My Favorite Cardio Exercises

Generally speaking we need to burn more calories than we eat to lose weight. Cardio vascular exercises are great for this purpose as they increase your heart rate and get your body in the fat burning mode. Even if you are maintaining your weight, cardio plays an important role in increasing your stamina and should always be included in your exercise routine.

Cardio is an important part of my workout routine. I do some form of cardio three to four times a week. On some days I include cardio in my strength training circuit and on other days I just do 30-45 minutes of high intensity cardio.

Regular cardio vascular exercise will:
– strengthen your heart muscles, improve resting heart rate and pumping efficiency of your heart. Your heart will get stronger.
– improve blood circulation through out your body.
– reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood.
– last but not the least, burn calories and reduce stored body fat.

My favorite types of cardio exercises are:

1. Running:
30 minutes of running (not sprinting, but running at around 10 MPH) will burn about 300 calories. The best part of running is that it revs up your metabolism for up to 24 hours after you are done and helps to burn fat even when you are resting.

2. Spinning:
45 minutes of spinning using HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) can burn around 500 calories in 45 minutes. This is my favorite form of cardio. I love spinning on a stationary bike. Outdoor cycling is also a great form of cardio.

3. Swimming:
When you swim, you are using all the major muscles of your body giving you a total body workout. A fast swim for 30 minutes can burn 300-400 calories. It’s a great way to get your cardio in while increasing your strength at the same time. Also, swimming is great if you have injuries as you are working in a weightless environment.

4. Rowing:
I use the rowing machine at the gym. 30 minutes on the rower can burn 420 calories if you do it at the right speed. I like rowing as it really works the upper body as much as the lower body.

5. Jumping Rope:
I have to admit, I am still warming up to jumping rope and I am still pretty bad at it! But if you do it right, jumping rope can easily burn 500 calories in 30 minutes. It is a highly effective way to burn off body fat and you can do it just about anywhere.

Just to clarify, it is very important to include strength training in your workout routine along with cardio vascular exercise for effective fat loss and strength gain. Please share this blog with your friends if you found it helpful. Also, I would love to know what you prefer doing for cardio in the comments below.

Much Love, Uma