Cardio For Weight Loss : What To Do?

cardio for weight loss

Cardiovascular exercises, or cardio exercises, increase a person’s heart and breathing rate. These exercises usually involve repetitive movements that use large muscle groups. Examples of aerobic exercise include running and bicycling. Cardio exercise can help a person control their weight and is essential for keeping their heart and lungs healthy.

What is Cardio?

When you hear the word aerobic, do you think of the sweat dripping off your forehead while running on a treadmill or a brisk walk during your lunch break? It’s both. Cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, means you’re doing an “aerobic” activity.

This type of exercise:

  • uses large muscle groups, such as your legs or upper body
  • requires respiration or controlled breathing
  • increases your heart rate and keeps it in an aerobic zone for a set amount of time

Common forms of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and fitness classes. Aerobic exercise machines may include rowing machines, ellipticals, stair climbers, upright or recumbent bikes and treadmills.

While it’s true that cardio can burn calories and help with weight loss, combining it with strength training at least two to three days a week can increase the rate at which you lose weight.

The amount of cardio you need depends on a variety of factors, such as your current weight, diet, daily activity level and age.

Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss 

The table below provides some indications of how many calories may be burned by different activities. These numbers reflect a person who weighs approximately 154 lbs.

ActivityCalories burned after
30 minutes
Calories burned after
60 minutes
Running at 5mph295590
Bicycling at over 10 mph295590
Swimming, slow freestyle laps255510
Walking at 4.5 mph230460
Basketball (vigorous)220440
Heavy yard work, such as chopping wood220440

It is important to note that these numbers are only estimates. People will burn different amounts of calories depending on their weight.

Should You Do Cardio Every Day to Lose Weight?

cardio and strength training

It’s true that the more cardio you do, the more calories you burn. This is helpful in burning more calories to the bottom line, which does ultimately lead to weight loss. So why is it so important to mix up other types of workouts, especially strength training?

  • Strength training helps your metabolism. Strength training may not burn as many calories in the moment, but building muscle boosts your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re at rest. Strength training is a powerful and important component of weight loss. So just engaging in cardio isn’t the most effective way to do it.
  • Doing cardio every day can lead to injury. If you only do one type of exercise a day, you’re putting your body at risk for overuse injuries. Aerobic exercise is the main culprit in this situation, as exercises like running and jumping put tremendous stress on your joints. Getting injured while exercising will definitely set you back from your weight loss goals.
  • Mixing up your workout routine keeps you engaged and motivated. The more you mix up your workouts, the greater the physical and mental benefits will be. A workout routine with plenty of variety is more challenging for your body and more engaging for your mind, which will keep you on track and motivated at a time when a more tedious routine may be wearing you down.

For people with weight loss goals, they would do well to do a combination of cardio and resistance training such as weight lifting. They are both important for reducing body fat.

How to Use Cardio and Weight Training for Fat Loss

Studies show that combining cardio and strength training can improve your odds of long-term weight loss. Here are a few tips to optimize this killer workout:

  • Time it right. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) says scheduling aerobic exercise immediately after lifting weights will maximize the potential for burning calories.
  • Clock more cardio than strength training. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that if most people also follow the recommended dietary restrictions, 2.5 to 4 hours of aerobic exercise per week will help them lose fat. For strength training, two or three 30-minute sessions per week is normal.
  • HIIT up the gym. We know HIIT is a great way to accelerate the burning of sweet calories. Many HIIT workouts include both cardio and strength training.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much aerobic exercise a person should do to lose weight. However, there are tools available to create individual activity plans for different people.

Aerobic exercise is great for losing weight and staying healthy. There are great benefits to combining aerobic exercise with other types of exercise, such as strength training.

Making sure that exercise is enjoyable will help a person maintain the habit. This can involve some trial and error before a person finds the type of exercise that works best for them.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *