Summer is coming to an end and that means fall is creeping its way in. And while it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also the most difficult time for weight loss.
Once the leaves start falling, holidays start coming back to back. And with these holidays come foods of all sorts, cookies, cakes, pies, and that’s just Thanksgiving.
But this year, you won’t have to worry about having an extra slice of pie because you’re starting just in time to be prepared for the holidays.
Getting your cardio workout routine ready will help you shed those extra pounds and get ready to show off your new bod to the family.
Keep reading for a list of the best cardio for weight loss as well as a few tips to get you started.
Understanding Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercises
Before we get into the different types of cardio, we should discuss the two different kinds of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic.
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises have their distinguished benefits.
Let’s talk about aerobic exercise first, since aerobic exercises are ideal for fat burning.
When someone talks about aerobic exercises, they are referring to exercises in which your muscles rely heavily on oxygen as their main source of fuel. Aerobic exercise is beneficial in that it improves your cardiovascular system and helps you burn fat quickly.
When a person is exercising aerobically, their heart rate is at about 60% of its maximum. When your heart rate goes above 60% you start exercising anaerobically. This means your body stops relying so much on oxygen as its fuel and starts using glycogen in your muscles.
Since the glycogen in your muscles is in limited supply, you won’t be able to exercise anaerobically for long periods of time.
Anaerobic exercises are ideal for muscle strengthening. You might notice muscle soreness after anaerobic exercises due to the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. The lactic acid is a byproduct of the glycogen as it is being broken down by your body.
The best weight loss routines include both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. However, knowing the difference between the two will help you understand how to better build a fitness routine.
Best Cardio for Weight Loss
When you’re planning an exercise routine, it’s important to incorporate that routine into your current schedule as much as possible. One of the hardest things about developing a fitness routine is creating a habit, but we can make it a little bit easier by simply modifying the habits we already have.
Let’s dive right into the best cardio exercises that you can do to shed those extra pounds.
You might think that walking isn’t going to cut it, and you would be right. Just giving yourself time to walk isn’t going to be enough to maintain a healthy fitness routine and lose weight.
However, walking is a great way to kick start your metabolism and get your heart rate up. The best part about walking is that you can incorporate it into your routine easily.
If you’re close enough to work, try walking instead of driving. Walk the kids to school, take the dog for an extra half mile, or even just to take an evening walk to melt away the stress of the day.
To vamp up your walk, choose routes that have hills or stairs. Walking up and down hills will increase your chances of weight loss, as your heart rate will go up and down in intervals.
After you’ve gotten used to walking to work, you might try stepping up your game and running instead.
You don’t have to run the entire distance, you can always do short sprints to get you there. If you’re doing this every day, it won’t take long before you’re able to run the entire distance.
If you’re running daily, opt for trails or paths with a softer surface than cement. While running is great for weight loss, the pounding impact on your joints and body can start to break down muscle and wear down joints. A simple fix is to run on the shoulder of the sidewalk, so that the grass and dirt can absorb the impact, as opposed to your knees.
We used to jump rope for hours when we were kids, but why did we ever stop?
Jumping rope is a fast, effective way to get your heart rate up and start losing weight. Think of pro wrestlers and boxers. You often see them in the gym jumping rope. It makes sense, as jump rope improves your endurance, coordination, shoulder strength, and simulates sprinting.
This type of aerobic exercise can burn up to 500 calories in just 30 minutes.
Another benefit of jumping rope is that it’s super cheap. Instead of paying an expensive gym membership, just head to Walmart and buy a $10 jump rope.
Hiking is a great way to lose weight. It incorporates climbing, walking, sprinting, and in some cases, strength training.
Beginner hikers should start off on simple trails, such as walking trails. Advanced hikers can do trails that have steep hills, bouldering, stairs, and more.
In fact, there is a hike in Colorado called the Manitou Incline. This hike has 2000 stairs to get you to the top of the mountain. While the views are incredibly worth it, we recommend having some previous training before attempting anything like this.
Tips for Weight Loss
Now that you’ve got the exercises down, check out some of these tips and tricks to help you drop the excess body fat more quickly.
Develop a Routine
We’ve mentioned several times how important it is to have a daily routine. When starting a new fitness regimen, you should do everything in your power to incorporate it into your daily schedule.
Having a routine that fits with your schedule instead of trying to work your schedule around your routine will help you stick to it more effectively.
Drink Lots of Water
This is the most important factor in weight loss. Drink lots and lots of water and other weight loss drinks.
Your metabolism does not work without water, as every single metabolic reaction occurs in the aqueous state. Metabolic reactions are what break down fats and other nutrients in your body.
So if you are losing weight quickly, you will also be using up your water supply quickly. Try to drink at least 8 cups of water per day.
Switch to Black Coffee
If we had our way, you wouldn’t be allowed to drink coffee at all. Not only does the caffeine increase your heart rate (not necessarily in a good way), coffee is also a diuretic. This means that the more coffee you drink, the less water you have in your body.
But, we understand the feeling of that first sip of your morning Joe. So if you must drink coffee, we suggest skipping the sugar and creamer.
A plain cup of coffee has less than 5 calories, but a cup of coffee with cream and sugar can have more than 50 calories.
Keep Healthy Foods Around
Snacking is typically a fast way to ruin your weight-loss goals, but it doesn’t have to be.
Having regular snacks is actually really good for losing weight. If you’re exercising regularly, you’re going to have to replenish your body with sustenance often. The problem is that most accessible snacks are highly processed and riddled with sugar.
If you keep snacks around the house that are easily accessible and healthy, you can snack all day.
Instead of buying process snacks that claim to be healthy, try making your own as part of your weekly meal prep. Roast some chickpeas for snacking, pre-cut some apples for the day, or keep hummus and veggies stocked in the fridge.
Losing weight is a lot easier when you’re allowed to snack.
Weight Loss Can and Will Happen for You
No one ever said that losing weight was easy, but we are saying that it’s possible.
A quick recap, the best cardio exercises are ones that you can implement into your daily routine, such as walking to work or jumping rope. Remember to keep up your water intake and decreased your sugar intake.
Use these tips to help you build the best cardio for weight loss fitness routine to fit your schedule.
Check out this article to learn how many calories you should burn per day for weight loss, so you can stay on track for the holidays.