Best Cardio Exercises To Lose Weight
Which cardio exercises are best for losing weight and how much weight
should I aim to lose per week?
answer to the first question will only be truly valid by first pointing
out the vital role that a proper diet plays to be able to achieve
and maintain any long term weight loss objective. In fact, maintaining
a proper diet is the single most important factor when trying to
lose weight, keep the weight off and improve overall health. Yes,
a proper diet is more important and will have a greater positive
impact on your physique than exercising and weight training. However,
when a proper diet is combined with a consistent cardio and weight
training program, that combination has a synergistic effect that
exponentially increases the overall effectiveness of your efforts
- much more so than either a proper diet or a consistent cardio
program could each do independently.
To answer your specific question, the best cardio exercises for
losing weight depend on your individual particular physical abilities,
limitations and your personal preferences. If you like jogging then
jog. If you like walking then walk. If you like playing basketball
then play basketball! If you like a little bit of everything then
cross-train and do a little bit of everything! Just try to find
something you really enjoy doing on a daily basis and focus on being
consistent with that activity. As far as how many pounds you should
aim to lose per week, 1-2 pounds per week is a good number to stick
to for long term success. Below is a list of just a few great cardio
exercises to consider:
Walking (outside, indoor track, treadmill) - Researchers found
that overweight women who performed speed-interval walking workouts
for 45 minutes per session along with some weight training toning
exercises four times a week lost 23 pounds in only 16 weeks. Try
walking outside and find new areas around your home where the
terrain and scenery is different in order to keep your walking
workouts fun and interesting.
- Jogging (outside, indoor track, treadmill) - This exercise
does not require much explanation. Just be sure to jog at a pace
you are comfortable with and make sure you have proper footwear
to minimize the potential for blisters or other common issues
related to jogging.
- Stationary Bike - The exercise bike can help you burn
tons of calories and tone your legs. When working out on a stationary
bike, the trick is to make sure you have the machine set with
enough resistance. This way, you won't pedal yourself off the
bike, but you'll also be able to sprint when necessary, which
can make for a great interval workout.
- Elliptical Machine - Set the machine at a level you
are comfortable with and continue at your own pace but make sure
you're working hard enough to burn adequate calories. Short 30-60
seconds high intensity intervals work amazing with this exercise
also and will really make you sweat big time! Allow yourself three
to five minutes to cool down.
- Basketball - Find a pickup game or just shoot baskets
alone. Try to find a full court and be sure to be on the move
constantly running to each end of the court using both baskets.
Other great exercises to consider:
- Wind Sprints
- Stair Sprints
- Jumping Rope
Regardless of which cardio exercise you choose to do, the most
important things to always remember is to hit your target heart
rate zone for at least 30 minutes (see Heart Rate Chart 1.1 below),
be consistent with your workouts and keep your diet as clean as
Heart Rate Chart 1.1 (Source: American Heart
Heart Rate Chart 1.1 provides a general range of
hearts rates based on average data for each respective age range.
The average maximum heart rate (100%) is estimated by subtracting
your age from 220. For example, if you are 38 years old, your estimated
maximum heart rate should be around 182 beats per minute. Therefore,
your target heart rate zone (50% to 85% of your maximum heart rate)
for cardio training purposes would be 91-155 beats per minute. Always
remember to listen to your body! If you're not on your "A-Game"
one day - so what! Slow down or even stop and cut your workout short
that day. Rome wasn't built in a day and there's no need to push
yourself like a maniac. Your ego will heal a lot faster than an
unnecessary self-induced injury!
Checking your heart rate is a relatively easy thing
to do. Simply place two fingers on the inside of your opposite wrist,
count your pulse for ten seconds and then multiply that number by
six. That total is your heart rate at that time. When you initially
begin your cardio training program, it is recommended to set your
training goals at the lower end of your target heart rate range
(closer to 50% of your maximum heart rate). As you progress with
your cardio training routine and build stamina, gradually increase
your training goals upward towards the higher end of the target
heart rate range (closer to 85% of your maximum heart rate) so you
can really start burning lots of calories and body fat!
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