If you have been struggling to lose weight, you may have run across the idea that cardio is the best way to do it. And while it is true that cardio can be a good tool for weight loss, it is important to state out rightly that it is not always the most effective way. If you’re just starting, or if you’re older than 40 and haven’t worked out in a while (or ever), then starting with simple cardio can set you back instead of helping you get on track.
But if you’re looking to lose weight, you must get moving, and cardio exercise is key in any weight loss plan, but sometimes it can be hard to get started—especially if you’re not used to working out or if you’ve been dealing with an injury that’s kept you from the gym.
What Is Cardio?
Cardio refers to any exercise that gets your heart rate up. It can be anything from running to jumping rope—you’ll know when your heart rate is elevated because your breathing will go up and become more rapid as well as deeper. The goal of cardio exercise is to burn calories by increasing your respiration rate and getting your body moving faster than it would normally go during regular activity.
When Is Cardio Not Ideal for Weight Loss?
If you’ve never exercised before or if it’s been a long time since the last time you did any type of physical activity, then starting with cardio could be counterproductive because it will cause muscle soreness and fatigue that makes working out feel hard rather than productive.
Cardio is one of the best ways to burn fat, but it’s not always easy to find time for. Sometimes, all we want to do is curl up with a book on the couch and binge-watch Netflix!
The Benefits of Simple Cardio Workouts
Simple cardio exercises offer many benefits in addition to helping you lose weight:
You don’t need much space -Simple exercises can be done just about anywhere! You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment like weights or machines; all you need is yourself and some room to move around! This makes them perfect for people who live in small apartments or dorm rooms where space is limited.
If you’re looking for a way to burn calories without having to go to the gym, here are some simple cardio exercises you can do at home.
Best Cardio Exercises for Losing Weight
Running is one of the most popular simple cardio weight loss exercises because it’s so easy to do! All you need is a pair of sneakers and some space—you don’t even need to leave your house! Running burns calories quickly, which means that you’ll see results fast if you stick with it!
But, before you run, make sure you warm up properly. A good warm-up should include stretching your major muscle groups such as your hips and back with a foam roller or yoga mat. Also, don’t forget to stretch at the end of your workout as well!
Running can be dangerous if done without proper technique so make sure you: keep your arms at a 90-degree angle to your torso; keep your head up and look forward; keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
You can also choose to run in place for two minutes straight, then rest for two minutes before starting again. If running in place doesn’t burn enough calories for you’re normal running exercise, try switching it up by doing jumping jacks or squat thrusts instead!
Jumping jacks are one of the easiest exercises around! You can do them anywhere and they will get your heart rate up quickly while also working out your arms and legs. Start with 10 reps then increase as needed until you’ve reached 60 seconds total (30 seconds each leg). Don’t forget about proper form—try not leaning forward too much or jumping too high!
Stand straight with your arms at your sides and jump up as high as possible while bringing both arms up over your head and clapping them together once before returning down again in a circular motion. This exercise burns calories quickly and works for nearly every muscle group in your body at once!
Jogging is another great cardio exercise for weight loss because it helps increase endurance by increasing your ability to run longer distances without becoming tired out too quickly. Start slowly when first starting out jogging or running indoors on a treadmill set at a low speed but make sure not to over-exert yourself if this is something new for you.
Run in place as high as possible, lifting your knees as high as possible with each step. This is great for building upper body strength, which helps with everyday activities like carrying groceries or lifting heavy objects.
Jump rope is an effective cardio exercise that will burn calories fast. Jumping rope is a great way to improve your footwork and coordination, as well as your overall fitness level. It’s also portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go!
Unlike walking or cycling, which are both low-impact exercises that put less stress on bones and joints, jumping rope can be quite strenuous on the body when done correctly. However, this is a good thing because it means that you’ll be getting more out of each jump than if you were just walking on the treadmill for hours at a time (we’re looking at you).
Jumping rope is another great way to get your heart pumping and burn calories. Start with 10 jumps, then rest for 10 seconds before repeating the jump rope routine three more times.
The best part is that it’s also easy to do anywhere! You can jump rope at home, or if you want to take it outside, try an outdoor track or park. Make sure that you wear appropriate shoes that allow your feet to move freely and don’t restrict your movement in any way (like high heels). If you don’t have access to an outdoor track or park with a fence around it, find an area where there aren’t many people around so that your jump rope won’t hit them accidentally while you’re jumping!
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of cardio that involves alternating between high-intensity exercise and low-intensity recovery periods.
The beauty of HIIT is that it allows you to burn more calories in less time than other types of workouts, which means you can get more out of your workout session in less time! This makes HIIT an ideal choice for those who want to lose weight but just don’t have the time for a full hour or more at the gym every day.
In fact, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, people who combined high-intensity interval training with low-intensity aerobic exercise had more success losing weight than those who just did high-intensity interval training or low-intensity aerobic exercise alone.
