Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is an effective way to burn fat. It increases your heart and lung rates, which makes your muscles work harder to pump blood.
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It’s also a great way to help you shed weight and keep it off. The key is finding the right type of cardiovascular workout for you.
Cardio burns calories and a higher heart rate can help your body use fat as its primary fuel source. It can also help lower your resting heart rate, which reduces the number of times your heart beats per minute and decreases the risk of coronary artery disease.
Moderate intensity cardio is recommended by most health and fitness professionals as an effective way to improve your health. This level of exercise is described as 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, according to the American Heart Association.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends this level for people with average or above average physical fitness. One simple way to determine this intensity is to use the “talk test”: If you can talk but not sing during a workout, your heart rate is at moderate intensity.
Most people don’t have the time to do long cardio sessions twice a day, but even 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio per week can provide many health benefits. However, you should never overdo it and should take a rest day each week to allow your body the opportunity to recover.
High intensity cardio can be a great way to burn fat quickly and get your metabolism working. However, you need to be careful to choose a workout that is safe for your body and doesn’t cause injuries.
A popular option is high intensity interval training, which consists of short periods of intense exercise followed by rest or active recovery. This form of exercise is well-tolerated by most people and is effective at improving heart health, strength and endurance.
Some research suggests that HIIT may be better for weight loss than traditional cardiovascular exercise, and can help lower blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity. However, some individuals with medical conditions or existing injury risks should consult a physician before adding high intensity cardio to their workouts.
Interval training is a highly effective form of cardio that’s designed to boost your aerobic fitness. It’s also a good choice for improving your speed and endurance in many sports, including running, rowing, cycling and swimming.
It’s especially useful for beginners, as it allows you to gradually build up to a continuous workout without burning yourself out. It can also help you stay focused if you tend to get distracted during your exercise sessions.
In interval training, you work at a high intensity for a certain period of time or distance (work interval), and rest between intervals at a low intensity. Depending on your goals, you can vary the length, duration and speed of these periods to achieve specific training responses.
Interval training programs are scientifically crafted to suit an athlete’s individual needs. Physiologists and trainers measure precise work periods that match an athlete’s current fitness level, and they also evaluate the concentration of blood-lactate during intense exercise.
If you want to lose weight and get lean, you need to do both cardio and strength training. Ideally, you should lift weights twice a week and do cardiovascular exercise on other days.
Regardless of what you do, you should try to get in as many 30-minute cardio sessions a week as you can. Reduce the amount of rest you take between sets to keep your heart rate increased for a longer period and increase caloric expenditure as well, says Montenegro.
Depending on your goals, you may want to incorporate a few high-intensity interval sessions with each weight training workout. This will help you burn a higher number of calories during and after each workout and increase your fat loss potential even more.