While the best defense against weight gain is a combination of diet and physical activity, cardio is by far, one of the best exercises to burn calories and lose unwanted fat from the body.
But what exactly are calories?
What you may already know is that our body needs calories for energy.
The problem is, they become a nuisance when eating too many of them and not burning enough of them off through regular activity leads to weight gain.
Most foods contain a large number of calories while others, such as a cup of lettuce contain less than ten calories.
The number of calories you need at any one given moment depends on your height, weight, gender, age, and activity level.
It also is a sum of the energy you need while your body is at rest, during physical activity, and when digesting food.
Since a calorie is a unit of energy that we get from what we consume and the energy we use during any form of physical activity, the key is consuming the right amount as per our recommended daily requirements.
Depending on your sex, overall general health, physical activity demands, body type or shape, weight, and height, men need 2,700 kcal per day, and women need 2,200 kcal per day – according to research, nutritionists and healthcare professionals.
Are you consuming the right amount of calorie each day?
It is important that you are because a calorie intake that is too low or too high will ultimately lead to health problems.
If you are following the above rule of thumb, then you are on the path, especially if your goal is to lose weight and lower your risks of diseases such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.
As far as the best exercises to burn calories are concerned, one size certainly does not fit all.
The key is finding that one set of workout routine that is all rounded and works best for your body type because we all have different metabolisms that burn energy at different rates.
And, some of you may have more active lifestyles than others.
Also, did you know that the time of day that you eat can determine how effectively your body uses calories?
Therefore, if you are looking to maximize your calorie burn, consider the following starting the following exercises.
Word of advice…
If you have tried losing weight and failed, or if you have struggled with disordered eating, it is advisable that you speak to a specialist before attempting any new exercise routine.
Running To Burn Calories
Depending on how much you weigh and your fitness levels, running is a great way, to not only enjoy the great outdoors but also because it falls into the high-intensity category, you get the much-needed cardio workout in and burn approximately 100 calories per mile.
In addition to burning calories, running also lowers your risks of developing osteoporosis, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Did you know that a 30-minute run is therapeutic?
If you are having ‘one of those days’ where you would rather have a truck run over you, why not make a literal run for it.
Walking To Burn Calories
It is in our nature as human beings to complicate things.
Something as simple as a daily brisk walk after a long day can help you maintain a healthy weight and alleviate the stresses of the day.
As long as you have a pair of walking shoes that have proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock, you are good to go.
It is recommended that you start with a five to ten minute warm up to prepare your muscles and body for the walk.
Also, always remember to cool down at the end of your walk by walking slowly for five to ten minutes to help your muscles cool down.
Jogging To Burn Calories
Regardless of your current fitness level, you can slowly include jogging as part of your exercise routine.
Jogging not only strengthens your bones, but it is also known to boost your cardiovascular fitness, lung health, and aid in weight control.
Because your heart works harder to deliver essential oxygen and nutrients to your body when you jog, doing this over time allows your heart and cardiovascular system to become more efficient.
It also aids in blood pressure control and promoting healthy cholesterol levels which is important.
According to the National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis(1) and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Centre(2), jogging also promotes healthy bones and reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis for the simple fact that it is a weight-bearing exercise.
Indoor or outdoor cycling to burn calories
Did you know that you can burn between 75 – 670 extra calories in a half-hour session of cycling, depending on your weight and exertion levels?
Cycling is not only an inexpensive and sociable ways to lose weight, but also one of the best ways to burn calories and a sport that needs no special training.
Spending 30 minutes on your outdoor bike or an elliptical bike, will certainly tone your butt and waist because the workout combines the cardiovascular benefits of both biking and running.
Additionally, elliptical bikes also offer a number of resistance levels, or speeds, that range from 3 to 11 or more and climbing grades that range from 5 to 30% grade, depending on the model.
Therefore, you know that not only is your heart and lungs getting a solid workout which is excellent for improving your cardiovascular fitness levels, but you are burning through your built-up like a hot knife through butter!
Swimming is a great way to burn calories
It is estimated that you can burn between 90 – 220 kcal during 30 minutes of recreational purposes, 150 – 370kcal during 30 minutes if moderate swimming, and 220 – 550kcal of 30 minutes of vigorous swimming.
But why stop with there?
Have you tried sprinting in the pool or playing vigorous sports or simply using swimming equipment such as hand paddles, Kickboards, swim fins, or a foam buoy?
Because only will you burn up to 680 calories per hour, but you will also tone your Abs, arm, and leg muscles.
Just remember you have to go back home because swimming can be too much fun that you forget all about time.
Rowing To Burn Calories
Rowing is probably one of the best exercises to burn calories because it involves multiple workouts that give your whole body a run for its money!
At a moderate pace for 30 minutes rowing can burn about 210 – 311kcal for a 152 pound and 185-pound individual respectively.
Rowing is much more taxing than other cardio workouts as it engages your entire body.
So, if it is your first time using a rower, you may need to take it easy at first so as to alleviate back injury or muscle overexertion.
Jumping rope burns lots of calories
It’s time to get that skipping rope that has been collecting dust out of the garage because jumping rope is an incredibly fun and efficient activity that helps you burn calories and get conditioned.
Professional athletes and boxers use jump rope variations such as high knees jump rope and single or double unders to relax and get energized and so can you.
You don’t need a fancy gym or the most advanced equipment to burn calories. If you do want something that burns a LOT of calories – read this Maxi Climber review.
As you can see from the exercises above, you can pretty much do them anywhere. It’s all about consistency and keeping it simple.
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