The most efficient way of fat burning with a cardio workout!

A cardio workout is one of the best ways of burning fat. Here are a few suggestions to enhance its efficiency and let’s also have a look at a few types of cardio workout!
28.06.2019

The most efficient way of fat burning with a cardio workout! - BioTechUSA

When you enter a gym you can instantly notice that the area equipped with exercise machines are divided into two major parts: machines with weight plates, an area for doing free weights exercises, dumbbells and at the other side of the gym you can see an ever increasing number of cardio machines.

It is no coincidence that the most well-equipped gyms usually have a separate department – or even a separate floor – for cardio machines providing at least ten different options for efficient fat burning.

And it is not a coincidence either that during peak hours you can hardly find free treadmills, stationary bicycles or elliptical trainers. And there’s a very simple reason for that:

Doing a medium-intensity cardio workout 2 or 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes is a key additional training if you wish to get rid of any extra pounds


What is the main point of a cardio workout?

Even though dozens of articles and studies analyze the importance of a cardio workout, it would not hurt to revisit it again, as many people still underestimate this form of exercising, and they rather consider it as an excuse for skipping workout.

“What are your plans for today’s workout? - Oh, nothing serious, I’m just doing a cardio workout.” Such conversations occur between girlfriends in the changing room several times. When we hear such talk we get the feeling that they are not really aware of how to do it well and with commitment.

But it’s not that difficult! To calculate the appropriate intensity for your age, level of fitness and (over)weight you may use online calculators or ask a personal trainer, however, most cardio machines also have a simple chart that provides values of sufficient accuracy. You can’t really go wrong.

However, it is important to avoid extremes: don’t do cardio workouts with too low intensity and for a too short period of time because then it is going to be worthless. An exhausting 90-minute run is not necessarily more efficient than a well-scheduled and well-planned 30-minute run. You may read this article for more information on performance: Cardio workout and performance.

Its huge advantage is that you can start it anytime and no matter how much overweight you have, since it not only helps fat burning.

There are many physiological benefits: it improves vital capacity and glucose tolerance, increases your stamina and reduces recovery time by enhancing blood circulation.

Cardio workouts virtually do not have any disadvantages; however, many people wrongly set the intensity or do not use cardio workout as an additional training – for example for exercising with weights – and they are waiting (in vain) for the miracle to happen while doing only cardio workouts.

In order to avoid injuries make sure to do a proper warm-up before workouts and ensure graduality. This means if you haven’t run a mile in your life, start first with fast walking then you can gradually increase the length of running sections.

Outdoor options for a cardio workout

When the weather is good, people love to spend their free time in the fresh air. One of the great advantages of cardio workouts is that some versions (running, swimming) do not require any special kit, the only thing you need is a good piece of equipment (running shoes, swimwear, goggles), so you can exercise outdoors and escape the concrete jungle.

Outdoor options for a cardio workout - BioTechUSA

Fun and useful: cycling to work

We have good news for the cycling enthusiasts: this sport exercises all muscles in the body while it is gentle on the legs and the sole and helps to relieve stress and divert your thoughts. Even that helps a lot in preserving your health and achieving an ideal body composition if you cycle to work.

Not to mention that you can burn even 4-500 calories in one hour! It can be helpful when curing metabolic disorders, heart problems, it improves reflexes, strengthens the body's resistance against diseases and viruses.

By getting on a bike you can strengthen the muscles of your back, bottom and thighs – and that way it takes its spine protective effect – which usually become rigid or painful during sitting/standing at your workplace and that leads to defective posture.

When choosing the right bicycle the important aspects are the road where you wish to use, and the type of the saddle, handlebar and tyres. A wrongly set height of the saddle and handlebar may lead to defective posture but cycling next to a smoggy main road is not the most optimal workout either.

A classic favorite: swimming - BioTechUSA

A classic favorite: swimming

Swimming is the sport which can be done in any stage of life and with any level of fitness. Regarding water sports there are many available options starting from baby swimming to senior swimming therapy for both people with musculoskeletal problems and for healthy people.

In an hour you may burn circa 400 calories in the pool (or maybe during a holiday at the beach). Water provides an extra relief of burden compared to cycling and it increases lung capacity.

