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10 most effective cardio exercises to lose weight

Last updated on: September 04, 2013 18:51 IST

10 most effective cardio exercises to lose weight

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Brinda Sapat

Cardio exercises get your pulse racing and fat burning! There’s a variety of great exercises to choose from. The right one for you is the exercise you enjoy most and where you will put in your hardest work. Take your pick!

Walking

This is the easiest form of cardio and can be done anytime and anywhere. Wear a pair of good, specific walking shoes. Pick a track or road that has an even surface. Walk at brisk pace, for at least 30 minutes non-stop, 5-6 days a week. As you get used to it, start increasing the duration or pace.

Playing up tempo music, adding uphill climbs and using a target heart rate monitor will add to your speed.

Calories burned: 220 upwards


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Cycling/Spinning

Cycling is great cardio and a fab workout for your legs too. It is also a super fit way to get your errands done and beat city traffic. You need 30 minutes 5-6 days a week. Adding intensity by going faster or an uphill climb will burn more calories.

Still want more? Join a spinning class.

Calories burned: 220 upwards, spinning- 450 upwards


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Cardio classes

The most fun way to burn fat! A cardio class includes a variety of workouts from dance-y to athletic, which helps shed excess weight and gives you great muscle tone. There’s great music and a motivating social atmosphere. Most classes are held thrice a week for one hour. Add another class or 2 as you progress.

Calories burned: 350 upwards for a regular aerobics class. 400 upwards for bootcamp, tabata, etc.


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Swimming

For the water lovers! Swimming is an intense yet calm form of cardio. Lots of muscles come into play and the whole body feels well worked out. 5 days a week, 30 minutes non-stop and you are on your way to super shape.

Calories burned: 330 upwards.


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Boot camp

If you are the one for roughing it out, you will love Boot Camp. This class includes exercises based on military style training. They are intense and really push the body, using all the muscles. Burns some serious fat and makes the body STRONG!

Calories burned: 450 upwards


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Cardio circuits

This one is a complete workout. It burns fat and adds muscle strength and tone. You alternate between a couple of minutes of cardio and weights with no breaks in between. 30 minutes is all you need to get totally winded.

This circuit can be done in a gym (using cardio machines and weight machines/free weights), outdoors (running and using weights or body weight) or at home (using a cardio machine, or doing aerobics and using weights, tubing, ball, body weight).

Calories burned: 450 upwards


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Step aerobics

Good ol’ step!! Go to a class or get a dvd and workout at home. Step is a fun way to burn fat. Challenge yourself by using the risers to raise the height of the step.
Make it 30 minutes 5-6 days a week.

Calories burned: 350 upwards.


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Kick boxing

Kick boxing workouts are choreographed martial art movements. High on intensity, learn to punch and kick and burn burn burn!!

Calories burned: 350 upwards.


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Tabata training

This one is just super! It includes 4 exercises done at high intensity for 20 second bursts followed by 10 seconds of rest. The cycle repeats 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.
To start with one round of 4 minutes may be enough, but you will need to increase the rounds gradually.

Calories burned: 400 upwards in a 30 minute session (approx 6 rounds + warm up)


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Mix it up

Finally and undoubtedly, doing a combination of varied cardiovascular activity is the best. It keeps the body challenged without going into plateau which gives you continuing results.

Calories burned: Based on the different workouts.

Note: The figures for caloric expenditure are general and will vary as per age, weight and workout intensity of the individual.



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