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Top Cardio Exercises to Lose Weight

Cardio Exercises 3

According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in four adults in the United States suffers from being overweight. Many people alter their diets in an attempt to reduce weight, including those who may be slightly or moderately overweight. Combining decreased calorie intake with cardiorespiratory (cardio) exercise can support weight loss and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Both high-intensity and moderate-intensity aerobics may help people lose weight, according to research. Continue reading to discover the top cardio exercises for losing weight as well as beginner-friendly cardio routines.

Cardio for Weight Loss: What Is It?

Aerobic exercise, also referred to as cardio exercise, increases heart rate and calorie expenditure, which can aid in weight loss, according to Andrew White, co-founder of Garage Gym Pro, an online resource for aficionados of at-home gyms and NASM-certified personal trainer.

The ability of the muscles to get oxygen from the blood is increased during cardio exercise. This implies that less effort is required from the heart to pump blood to the muscles. Cardio exercise helps prevent and manage heart disease and can aid in weight loss when paired with strength training, such as lifting weights.

Cardiovascular exercise can help you lose weight in a number of ways, says Alex McBrairty, owner of A-Team Fitness, a personalized online fitness coaching website and NASM-certified personal trainer. These include boosting metabolism by building muscle mass, controlling appetite, lowering stress, and increasing calorie expenditure (the number of calories your body burns).

How Cardio Increases Oxygen Consumption After Exercise

Because of the phenomenon known as the “afterburn” effect, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), cardio increases your metabolism even after your workout is over.

According to McBrairty, the EPOC process is what happens when your body keeps burning calories after a workout in order to return to its pre-exercise state. Usually, this procedure takes one to two hours following moderate-intense physical activity. The replenishment of oxygen in the blood and muscles, elevated body temperature, and accelerated heart rate are some of the variables that lead to EPOC. The body burns calories even after an exercise is over because of these causes.

Research indicates that the primary factor influencing energy expenditure during peak oxygen consumption (POC) is exercise intensity, whereby increased exercise intensity results in greater increases in POC.

How Cardio Helps Control Appetite

Cardio is a useful technique for reducing portion sizes and cravings since it can help manage hunger hormones. A calorie deficit from cardio may result in long-term weight loss.

A meta-analysis encompassing 20 scientific investigations discovered that exercise inhibits the hormone known to cause hunger, ghrelin. Exercise also raises hunger-suppressing hormones such as peptide YY (PYY), pancreatic polypeptide (PP), and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). To find out how long these effects remain after exercise, more research is necessary.

How Exercise Can Lower Stress

According to McBrairty, cardio activity is also beneficial for reducing stress. He continues, “Adding cardio to your fitness routine helps address this aspect of weight management because stress can lead to overeating and weight gain.” Research has demonstrated that engaging in physical activity is linked to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the saliva and improved heart rate recovery following exposure to a stressor. Furthermore, they demonstrate a reciprocal association between stress and physical activity, with higher stress levels often being associated with lower levels of physical activity and lower levels of stress with higher levels of physical activity.

Extra Health Advantages of Cardio

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Numerous other advantages of cardio exercise include decreased blood pressure, triglycerides (blood fat), and blood glucose (blood sugar).

Reduced Blood Pressure

The cardiovascular system benefits greatly from physical activity. It enhances the activity of vascular endothelial cells, which regulate the movement of blood-borne chemicals and cells into adjacent tissues. Additionally, it promotes the growth of new blood vessels, which reduces the heart rate at rest. Furthermore, research indicates that aerobic exercise can dramatically lower blood pressure in those with essential hypertension.

Decrease in Triglycerides

Cardiovascular exercise also lowers blood triglycerides, a form of fat. This is believed to happen because exercise lowers the concentration of a protein known as apoC3. Triglycerides rise in the blood when ApoC3 deactivates the enzyme that breaks them down. Consequently, reducing blood triglycerides by exercising can lower the level of apoC3.

Diminished Blood Sugar

Lastly, exercise is a useful strategy for reducing blood sugar or glucose levels. Studies show that exercise improves insulin’s binding to monocyte (a type of white blood cell in your immune system) receptors, which helps control blood glucose levels. Higher insulin synthesis results from this, and insulin instructs the body to absorb glucose from the blood. As a result, blood glucose levels drop. Consult your physician about safety measures if you have diabetes, such as testing your blood sugar before engaging in strenuous exercise.

Is Cardio Effective for Losing Weight?

By burning calories, aerobic exercise can aid in weight loss; the more aerobic activity you do, the more calories you burn. According to White, those who feel stronger later in the day may find that evening workouts are more beneficial than early cardio exercises in terms of increasing metabolism and energy levels. The most crucial element is consistency, so pick a time of day that complements your unique routines and circadian rhythms, he continues.

Fueling your exercise is crucial since it gives your body the energy it needs to finish the exercise. Research indicates that individuals who eat carbohydrates before to exercising have superior performance. About 30 to 60 minutes before working out, White advises consuming a light, easily digested breakfast or snack, like toast with almond butter, oats, or bananas.

Can Exercise Lower Abdominal Fat?

According to White, cardio helps reduce body fat overall, including belly fat. Nevertheless, he continues, aerobic exercise alone cannot be used to specifically target fat loss in places like the belly. According to White, a balanced diet and regular cardiac activity create a caloric deficit deficit that eventually reduces belly fat as well as total body fat.

Cardio Exercises to Lose Weight

You may work out your heart in a lot of ways to lose weight, whether at home or in a gym. To lower the chance of damage, McBrairty advises warming up adequately before engaging in intensive cardio to prepare the muscles and connective tissues for the stress of exercise.

McBrairty suggests warming up for five to ten minutes, or until you start to sweat and your pulse rate rises a little. If you plan to do treadmill sprints, for instance, your warm-up could begin with a leisurely stroll on the treadmill, and you could gradually increase the speed over the course of five to ten minutes until you’re running at a moderate clip. As an alternative, McBrairty suggests using exercises like leg swings and high knees to activate and loosen up the leg muscles before working out at a higher intensity.

Remember that you don’t need to complete your cardio workouts in a single session. For instance, you can work out your heart during commercial breaks on television or go for a stroll or run outside during your lunch break.

Here are five cardio exercises that experts recommend to get you started.

  • Exercise 1: Jump Squats
  • Exercise 2: Running/Walking Intervals
  • Exercise 3: Stationary Bike Sprints
  • Exercise 4: Burpees
  • Exercise 5: Jumping Jacks
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