Cardio exercise is the best for weight loss, it’s a fact proven by studies and something everyone knows today. However, the important thing to understand is that not all cardio is equal. There are many types of aerobic exercises, and while all of them help you lose weight, some are better at it. Some of those are also safer and more beneficial for your general wellbeing. Therefore, you need to plan the cardio routine for your weight loss program prioritizing swimming, biking, and rowing. Don’t forget about HIIT as well.
Top 3 Types of Cardio for Weight Loss and Health
According to research, swimming is one of the best physical exercises for health and development. It does not only help you burn about the same number of calories as jogging, but it also gives you a full-body workout.
A fact more important for extremely overweight and obese people is that swimming is much safer for your already abused joints and heart. This type of exercise reduces the strain on your internal systems without sacrificing its fat-burning benefits in the slightest. Therefore, swimming should be number one on your list of cardio activity for weight loss. However, bear in mind that to burn fat effectively in the pool, you need to swim athletically, not just fool around doing slow laps with no technique to speak of.
Cycling and running are about equal in regards to the calorie-burning effect and overall health benefits. However, this type of aerobic activity is more low-impact. Therefore, your joints, bones, and ligaments will thank you for choosing a bicycle over running shoes.
Aside from weight loss and cardiovascular benefits, cycling also has a very positive impact on your immune system. To achieve maximum weight loss and health boost from this exercise, get yourself a hybrid bicycle. This vehicle will take you through any kind of terrain comfortably. Therefore, you will be able to diversify your cycling workouts for better results. Be sure to ride in the hills and through road-less countryside regularly to increase the intensity of your workouts and engage different muscle groups.
Rowing burns more calories and fat than swimming or cycling, so it can be considered the best cardio exercise for overall weight loss. However, it’s more high-impact (but it’s still low-impact overall), so if your joints aren’t in the best condition, you should limit these workouts.
Another reason rowing is excellent is that it engages all the main muscle groups in the body. You’ll literally feel that fat melting off you when you start working on a rowing machine. However, this will be extremely hard, so prepare to suffer muscle aches that beat any you’ve had before.
What’s That About HIIT?
High-intensity interval training is more effective for weight loss than regular cardio, but it’s not a type of exercise. It’s a strategy that can be applied to any aerobic activity. This means that you can use it to boost any of the cardio exercises listed above and get much better overall results.
The way to do this is simple, instead of gradually increasing the intensity throughout your training session, you break it down into small bursts of high intensity. Then, lower the intensity, but don’t stop completely! Repeat the cycle several times.
The exact duration of the intervals can vary. If you are only a beginner, 15-30 seconds of extreme intensity with 45-60 second of relaxation will be a good place to start. However, depending on the type of activity, you will need to modify those numbers to best suit your needs. Remember that the rest period should be about twice as long as the intense workout you give your muscles.