10 Best Cardio Exercises For Weight Loss – Burn Fat To Get A Slim Body Fast

The best exercises that must find a place in your everyday workout routine!

Medically reviewed by Jackie Sharp Womble, RDN Jackie Sharp Womble Jackie Sharp WombleRDN facebook_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition Aparna Mallampalli BEd, MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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Cardio is a great component of exercise to get a slim body. Go for it if you need to shed a few extra pounds. It works by increasing your heart rate and burning the calories in the form of glucose and fat. But not all types of cardio are good for weight loss and your health. Research says that moderate-intensity cardio is not as effective as high-intensity cardio, and it leads to muscle loss and hurts your joints (1). So, what are the high-intensity cardio exercises for fat loss? Give this post a read to know the 10 best cardio for weight loss and get back in shape. Swipe up!

Why Cardio Is Important?

Cardiovascular exercise, often referred to as cardio, may help improve and maintain overall health and well-being in the following ways (1), (2), (3).

  • It strengthens the heart and enhances its efficiency by pumping blood more effectively and delivering oxygen and essential nutrients to the body’s tissues. This also contributes to a lower risk of heart disease.
  • It stimulates the release of endorphins, which plays a pivotal role in stress reduction
  • It may boost metabolism, which may help burn calories and aid in healthy weight management.
  • It may boost blood flow and oxygen to the brain, leading to better focus and memory.

Tasin Tahamid, a health and fitness blogger, cannot stress the importance of cardio enough, which is something he claims helped him lose 17 pounds in one month. “You must exercise to burn calories, and [it’s] completely up to you whether you will do cardio, calisthenics, or bodybuilding. You just need to move your body throughout the day and break over sweat. I personally do cardio 7 days a week, and I also recommend you to do cardio because it helps you to burn a lot of calories at home without any equipment. You can keep it up to 4 to 5 days a week (i),” he says.

Keep scrolling to learn more about cardio exercises that you can include in your workout routine.

1. Intermittent Sprints

Intermittent sprints cardio for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 30 mins
Calories Burned: Up to 1200 calories (varies)
Equipment Required: None

How To Do Intermittent Sprints

  1. Set your treadmill at a 3-degree incline and start by running at a speed of 6 mph.
  2. After 1 minute, increase the speed to 9 or 10 mph.
  3. Continue running for 3 minutes.
  4. Increase the speed up to 14-15 mph and continue the sprint for 30 seconds.
  5. Slow down to 10 mph and keep running for 3 minutes.
  6. After 3 minutes, sprint for 30 seconds.

2. High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT cardio weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 35 mins
Calories Burned: Up to 500 calories (varies)
Equipment Required: None

How To Do High-intensity Interval Training

  1. You can do a number of exercises at high-intensity – like burpees, jumping squats, jumping lunges, high knees, and step jumps.
  2. Make sure you are doing these exercises in the correct form.
  3. Do a set of 10 reps of each exercise and then take a 10-second break.
  4. Do not extend your break period.

3. Rowing

Rowing for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 30 mins
Calories Burned: 200-300 calories
Equipment Required: Rowing machine

How To Do Rowing

  1. Grab the handle of the rowing chord and sit on the rowing machine.
  2. Place your feet on the footrest. Keep your spine straight, shoulders rolled down, and chest out.
  3. Engage your abs and back muscles and pull the handle or the bar toward your abs.
  4. Stop when your elbows are behind you. Squeeze your shoulder blades.
  5. Make sure you are not leaning back.
  6. Return to the starting position.

Tip: Make sure you use the right amount of weight and the correct technique to do this exercise.

4. Rope Jumping

Rope jumping for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 10 mins
Calories Burned: 200 calories
Equipment Required: Jumping rope

How To Do Rope Jumping

  1. Grab a handle with each hand. Flip the rope over your head to your back.
  2. Start hopping at a low speed and jump the rope.
  3. After finishing 25 jumps, increase your speed and jump the rope 50 times.
  4. Take a 10-second break.
  5. Start jumping the rope again. If possible, jump and fold your legs to touch your heels to your hips.

5. Swimming

Swimming for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 60 mins
Calories Burned: 500-700 calories
Equipment Required: Swimming pool

How To Swim To Burn Calories

  1. Wear a swimsuit, a cap, and swimming goggles.
  2. Get into the water and do freestyle strokes.
  3. Do about 10 laps so that you engage all the muscles and get a good workout.
  4. Learn other strokes to help you swim faster and burn more calories.

