Whether you're new to exercising or an avid gym-goer, cardio exercises can be beneficial to help achieve fat loss. So what are cardio workouts?
Cardio or cardiovascular exercises are basically any exercise that elevates a person’s heart rate. These exercises can be really effective for people who want to lose fat, maintain an average weight or stay healthy.
From reducing stress and psychological distress to improving a sense of well-being and offering optimal weight loss, cardio workouts entail a plethora of benefits. While sprinting is one of the best cardio workouts that can help you burn the most calories, people who aren’t into running can find it boring and tiring.
The good news is that there are other types of cardio exercises for weight loss. There are many options to choose from to improvise your cardiovascular ability.
Cardio Exercises to Lose Body Fat
We’ve compiled a list of five of the most effective and easy cardio workouts you should do regularly to achieve weight loss.
1) Jump Rope
Jump rope is an excellent form of cardio that helps strengthen your leg muscles and improves the elasticity of your connective tissues and tendons while also helping lose fat. This exercise uses your abdominal muscles and the ones in your arms.
How to do a jump rope:
- Grip the handles of the jump rope lightly, and stand straight.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows close to your torso.
- Bend your knees; rotate the rope, and keep an arc as the rope reaches overhead.
- Jump, and allow the rope to pass under your feet. Make sure you jump softly to reduce tension on your ankles and knees.
Burpees are an intense exercise that combines push-ups, squats and jumps. They're a very productive exercise for losing fat and also train several muscles at once, including the legs, chest and core.
How to do a burpee:
- Stand straight with your feet at shoulder distance.
- Lower your body into a squat, and get down to the floor with your hands on the ground.
- Jump your legs back to straighten them; perform a push-up and jump your legs back in.
- Get into a squat position, and stand back up to the start. Jump again to complete one rep.
3) Jumping Jack
Jumping jacks is a great cardio for weight loss, as it involves your entire body and also works the heart and lungs.
How to do a jumping jack:
- Stand straight with your arms on your sides and legs wider than shoulder distance.
- Jump up as high as you can, and spread your feet beyond your hip distance while bringing both arms above your head.
- Lowering your arms, jump again, and bring your legs together.
- Return to the starting position, and complete a few reps.
4) Squat Jump
Squat jumps are standard squats but with an additional jump. This cardio exercise targets your thighs, butts and hamstrings while also improving the flexibility in the ankles, hips and knee joints.
How to do a squat jump:
- Stand tall with your feet slightly apart and arms on the sides.
- Lower your body to a squat position till your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Swing your arms forward, and jump as high as you can.
- Land softly on the floor, and get into a squat position again. Repeat.
5) High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is an excellent cardio that involves a series of exercises performed at short high intensity intervals and broken up by the lower intensity of rest.
This form of exercise utilizes your energy reserves, which enhances metabolism and helps burn more calories. Moreover, HIIT exercises never last more than 30 minutes, which makes them ideal if you have a busy schedule.
Here’s an example of a HIIT workout routine:
- Start with high knees for 45 seconds, and rest for 15 seconds.
- Perform squats for 45 seconds followed by rest for 15 seconds.
- Perform a few burpees for 45 seconds, and take rest for 15.
- Repeat this sequence at least ten times.
You can make your own HIIT workout session by including exercises you like, such as lunges, mountain climbers, push-ups, and so on.
If you're a beginner and your body is not used to performing high-impact cardio, do not rush. Instead, start with easy exercises, and complete fewer reps. Take your time to learn the right form to avoid injuries.