10 Best Cardio Exercises For Weight Loss

Cardio Exercises For Weight Loss Health & Lifestyle
September 9, 2022
6 minutes Read
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Are you trying to lose a few pounds? Whether new to working out or a gym regular, your fitness goals change as your body changes. But what’s the best exercise to lose weight? Well, with the right combo of cardio, strength training, and diet, we can burn calories and shed lbs. 

The best cardio exercises to streamline your physique include low-impact incline walking, cycling, rowing, or H.I.I.T. workouts (High-Intensity Interval Training).

Ready to work up a sweat? 

Here’s a quick rundown of the best cardio for weight loss:

Best Cardio for Weight Loss

  1. Rowing
  2. Incline walking
  3. High-intensity Interval Training
  4. Swimming
  5. Jump rope
  6. Elliptical machine
  7. Cycling
  8. Stair climber
  9. Kickboxing
  10. Burpees

We’ll explain the above cardio activities soon, but first, what is cardio, and why is it such a go-to for getting in shape?

What is cardio? 

When you think of cardio, do you imagine your forehead drenched in sweat as you stride on the elliptical machine? Or maybe a brisk Saturday walk comes to mind. It can be both! Cardio is aerobic exercise, which means you’re doing a physical activity with oxygen. 

Common cardio examples include jogging, cycling, fitness classes, and walking. At the same time, aerobic machines may include a stair climber, elliptical, rower, bike, and treadmill.

Cardio (or cardiovascular) exercise increases your heart rate and keeps it up for a prolonged period. Secondly, your respiratory system exerts more because you breathe faster and deeper. Thirdly, to bring O2 to your muscles, your blood vessels expand (which means your circulatory system is also working harder). Finally, your body releases endorphins into your system. 

In other words, cardio boosts your heart and breathing rates while also challenging your cardiovascular system. Just like when you do an abdominal exercise, it’s meant to challenge your abs, or when you do glute exercise, it’s meant to challenge your glutes.

Since cardio workouts get your heart going, they’re some of the most effective exercises to lose weight. In an article for Healthline, Multazim Shaikh, a Nutritionist, explains that cardio is one of the most effective workouts for weight loss because the greater your heart rate, the more fat you’ll burn.

Mayo Clinic explains that you need up to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week for weight loss. On average, this evens out to about 60 minutes of exercise five days a week. 

But don’t let the specifics intimidate you from doing cardio. Think of it as a way to improve your mood while also taking care of your body. 

There is no one-size-fits-all way to approach workouts for weight loss, but there are some basic benefits to cardio, including:

  • Weight management: According to the C.D.C., 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week will help maintain weight. Also, while aerobic exercise does help to shed pounds, the fastest weight loss exercise includes strength training 3 times a week combined with cardio. 
  • Longer life: Mayo Clinic suggests that those who regularly do cardiovascular exercise will live longer. Of course, there’s no guarantee of anything, and this doesn’t mean Vampire everlasting life, but it does make sense that investing in your body’s wellness will yield life-giving results.
  • Prevent heart disease: Research shows that increasing your heart rate with regular cardio exercises may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • Improve mood: Have you felt your mood lift during a spin class or while out on a walk? Research indicates that cardio improves your mood and helps you to feel happier with the production of feel-good endorphins. 

Now that we know what cardio is, is it the fastest exercise for weight loss?

The best results come from 3 things: Eating right to take in less than you exert. Weight training to boost metabolism. And doing cardio to elevate the heart and burn calories.  

Below are the 10 best cardio exercises to lose weight:

  1. Rowing

The fastest weight loss exercise on our list comes in as rowing. This activity comes first because it’s a solid workout that uses both your upper and lower body with relatively low strain on joints and ligaments. 

Following a moderate pace for an hour can burn roughly 800 calories (depending on your build). However, increasing the intensity of your rowing with quick sprints can get your calorie burning even higher.

