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A Guide to Cardio for Fat Loss

written by: Caramel • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 4/16/2011

Cardio exercise can be a fun and effective way to burn fat and calories through a consistent program that you enjoy. Try your hand at brisk walking, swimming and cross-country skiing, all of which will help you burn calories and not only get slim and trim, but have a blast doing it.

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    Overview

    Losing weight basically comes down to creating a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. Many people are unaware that cardio exercises, which are also referred to as aerobic exercise, will burn more calories than resistance training or strength training exercises.

    You may receive a significant amount of toning and muscle building with consistent strength training exercises, but it won’t lead to a significant amount of weight loss. Fat loss can be achieved through cardio by employing a series of large muscle, rhythmic exercises that improves mobility, muscle strength and coordination, and aids in weight loss. It is also responsible for improving functional and physiological capacities.

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    Types of Cardio Workouts

    Cardio workouts are usually categorized as high impact and low impact. High impact exercises can be identified because they involve both feet leaving the floor as with hopping, jumping and running. Low impact exercises call for at least one foot remaining in contact with the floor during the workout session. With low impact exercises, you get a smaller risk of injury than high impact exercises; however, high impact aerobics usually allow you to burn more calories. The following are cardio exercises that will allow you to burn a lot of calories in 30 minutes.

    • Step Aerobics-This is a popular exercise especially with women that mainly target the glutes, hips, and legs and provides you with the ability to burn as much as 400 calories in 30 minutes. For information on the amount of calories you burn during exercise, visit this link.
    • Bicycling-Outdoors or stationary bicycles can help you burn as much as 500 in an intense 30 minute session.
    • Swimming-This is similar to cross country skiing in that you are getting a full body workout with the ability to burn as much as 400 calories doing the backstroke.
    • Cross Country Skiing- Visit this link for some helpful benefits of cross country skiing, which can help a 145 pound person burn as much as 330 calories in 30 minutes.

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    Top High Intensity Cardio Workouts

    • Spinning-These are high intensity exercises usually set to music simulated through a bike ride that has valleys and hills at various speeds.
    • Sprinting-Sprinting is a great way to speed up the metabolism and burn huge amounts of calories. Sprinting when combined with jogging and running can result in a great amount of trimming and toning as well as weight loss.
    • Jumping Rope-This is a very easy exercise to perform but it also is very effective. You can achieve a full body workout In just 15-20 minutes of jumping rope.

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    Conclusion

    Certain types of exercise equipment such as the treadmill or elliptical trainer can also be used to aid in fat loss. These types of equipment are easy to use and offer safe methods to help you to burn a lot of calories. They can be set at certain levels of intensity in order to get a low impact or high impact workout.

    For the beginner, it’s best to start off slowly with something like walking outdoors or on the treadmill and build your way up. Its also always important to consult your physician first in the beginning of a workout program. If you would like more information on plans for quick weight loss, visit this link.