Start by laying or standing upright with feet shoulder-width apart then raise one foot off the ground about six inches (15 cm) towards the elbow then bring it back down again before raising the other foot off the ground in front of it then bring it back down. Repeat several times.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere and at any time. It’s also a versatile form of exercise, so you’re not limited to just one type of routine. You can swim at your own pace and mix up your workouts to prevent boredom from setting in. Swimming is great for the whole family because it provides exercise options for all ages and skill levels.
Swimming is great for people who are looking to stay in shape because it burns calories while also strengthening muscles at the same time! Just be sure not to overdo it so you don’t drown yourself while trying too hard!
Walking is a great cardio exercise. It’s easy to do, you can do it anywhere, and you don’t need any equipment. You can walk with friends or family members, which will make it more fun!
Walking is also one of the best exercises for weight loss because it burns calories very quickly and doesn’t put much stress on your joints. You can even do some walking while watching TV or listening to music!
Walking is another great simple cardio weight loss exercise because it’s not only free but also very effective at burning fat and calories. You can walk anywhere from 3-5 miles per hour depending on how fast or slow you want to go; just make sure that your walking pace is comfortable for your body type!
Dancing is one of the most popular types of cardio exercise. It’s also a great way to get some much-needed social interaction when you’re trying to lose weight. Plus, dancing can be done both alone and with others, so it’s easy to get started no matter what your fitness level is or how much time you have available.
Dancing has many benefits that make it ideal for weight loss:
- It improves cardiovascular fitness. If you have been sedentary for a long time and are just starting on your journey toward better health, dancing may help build up your endurance faster than other forms of exercise because you’re burning more calories per minute than other forms of cardio activity like running or swimming. This means that even if you feel tired during dance routines or find yourself struggling through them (which will happen at first), be patient; give yourself time to get used to this new activity before giving up altogether!
- Dancing helps with balance control by engaging all major muscle groups in the body while putting some fun into learning new skills like what steps go with which music beat—and best of all: no special equipment needed! All anyone needs are themselves (and maybe some comfortable shoes).
Take the stairs
In addition to basic cardio, it’s important to use your legs, glutes, and quads as well as hamstrings. This is important because these are the major muscles used when running or walking long distances which helps burn fat faster than cardio alone would do on its own!
If you’ve never done this before, start slowly: take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator whenever possible. This is a great way to build up calf and quad strength and develop lean muscles in other parts of your body too! It can also help improve circulation and boost energy levels—not to mention it’s free! If you don’t have access to stairs on your commute home from work or school (or even at home itself), try taking them every chance you get in between meetings or errands around town. This simple change can make a big difference over time as long as you’re consistent with it
Climb as many flights of stairs as you can in one minute, then rest for one minute before starting again. You can build up this exercise by increasing your number of stair climbs each time and/or lengthening your rest periods between sets.
These are great because they work multiple muscle groups at once—your arms and legs in addition to your core muscles! Start with your hands on the
- How to do mountain climbers: Start in a pushup position, then bring your left knee toward your chest and jump it forward, landing on your toes. Repeat by bringing the right knee toward your chest and jumping it forward. That’s one rep!
- How many reps to do: Start with 10 reps of each exercise back-to-back on each side, with no rest in between exercises, then increase by one rep per set every time you repeat this circuit (i.e., 10 total sets).
- How to progress with mountain climber training: Once you’ve gotten used to doing two sets at a time (20 total), try three sets; once that feels easy enough and comfortable enough for you, try four sets; when four becomes second nature (which will take some time!), add on another short set of six more reps before starting over again at two; next add the eighth set of 12 more reps before returning to two; etc., until eventually up to 10 sets per workout session!
The muscles involved include quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings (back thighs), gluteus maximus (buttocks), and abdominal muscles (abs). You’ll also need strong hands so that if someone tries tagging along when they see how much fun this looks like being through an initiative alone might be worth trying too!
Box jumps are a great way to increase leg strength and power. They’re also a plyometric exercise, which means they can help you burn fat faster than most other cardio exercises. Plyometric exercises are great for burning calories because you use more energy during them than standard cardio exercises do. Box jumps can be done anywhere—all you need is an empty box! However, if you’re just starting with box jumps, we recommend starting with a low box (under 4 feet) so that the risk of injury while doing this exercise is minimized.
Cardio Exercise is great for Weight Loss and Will Help Your Heart Health
Cardiovascular exercise is a key part of any weight loss routine. It helps you burn calories and shed pounds, but it can also improve your heart health.
The NHS recommends that people of all ages do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week to gain the maximum health benefits. This includes activities such as cycling, aerobics classes, or brisk walking.
You should try to exercise on most days to help you lose weight, improve energy levels and boost self-esteem. Simple cardio weight loss exercises are the perfect way to get started on your weight loss journey. They are easy to do, they don’t require any special equipment and they can be done anywhere!