If you are new to weight loss and low in stamina then exercises such as cardio for weight loss is the best option for you. It mainly targets the functionality of cardiovascular system of the body. It increases heart rate, improves metabolism and boost your stamina which are the important factor in order to achieve weight loss and fitness of body. Here we will discuss the best cardio exercises which are proven to be effective in weight loss.
What is cardio for weight loss training or exercise?
Any exercise which primarily focuses on the cardiovascular system (organ systems which transports the gases and nutrients throughout the body) comes under the category of cardio exercise. It affects the important organs involve in body functioning and fitness which are heart and lungs. Walking, jogging and running are some famous cardio exercises which can be performed outdoors as well as on cardio machines. Elliptical trainer and treadmill best cardio machines for weight loss and toning as these provide you various levels of resistance and customized workout. These are loaded with various features like heart rate monitoring, customized programs, speed control, different incline levels, user friendly etc. which makes it best machine in cardio for weight loss.
What are the guidelines for cardio training?
- Warming up of the body before any exercise is very important as it prevents the body from any strain, fracture or injury. Try to focus on your large muscles like hamstrings and quads during warm up. Some warm up exercises like ankle circles, knee circles, some hip stretches etc can help your muscles and ligaments to respond faster during workout.
- Set time for your running sessions whether it is light running like jogging or fast pace running like sprinting. Try to finish the heavy running session in 30 seconds and let your body recover for 90 seconds and then repeat the running.
- Maintain an upright posture during sprinting outdoor or on treadmill because it keeps a consistent intensity on your muscles during running. So avoid leaning in forward direction during running.
- Never cut off your recovery period (approx. 90 seconds) after sprinting or high intensity training. Let your body recover and then push yourself harder in the next repeat.
- While running outdoor try to utilize fifty percent of your top speed in the first interval. Push yourself harder to 60 – 70 percent in next intervals.
- Focus on the intensity of the workout rather than the number of intervals during the workout. If your workout will be intensive then you will burn more calories even after you finish your workout. If you are using a heart rate monitor then aim to stay between 75 – 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
- Follow a healthy diet which provides you the calories you require in order to lose weight and also watch out your calorie intake carefully.
- Generally cardio and strength training are performed separately on alternative day but fusion of cardio and strength training can be efficient and effective too. Try some fusion exercises which include cardio and strength exercises.
- Doing cardio with empty stomach can sometime backfire your body therefore you should eat something light which is easy to digest (e.g. small piece of fruit, low fat yogurt sprinkled with granola) before performing the weight loss workouts.
- You should alternate between low intensity and high intensity exercises so that your body gets enough rest to recover any wear and tear.
- Cardio alone can become boring in due course of time. Therefore, you can team it up with strength training exercises to build more lean muscle mass, decrease fat and enhance metabolism.
Warm up cardio exercises
Raise your right knee upward and right hand overhead while balancing your body on left leg. Repeat the same step with opposite arm and leg while resting the body on right leg. Repeat the steps and switch the arms and legs as fast as possible. Do at least 10 – 15 skips and raise your arms and legs as high as you can.
Stand straight with your feet hip width apart and raise up your right knee as high as you can. Place it back in its original position and repeat the step with left leg. Repeat the step while alternating the legs and increase your pace with each repetition. Do this exercise for 30 seconds without any break.
Stand straight with your feet together and hands at your sides. Suck your belly to your spine and jump in air. Place your legs hip width apart and arms overhead. Jump again to come in your initial position. This will complete one round of jumping. Do at least 20 – 30 rounds of jumping for better warm-up.
Stairs are present in every accommodation or residential building and you can use it as cardio exercise equipment. Briskly walk up and down to the stairs until you break into sweat. You can also do this exercise in your office.
Stand straight with feet together and hands on sides. Bend forward until your fingertips touches the floor. Walk with the help of your hands in forward direction while keeping your feet in their initial position. Take a push up position and then gradually walk back on your hands to your initial position and stand tall.
Cardio exercise for legs
Take a squat position by bending your knees and moving your hands forwards so that they are parallel to the ground. Jump in a swift motion and raise your hands overhead before landing on the ground with both feet together.
Take an elevated platform and step your right foot on to it. Put your whole bodyweight on your right leg while raising your left leg to the height of elevated platform. Step down and switch the leg to repeat the step. Do at least 10 reps with each leg.
Stand in front of a sturdy box of an appropriate height so that you can easily reach on it in one jump. Jump on the box in one swift motion and step down after landing securely on the box. Repeat the exercise for 6 -10 reps.
Single leg hop
Jump in forward direction on one leg and other leg bend at knee level. Switch the leg and repeat the exercise. Take at least 10 -15 leaps during this exercise.
Stand straight with feet together and bend your right knee at ninety degree in front of the body and stretch the left leg behind the body. Jump and switch the legs mid air in such a way that your left leg comes forward and right leg goes behind.
Cardio exercise for arms and core
Lie flat on your back, place hands behind your head and pull your knees towards the chest region. Move your right elbow towards the left knee while straightening the right leg. Switch the arm and leg to repeat the step. Do 30 reps of this exercise. This exercise is among the best cardio for abs.
Lie down flat on your back while keeping your feet together and hands at sides. Then lift your lower legs in air and start kicking up and down in air. Do this exercise for a minute and keep the core engaged throughout. This is also known as the best cardio for abs muscles.
Jumping jack plank
Take a plank position by keeping the feet together and shoulders over the wrist. Do the jumping jack with your legs by placing them hip width apart in one jump and returning them to initial position in next jump. Do at least 12 -15 jumps.
Stand straight with legs shoulder width apart and right leg few inches front of left one. Raise your fists upward like you are aiming for sky and then pull it back. Repeat this step for 30 seconds without any break.
Sprinter sit up
Sit on the floor and stretch your legs in front of you. Bend your right elbow at ninety degree and raise your left leg. Bring them back and switch to opposite side. Do this exercise as fast as possible and 15 – 20 reps in one go.