'Cardio' is the short form used for 'cardiovascular exercises', which include skipping with a jump rope, running, swimming, boxing, cycling, dancing, step aerobics, etc. These exercises promote heart health and keep you fit. You can lose weight quickly with a well-designed workout plan. You can consult a gym-trainer and your physician before designing cardio workouts for you.
Cardio Workout for Beginners
Beginners are always confused about exercises, but they should motivate themselves to keep going and should monitor themselves, after choosing the cardio machine of their own choice. The workouts can be done in a garden and without a machine too. The workouts help ease the beginners into cardio training. Beginners should gradually progress and should add a few minutes to the workout, every week. The cardio workout plan for beginners can be chosen by all those who have never thought of any kind of exercise or haven't exercised for a long time or are sedentary. The indicators on treadmills show the rate of perceived exertion (RPE).
Walking on a Treadmill:
- Warm up at a comfortable pace with RPE 3-4 for 3 minutes.
- Slowly increase your pace, work a little bit harder, with RPE 5 for 4 minutes. Remember, you should be able to talk normally. Stop immediately if you are unable to talk or if you feel dizzy.
- Slow down a little for 3 minutes, so that, RPE is 4.
- During next 3 minutes, slow down with RPE 3 to a comfortable pace, to cool down.
Cardio Workout for Weight Loss
The following table will give you detailed information about the calories burnt during various cardio workouts. You should commit to your program everyday, by giving it the priority it deserves. The number of calories burnt depends upon the intensity of the workout. The numbers in the table apply to a 150 lb person. Remember, weight loss depends upon the intake of calories too and so, cardio workouts performed at home should be followed by a balanced diet. If calories burnt are more than the calories consumed, you lose weight.
|Name of the Activity (for 15 Minutes)||Calories Burnt|
|Bicycling at 15 mph||175|
|Jumping Rope (60-80 skips/min)||140|
|Running (1 mile/10 min)||180|
|Freestyle Swimming (35 yards/min)||125|
|Flat Walking (1 mile/20 min)||60|
|Walking on hills (1 mile/20 min)||80|
Designing Cardio Workout to Burn Fat
You are required to burn off 3500 calories, to lose one pound in one week. With reference to the table, 30 minutes power walk on flat ground will help burn about 120 calories, which means to burn off 1 pound per week by walking, you would have to hoof it for more than two hours per day, which is practically impossible. Such type of exercise programs cannot be suggested for fat burning.
- Increase the Intensity: Burning of calories should leave a significant impact on your body. To enjoy a permanent fat loss, you need to exercise vigorously. 'To create a substantial calorie deficit by burning calories through exercises and cutting calories through intake of food', can be the best way to lose fat.
- Increase the Duration: While working out on a treadmill, you can increase the intensity of your workout till RPE is 5-6 and you can also increase the duration of the workout as per your comfort and convenience. Men and women, both can begin with 15-20 minutes cardio workout activity and slowly increase the workout period up to 30-45 minutes. You should be able to breathe well during the workouts, because that ensures adequate supply of oxygen to your muscles. If you want to burn fat, you should exercise daily and not on alternate days or not as per your convenience!
- Reduce the Daily Calorie Intake: If you can cut 250 calories per day (e.g. switch from mayo to mustard on your sandwich, eat plain and light yogurt instead of yogurt with fruits etc.), and if you can burn an extra 250 calories per day by undertaking half hour jogging or one hour walking, you will surely be able to burn fat in proper proportion.
- Improve the Eating Habits: To burn the fat, you need to opt for fat burning exercises, of which cardio exercises can be a part and you need to revamp your eating habits. Eat 5-6 small meals rather than 2-3 big meals. Eat regularly, sleep regularly, avoid fast or junk or processed food, drink lots of water and eat food which can provide you all the necessary nutrients.
- No Drastic Changes in Diet: To lose ½ pound or 1 pound per week (and not more than that) should be your goal at the initial stage. Remember, eating fewer than 1200 calories per day can be harmful to your health, as it might slow down the rate of metabolism.
- Family History: Genetics plays an important role in weight loss. For some people, it is easier to lose weight, while for some, it is not that easy. Your genes determine where the body would store the fat (thighs, hips, abdomen, arms, etc.)
- Strong Willpower: There are no shortcuts, you need to have patience and you need to work hard. Losing weight is not as easy as it is shown in television advertisements.
- Choose the Best Plan: The best cardio workout for you would be the one that brings your target heart rate at the higher end. It should help strengthen the entire cardiovascular system and burn fat too. Some examples of cardio exercises, which burn more calories than others, are skipping, jogging and elliptical machine workouts. Regarding cardio workout plans for men and women, everyone has his/her individual preferences and it can be swimming, walking, bicycling, running or anything.
In general, cardio workouts help increase the level of HDL cholesterol and improve the pumping capacity of your heart. This leads to high energy levels and increased stamina. The workouts help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body fat, as they help burn calories. The workouts promote increase in bone mass and offer perfect muscle tone. Lastly, a good cardio workout reduces the risk of osteoporosis and heart diseases. So, plan a proper cardio workout regimen and get going on your weight loss mission. Before starting the exercise schedule, do not forget to discuss things with your physician and a professional trainer.