It is true for swimming as well – as in case of cycling – that it exercises the whole body, reduces the risk and extent of osteoporosis, moreover, it is also gentle on the joints and has a positive effect on metabolism and it is great for relieving stress.

Breaststroke is recommended for beginners. During the first few workouts swim only 10-20 laps – this of course depends on the length of the pool. Then you may vary freestyle swimming and backstroke or if you are very good at swimming you may try butterfly stroke.

In order to protect the mucous membrane of the eye, it may be useful to purchase a good swimming goggle, and in professional swimming complexes the use of swim caps are also compulsory. Read the article of Zoltán Janota, our endurance coach expert, on why swimming is a great additional exercise!

Run anywhere and anytime without any equipment - BioTechUSA

Run anywhere and anytime without any equipment

Running is recommended for those who have already done workouts and have a smaller overweight, and by running very impressive results can be achieved in ripping. Positive physiological benefits listed in connection with the above outdoor cardio options are also true for running (even a daily 5-10-minute slow jog reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases); however, compared to them, running burdens the feet, joints and sinews, etc.

It is important to distinguish jogging and running, generally running at a speed under 8 km/h is considered to be jogging and above that speed it is running. When choosing shoes, the type of the ground is one of the most important aspects; different type of sole is appropriate for concrete and a different type of sole is appropriate for off-road terrain. If you are still just thinking about running but you would start running soon, you had better prepare for the basic tasks before running.

It is also easy to burn fat outdoors with a jump rope, hula hoop or burpees. However, with regard to these exercises you need to make sure not to overexert yourself. However, if you would like an intense and quick workout you should follow the rules of HIIT workout.

During jump rope exercises the muscles of the abdomen, calf and thighs are exercised. Half an hour of jumping means 300 burnt calories a day which can be a great addition for your workout, or you may burn calories if you have cheated that day. This inexpensive and easily purchasable equipment can also be used for warming up since it is a great preparation for your body before a major physical exertion.

When doing jump rope exercises there is less burden on your joints compared to running, even though it is a more complex exercise and it boosts your cardiovascular system easier.

If you would rather stay in the gym...

... you don’t necessarily have to work with regular cardio machines, so here are a few alternative options; a few free weights exercises which you can combine to get a killer cardio workout.

For the most of us squatting and lunges are exercises done with weights and considered to be strengthening exercises. If you fit them into your workout with sufficient intensity, without extra weight (it is called air squat in crossfit) and you do a larger amount of them – say 20-20 lunges per leg, or 100 air squats in four sets – they greatly increase your pulse and boost your metabolism.

Regarding both exercises you need to make sure that when you bend your leg, do not let your knee move past your foot, keep your back straight, do not lean forward too much, and rather bend your hips under yourself. If you do lunges with switched legs you may switch legs by jumping and that enhances your pulse more, however, it poses a higher risk of injury to your ankle.

Burpees, namely squat thrusts or regular pushups are effective fat burning exercises as well. In case of burpees, you may choose the easier version when your knees and chest do not touch the ground and you push yourself back from a pushup position and then jump into the air. You should use an exercise mat in case of both versions to avoid hitting the ground with your palms (knees and chest).

There are several versions of pushups depending on how far you place your arms from your torso. Since now the cardio aspect of pushups are taken into account (instead of which muscles are exercised) the placement of your arms are less relevant and dynamics are more important. Do 6-8 sets, do a maximum number of pushups that you are able to do and then decrease the number as you are getting tired. You may do some running, squatting or lunges between the sets.

As you can see, cardio workouts shall not be boring at all – if you do it well. You may do cardio workouts outdoors or at the gym as well, so in good weather you can get some fresh air and sunshine and you do not have to give up the joy of exercising in bad weather either (so there are no excuses!).

 

However, before starting cardio workouts it is important to determine your goals: do you want to increase your stamina or lose weight while losing as little muscle as you possible? The aerobic stage can only be achieved (and maintained) by a well-planned and sufficiently but not too intense workout. To achieve your goals, it is advised to ask a specialist to prepare a workout plan that is appropriate for your level of endurance and body in order to ensure continuous development.

Panna Plézer

Trainer


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