Cardio workouts are the primary routine for many fitness enthusiasts. Combined with weight exercises, cardio is an excellent fat burner. Breaking a sweat is a clear indication that you burn those calories you may or may not have gained with a piece of cake this morning! And, honestly, no need to eliminate those delicious treats completely if you stay in a calorie deficit.
Regular cardio workouts mean more to your body than a simple way to lose fat (if there is anything simple about it anyway). An active life is a key to your health, both mental and physical. Studies prove that regular cardio is essential for healthy sleep patterns, a robust immune system, and a person’s overall mood. Do we need to tell more to encourage you?
The last thing we would like to highlight is the importance of heart rate for burning fat. To maximize your cardio sessions, it’s recommended to track your heart rate with the help of fitness trackers. The American Heart Association recommends the range of 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate for cardio training, while more rigorous training, like HIIT, should aim for 70-85 percent of maximum.
But how to determine your maximum heart rate? The general guideline provided by the Association is 220 – your age.
Now that you’ve estimated your maximum and target heart rates, it’s time for an intensive training session! But what type of cardio to choose? The choice is enormous and confusing. You can always try them all to determine the most suitable yourself, or you can continue reading to find out the most effective and enjoyable of them in this article. What would be your choice?
In good times, when the gyms are open, and you have free time to visit one near your home, you have an unlimited choice of cardio equipment. For those of us who’ve invested in a home gym system or just one aerobic exercise equipment, the selection is more straightforward.
When you think of cardio as a gym, an elliptical usually comes to mind. Honestly, this is excellent machinery that can boost your cardio by engaging your whole body for this workout.
This machine is designed in a way to minimize the pressure on knees, which is beneficial in comparison with many other types of cardio workouts. On average, you can burn around 500-600 calories an hour on this machine.
Running offers the most intense among all aerobic exercise examples but is harsher on your knees. Be sure to consult your doctor if you feel pain or slight discomfort when running.
Gym treadmills come in a variety of shapes and functions. Modern machines come with an incline function where you can regulate the surface to change the difficulty.
On average, you burn around 800 calories depending on your weight!
This type of gym equipment can be used for great cardio while burning 500-600 calories an hour. Stair climbers are better for the knees than running but are still harsher than elliptical. At the same time, climbing engages more muscles than merely walking.
The best way to use stair climbers is by doing 10-15 active workout-recovery sessions—thirty seconds of active climbing/one-two-minute active recovery.
You can find a stationary bike in every gym. To be an effective cardio workout equipment, be prepared for intense interval training. As a result, you may burn up to 1000 calories an hour.
When you have no opportunity to visit a gym or install workout equipment at home, there are still plenty of options for involving cardio training in your daily life. Here are some options for a cardio workout at home that require little to none equipment.
Just as you run on a treadmill at the gym, you can easily run outside on tracks or even around your house. Running outside has some restrictions that mainly concern weather changes but still possible all year round.
High-intensity interval training may be done with a few additional items like barbells, jump ropes, etc. If done right, high-intensity training is more effective than other cardio kinds in terms of burning fat. In one hour, you can lose around 1500 calories. However, be prepared to break a sweat when you decide to try HIIT at home.
Here are some of the most effective high-intensity exercises that can be done at home.
The bane of all home fitness programs, burpees. Find a person who loves doing this cardio exercise, and you find a secret masochist. A proper set of burpees may seem like it’s burning you alive alongside those calories! Yet, burpees are incredibly effective. This is the classic move of all trainers that engages your whole body.
How to do:
- Stan with legs hid width apart.
- Jump up and then lower down for a push-up.
- Jump feet forward and rise for another high jump!
Another super effective exercise that will make your core love and hate you at the same time is mountain climber (it requires no mountain). This exercise will make your core bulletproof.
How to do:
- Stand in the standard plank position.
- Draw one knee to the chest and, then, place it back.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Continue changing your legs as fast as you can.
This cardio at home requires one small piece of equipment that you may already have from your years ago. Do you remember the childhood fun you had with the jump rope? It’s time to remember those skills, but for a fitness purpose this time. Everything else is up to you. The way you jump can be as basic or as creative as you like. Time and patience are also up to you.
How to do:
- Do we really have to tell you how to jump?
- Jumping jacks
These are somewhat similar to burpees but are more beginner-friendly. These jacks require you to repeat the first part – jumping high with legs wide and possible circling hands. Despite its ease, this workout is effective for cardio training. A minute or two of jumping jacks can be incorporated into any workout scheme.
This may seem like a fun and easy exercise, but you’ll be surprised at how much strength it actually requires. An inchworm places the bigger share of work on your core and hands but engages muscles across the whole body. Keep your muscles active to feel that burn!
How to do:
- Place your feet hip-width apart.
- Place your hands on the floor while keeping your legs straight (slightly bent in the knees).
- Move your hands forward one by one until you stand in a high plank.
- Backtrack hands back to the feet.
Remember, the faster you get in all of these cardio exercises, the more intense the cardio gets.