Cardio For Weight Loss

Cardio, an exercise that raises your heart rate, lowers your body weight and makes you understand what out of breath really means. All jokes aside this form of exercise can help you lose the weight you want fast if paired with a proper diet and other forms of exercise as well. Here is some information we gathered to help better your knowledge on cardio and why you should add it to your everyday life. 

Why cardio?

According to Cleveland Clinic, cardio and other forms of physical activity can help your heart beat faster and improve your overall health rate. Cardio and other moderate to high-intensity workouts help your heart pump blood properly throughout your body, this prevents heart disease and stroke. It recommends doing about 30 minutes a day of physical activity to increase your heart rate, make you sweat, increases your lung capacity.

It is important to exercise or participate in forms of physical activity at least 30 minutes four days a week to see optimal weight loss results. Diets can help you lose weight but can also make you lose muscle if you are not utilizing them. Exercise alongside proper dieting can help promote healthy muscle growth. Physical activity can also provide other benefits to your body and overall lifestyle. Cardio can help the body burn off the calories and allows the body to retain the nutrients as energy. 

Physical activity can help you when you’re under stress and can help prevent emotional eating. Instead of finding yourself at the nearest drive-through, if you run/walk, lift something heavy, and get a good sweat out you’ll feel a lot better. Exercising can also help you sleep, reduce your risks for some types of cancer, increase bone density, and overall confidence in yourself. 

But there are some risks if you have a preexisting heart or health condition. Always consult your healthcare professional to if you can participate in certain exercises. 

Types of Cardio

Most health magazines will inform you of the best forms of cardio exercise to help promote weight loss in targeted areas. We went through their lists and created a list of our own of exercises you can add to your everyday life. 

Jumping Rope

You may remember this more as a playground game than a form of exercise but it is considered one of the best forms. According to the Center for Diseases Control, jumping rope is considered a vigorous activity, is measured at more than 6.0 METS. METS or metabolic equivalents equals out to burning one calorie every 2.2 pounds. This form of exercise can also be fun to do as a family activity. Make a competition out of it with friends and loved ones to motivate and power through the exercise.  

High-Intensity Interval Training

Working yourself in short quick bursts in your cardio exercises can help promote weight loss by making you sweat. According to SELF magazine, “HIIT routines that involve bodyweight work or added weight, like kettlebells, medicine balls, or dumbbells, will tone your muscles while spiking your heart rate.”Some examples of HIIT exercises include sprinting, running, and overall going harder and faster at your form of exercise for a minute. For example, if you’re speed walking on a treadmill for five minutes, one of the minutes taken should be a rapid burst of sprinting.

Running

As simple as it sounds, running is not something everyone can start immediately. Try walking and jogging first to slowly develop your endurance up to tolerate running. This is also considered a type of high-intensity training because it makes your heart and lungs work harder.

Cycling

This form of cardio also works out all other major muscle groups as you pedal. According to Better Health Channel, this low impact form of exercise can reduce the chance of injury, this is great for beginners trying to improve their lifestyle. Benefits include increased cardiovascular fitness, improved joint mobility, improved posture and coordination, and decreased body fat levels.

Swimming

This is considered another low impact form of exercise, your chance of being injured is reduced as compared to other forms of exercise. According to the Huffington Post, it is particularly beneficial for seniors and those with arthritis who are looking to work out their bodies. Swimming is also a great form of resistance training which can help build strength and maintain muscles growth. It also helps better lung capacity.

Cardio Myths

Now that we gave you some facts on cardio here are some myths and common misconceptions about this ideal form of exercise. 

Just Cardio

There is a common misconception that only participating in cardio will help you lose the amount of weight that you want. While this is true you have to be aware of what form of cardio you do. In some instances, certain forms of cardio also burn muscle mass as well as fat. Often to fight the muscle loss, people will pair cardio with another form of strength building exercises and take protein supplements to maintain and prevent muscle loss.

I can still eat anything.

Not totally true. When it comes to weight loss, you have to be aware of what you’re putting into your body. During exercise, your body looks to burn the nutrients collected from the food you eat throughout the day. If you ate something highly processed and fattening, your body will not receive the proper nutrients to help speed up your metabolism. “A recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately 5 pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training along,” Bret Contreras told SHAPE magazine. 

Working out on an empty stomach 

This is actually one of the best ways to pass out. It is dangerous to starve yourself while performing a vigorous exercise. You need food to fuel your body and working out on an empty stomach is like driving a car with no gas. This can lower your blood sugar drastically and make you feel lightheaded or weak. Eat something light and nutritional before a workout and drink a protein shake afterward.

I can only do cardio at the gym. 

You don’t need a gym membership to exercise. Running, jogging and walking your own neighborhood and training yourself in short burst can help you gain the endurance you need to burn fat. If you live near a beach or have a pool, go for a dive and swim for a few minutes.

“Fat Burning Zone” 

The idea that your body actually burns more fat during a low-intensity workout is not totally true. To determine how much fat you burn is by adding the total amount of calories burned during the workout out. In order to burn more, you have to work more. Breaking a sweat is not a bad thing when you’re doing it for a reason. If you aren’t too sure to try working out at a low intensity and for one or two minutes during, bump the intensity level and watch those calories fly.

Motivation

At the end of the day, you are choosing this change in pace to improve your overall health. In the beginning, raising your endurance may be hard but in the end, it will be worth it once you’ve reached your weight loss target. If exercise ever seems too much of a hassle, you need to change your motivation. Turn your workouts into a game or challenge with family and friends. Re-evaluate your goals and lifestyle. But do not give up the fight to change for the better. Set your goals and tell yourself every day that you can and you will reach it.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop,”- Confucius.

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