A convenient perk about rowing is that rowing machines are ideal for at-home workouts if you have the space. Part of losing weight is consistency, so finding a way to be physically active with minimal barriers is key!

  1. Incline walking

Do you hate running but want the results? If so, incline walking might be your golden ticket as it can be as effective as running but with less impact on your body. 

Not to mention, incline walking can improve your muscle endurance; if you are a runner, it can improve your form. 

Why is it on the list of best cardio for weight loss? The incline means you have to lift your legs higher which uses more muscles. Therefore, you’ll shed pounds if you do it consistently with a diet plan.

  1. High-Intensity Training (HIIT)

HIIT is one of those fantastic workouts for weight loss if you don’t have much time. 

This activity is becoming increasingly popular because it maximizes calorie burn and fat reduction. It involves bursts of intense exercise to increase your heart rate. You follow that burst with 15 seconds of rest. 

If you have a busy day, HIIT is ideal because you can finish your workout in a shorter time. There’s a bonus; your body will continue to burn calories if the activity is done correctly. 

  1. Swimming

Swimming offers you a total-body workout, and it begins the second you start treading, making it the most effective weight loss exercise (or at least one of them!).

Furthermore, your muscles are working hard to keep your body afloat without a break until you stop treading. You’ll burn close to fifteen calories within one minute of swimming quickly. 

Also, remember: How you swim makes a difference. 

Focus on using each muscle as you move. Also, a butterfly stroke can burn more calories than a breaststroke. 

  1. Jump rope

“Working your core always, your foot speed, jumping rope, pushups, and sit-ups – things like that are really important. Those things will pay off more than just doing what a bench press will.”

— Mark Sanchez

Jump rope is a go-to workout for athletes for a good reason. It’s inexpensive, easy to find, increases reaction time, and burns calories like crazy. 

Furthermore, in an article for the Men’s Journal, Ben Boudro (C.S.C.C. and owner of Xceleration Fitness Fitness) explains that jumping rope is a cardio exercise that shreds pounds because it simulates sprinting.

  1. Elliptical machine

To increase fat burning on the elliptical machine, focus on the duration and intensity of your workouts. 

One study found that high-intensity intervals on the elliptical allowed more calories to be burned in a shorter time (but both low and high-intensity intervals work).

Also, you can add interval training to your machine cardio workout. For instance, do 30 seconds of high-intensity movement and follow it with 15 seconds of the slower recovery movement. 

Don’t stop moving during recovery time. Continue to move, but at a reduced pace. 

  1. Cycling

Cycling is an excellent way to lose weight. It has several benefits because it:

  • Increases your metabolic rate.
  • Builds muscle.
  • Burns calories and fat. 
  • Can be adjusted to suit your fitness level or cardiovascular health. 

Steady cycling for an hour can burn about 300 calories.

  1. Stair climber

Stair climbing uses the body’s largest muscle groups to lift your body repeatedly, step after step. Furthermore, it increases your heart rate, engages your core, and tones your glutes and lower body muscles. 

Stair climbers can be found at most gyms. However, you can even buy them for home use. One way to stay interested while using a stair climber is to watch your favorite tv show if your phone or television is visible. 

  1. Kickboxing

Kickboxing offers you high-intensity, total-body cardiovascular training.

It increases your core strength and muscle endurance of your legs, core, back, and shoulders. 

The added benefits of this cardio activity are that it can help improve your movement and teach you self-defense. 

Depending on your build, one kickboxing class should burn about 600 calories.

  1. Burpees

Burpees are a convenient cardio option because they can be done at home and don’t require much equipment. You’ll want to be dressed comfortably and in an area where you can easily work out. 

They combine squats, jumps, and pushups, so you burn fat from your entire body. You’re also training different muscle groups.

It’s suggested that you do ten reps within 30 seconds. And rest for 30 seconds. Lastly, repeat this five times. 

