Health experts in different sections of the profession often argue about the use of cardio for weight loss. Because weight loss is perhaps the biggest cause that keeps pushing several industries, people often ask, if cardio is good enough for belly fat? And, how cardiovascular exercise is apt for losing some weight? Let us tackle these questions in a small article here.
To put in short sentences, cardio and weight loss have some correlation for sure, because cardio also means moving around, and burning calories. But, what do you understand when you hear the word “cardio” is all that makes the difference. If you think of dripping sweat, and lifting weights, it may not be so true. If your idea of cardio is taking a brisk walk in the evening, it may not be totally wrong either.
Cardiovascular exercises are large, aerobic exercises. It means that when you are doing an activity that involves breathing, cardio comes into action. And, this definition is also vague because we breathe all the time. So, what is as special about breathing as an exercise? It turns out that aerobics-like training that uses a special group of muscles requires respiration and controlled breathing, increases your heart rate and balances it, etc. – can constitute good cardio.
So, does the brief explanation help? We hope so because the next thing to understand is what health experts think about this? And, what are the best ways to use cardio for weight loss?
Common Cardio for Fitness
Before we talk about weight loss, why not understand the benefits of cardio for regular fitness. Weight loss is nothing but, maintaining fitness for a long period of time. And, during this, one must control food habits, eating, sleeping, and other bodily functions. For example, jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, and fitness classes are the best forms of doing cardio, because this helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and maintain good health.
Cardio machines include rower, elliptical, stair climber, upright biking, and treadmill too. So, yes, running is also cardio and so is taking a brisk walk. But, according to the US Department of Health and Human Sciences, you should get at least 150 to 300 mins of moderate-intensity exercise a week to see any substantial change in weight. These figures are included towards a healthy body, rather than a ripped and skinny structure. Because, along with this, experts say, one should also do strength exercises involving all muscle groups.
Cardio for Weight Loss
So, losing one pound of weight in a week means eating 2500 calories less. This is a direct transformation of weight and calories, as they constitute the body mass. Because of this, the numbers are not directly applicable to all. There are metabolism differences and several other factors too. A human body is a complex machinery, and the calculations are for a general rule of thumb. So, cardio is a form of helping one maintain this calorie deficit long enough to lose weight. But, then is this sustainable?
So, let us learn what other factors are responsible too, which will tell us about sustainability.
It is important because the older you are, you have fewer calories anyway.
- Composition of the Body
It plays a key role because the more muscle mass and density, you will burn more calories during exercise, compared to someone who has a lot of fat. It is very difficult to burn fat.
It is supposedly a big factor because not men’s and women’s bodies are equal. Men tend to burn more calories, and quickly than women. Similarly, women find it very difficult to lose weight than men too, given all other factors are the same.
It is the basis of everything, and the more weight you have, the more calories you will burn. It is like a faster thing.
- Intensity of Cardio
It is the last thing because the more you do exercises, the more sweat you lose, and the more calories you burn.
However, these days you don’t even have to guess because there are calorimeters that can tell you how many calories you lost? So, which cardiovascular exercises burn the most calories is the next big question? It tunes out that CDC gives a list of studies and its results here. A 154-pound person can burn between 140 to 290 calories with 30 minutes of moderate cardio. This can include anything from hiking, cycling, swimming to running at 5 mph. Different work routines, burn different amounts of calories. They have a full chart of these things.
Cardio Workout Routine
Thus, you must create a complete workout routine to make things faster and easier for you. Depending on your weight loss regime, you can then do different sets of workouts and aerobics on different days, or at a different time of the day. So, include the following:
- Strength training must be available because weight loss without strength training can backfire.
- Flexibility and stretching should also be a part of regular exercise because weight loss must also accompany the body to regain its flexibility and agility.
- Cardiovascular exercise as we have mentioned above should be part of, for sure.
- Finally, taking proper rest between exercises, and during the day to replenish, the energy is also a part of the workout routine.
- Thus, it is in the proper combination of workouts with cardiovascular exercises that give the best benefits. Now, depending on the body type, it will vary for sure. But, in general, weight watchers do agree on a consensus that any kind of exercise, cardio included, is good for overall health and fitness. With that also comes good food. The role of food in increasing weight, obesity, and fat cannot be overemphasized. So, check your meals too.
Losing weight through cardio is both good for the body and heart because it is the heart that does all the work from pumping blood to delivering oxygen. To lose excess body fat means allowing the heart to rest easy and live young longer.