise. You have to use all 4 of your extremities to keep you afloat; meaning you’re working even harder than when simply jogging. It is a complete and total full body workout and one that it is guaranteed to increase your heart rate.
There are numerous variations/strokes of swimming and this can serve as a great benefit to you. This will help you avoid boredom and allows you to switch up what type of stroke you are performing each time you get in the water. You can tread water for part of the workout, swim to one side of the pool, tread water, and swim back. Another option is to simply swim laps. Get creative and find what keeps you motivated and engaged to complete the workout.
This cardio exercise can be incorporated almost anywhere as well. This can be in the gym on a treadmill, or in your local park/neighborhood. Running at a challenging pace will absolutely have you glistening in sweat by the end of the workout. You can set mileage goals each time you set out on a run (reaching 2 miles etc), or even time goals (running a 7.5 minute mile instead of an 8 minute mile).
You can make this more challenging with finding a path that has more hills to run and adding in exercises in the middle, if you easily get bored like I do. Simply add in some jump squats once you reach each quarter of a mile.
HIIT stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training.’ You can really get creative with this type of cardio and you can do it in almost any setting. You combine short, high intensity intervals with active recovery periods. It keeps you engaged and working extremely hard.
There has been numerous research studies conducted proving that 15-20 minute HIIT workouts can actually be more beneficial and yield more results in weight loss than long, same paced exercises (example: running for 1 hour at the same pace).
Examples of HIIT would be sprinting as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then resting for 90 seconds, then repeating 9 more times. Another would be swimming a lap in the pool as fast as you can and then treading water lightly for 90 seconds or so, etc.
The Stairclimber – The Ultimate Leg Burner
One of my personal favorites. You can feel the burn the second you start climbing. Since you are engaging your legs more by lifting them higher and fully pushing through them, it is building/maintaining lean leg muscle slightly more than jogging and walking alone.
This exercise is fun and beneficial to perform at different intensities. As mentioned above, you can perform a HIIT workout while on the stairclimber.
How to do it: perform 30-45 seconds of high intensity climbing at a rate that is challenging for you, followed by a 90-second active recovery (not completely stopped off of stairclimber but rather climbing at a steady pace).
Cardio Cool Down
At the end of all cardio workouts it is important to perform a 2-5 minute cool down to allow your heart rate to come back to normal. You will also want to stretch from head to toe to prevent all those muscles from cramping up as they recover.
Thanks for taking the time to read through some of the best cardio workouts to lose weight. Please feel free to comment and let me know what cardio exercises you like performing, and which ones you aren’t the biggest fan of.
Have a great day!