Is cardio necessary to lose weight?  

No, cardio isn’t required to lose weight. Being in a calorie deficit through a regulated diet is the most effective way to drop pounds. Likewise, a nutritious diet is crucial to ensure you get enough vitamins, minerals, and calories to sustain optimal body function while reducing weight. However, you’ll want support from a trusted healthcare provider.

Prioritize nutrition and ensure you’re in a slight calorie deficit that progresses conservatively over eight-12 weeks. But, you’ll also want to strength train, so you don’t lose muscle mass. 

Finally, fitness experts suggest you add low-impact cardio exercises to lose weight if you want to burn more calories.

Also, note that dieting causes stress on muscle tissue. So if you’re aggressively watching what you eat and training, you can lose muscle. 

Also, adding cardio exercises for weight loss is helpful if you want to consume more calories.

What’s the importance of diet in weight loss? 

Both diet and exercise are important for healthy and sustained weight loss.

As discussed above, diet modifications to achieve a calorie deficit are paramount to losing weight. Focus on eating more whole foods, lean protein, and healthy fats. At the same time, exercise provides your body with physical and emotional benefits. Not to mention, it helps maintain your results. 

Furthermore, consider working with a Health and Wellness Coach to get started. An expert can support and guide your fitness journey in a more structured manner. 

How can you find a licensed, vetted, and experienced Health and Wellness Coach?

First, download the Ravkoo Health App. This app serves as a central healthcare marketplace. Once downloaded, you can access many healthcare experts on your smartphone.

Utilize the Ravkoo Lifestyle modality to choose a Health and Wellness Coach. Our coaches are experts in various areas such as:

  • Diet and nutrition
  • Mindfulness
  • Weight loss
  • Exercise 

What can you expect working with a Ravkoo Health and Wellness Coach?

  1. You can select a provider based on their profile and your budget. 
  2. The directory of coaches shows a bio and picture about their strategies and thinking process for health.  
  3. The coaches work with you to identify the goals you want to reach. They’ll look at barriers that have gotten in the way and help identify solutions. They can even work with you to suggest some workouts to help you lose weight. 
  4. You’ll receive continued motivation to help you achieve your goal.
  5. Ask your Ravkoo Lifestyle Coach questions as they arise, like, “What’s the best cardio for weight loss?” And if it’s their area of expertise, they’ll offer an actionable plan.  

We asked a Ravkoo Doctor the healthiest way to lose weight—this was the answer:

Avoid fad diets (keto, paleo, etc.). These often trade short-term benefits for long-term adverse health implications.

For example, a keto diet may lose five-ten pounds over a few months, but you would significantly increase your cardiovascular risk.

According to our MD, here are the best ways to lose weight:

  • Plan your meals and try to have a well-rounded diet.
  • Avoid excessively processed foods (hot dogs, frozen meals, and fried food).
  • Do your best to eat in. 
  • Read your food labels better to understand their fat, carbohydrate, and sodium content.
  • Try to consume around 1g of protein per kilogram that you weigh to optimize muscle mass.
  • Do routine cardiovascular and weight training exercises; even 30 minutes a few days a week goes a long way!
  • Minimize alcohol, tobacco, and soda consumption.
  • Try to maintain a regular sleep cycle.

Final Thoughts:

When you want to drop pounds, it’s essential to understand the role of cardio in weight reduction. 

The best exercise to lose weight isn’t just one thing but a trio; ideally, you should include healthy eating, weight training, and cardio. 

Cardio exercises to effectively get your heart pumping and burn calories include HIIT, rowing, swimming, cycling, and jumping rope. 

Finally, the fastest weight loss exercise doesn’t have as much to do with one activity, but it’s a matter of persistence and putting your knowledge into action. It’s also vital to consider your age, health, genetics, and lifestyle as contributing factors. 

When in doubt, reach out to a health and wellness coach who can facilitate and streamline your road to losing lbs. 

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