6. Brisk Walking

Brisk walking for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 30 mins
Calories Burned: 200 calories
Equipment Required: None

How To Do Brisk Walking

  1. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.
  2. Do a 5-minute warm-up.
  3. Start walking at 5 mph.
  4. After a minute, increase your speed of walking to 7 mph.
  5. Continue walking for 5 minutes before you slow down to 4 mph.
  6. Walk for a minute at 4 mph and then increase the speed to 7 mph and walk for 5 minutes.

Tip: If you are walking on a treadmill, try different incline angles so that you get an intense workout in 30 minutes.

protip_icon Did You Know?
Here is how you can figure out the brisk walking pace if you do not have a running app – it is when you can talk but cannot sing the lyrics of a song clearly while walking.

7. Cycling

Cycling for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 20 mins
Calories Burned: 200-300 calories
Equipment Required: Stationary bike or gear bike

How To Do Cycling To Burn Calories

  1. Start by sitting on the bike. Be comfortable.
  2. Start pedaling at a medium speed.
  3. After about a minute, increase your pedaling speed so that you feel the burn in your thighs in just a minute or two.
  4. Do not stop pedaling for 3 minutes.
  5. Slow down a bit for a minute and then do high-speed biking for 3-5 minutes.

Tip: If you are comfortable, put some resistance in your stationary bike so that the workout is more intense.

8. Kettlebells

Kettlebells for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 30 mins
Calories Burned: 400-600 calories
Equipment Required: Kettlebell

How To Do Kettlebell Exercises

  1. This is a mix of cardio and muscle building strength training.
  2. Grab a kettlebell (not too light or too heavy) and use it do squats with kettlebell lifts, plie squats, walking lunges with turns, walking lunges with one hand kettlebell lifts, etc.
  3. Adding weights will provide you with the perfect resistance to help you burn more calories.

9. Stair Climber

Stair climber for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 10 mins
Calories Burned: 200 calories
Equipment Required: None

How To Do Stair Climbing

  1. Start by walking up the stairs.
  2. Start climbing every other step.
  3. Next, climb the stairs by lunging.
  4. Variate the forward lunges with lateral lunges.
  5. End the set by running up and down the stairs once.
  6. Take a 10-second rest and then go for your second set.

10. Elliptical

Elliptical for weight loss
Image: Shutterstock

Duration: 30 mins
Calories Burned: 500-600 calories
Equipment Required: A flight of stairs or bleachers

How To Do Elliptical Exercises

  1. Step on the elliptical machine, hold a handle with each hand and start pedaling.
  2. Press the quick start button and add resistance to level 2.
  3. Keep breathing while you keep moving as fast as you can.
  4. Pedal backward with the same intensity.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Ensure to have a light grip on the handlebars of an elliptical machine to swing your arms in a natural motion without hurting your shoulders.

So, there you have it – 10 best high-intensity cardio workouts that will help you shed some fat. Before you move on, take a look at the guidelines for training in cardio exercise.

Cardio Guidelines

  • Get your body accustomed to high-intensity exercise. If your body is not used to doing high-intensity cardio, you may end up injuring yourself.
  • Follow the correct technique. Take your time to learn the correct posture instead of just doing 100 reps. Because 10 reps will give you better results and prevent injuries.
  • Breathe in and out. Just because you are running or rope jumping at high speed, it doesn’t mean you have to buy a high-speed ticket to heaven! Breathing in and out will also maximize your efforts to lose weight.
  • Drink a pre-workout drink. No, not energy drinks that you get in the supermarkets. Just a glass of ice water with your favorite citrus fruit squeezed in will be plenty to prepare you for your workout. Drink water throughout the day, before and after your workouts.
  • Engage your muscles. Without engaging or contracting your muscles, you will not be able to target a specific area. For example, while doing rowing, you should engage your legs primarily, but you can also contract your shoulder blades to activate and work your lat muscles.
  • Do not overdo cardio. Overdoing any exercise, especially cardio, is not good for your muscles and joints. Mix your workout routine with strength training and stretching exercises so that your body gets a whole range of motion.
  • Start off with low-impact cardio exercises then switch to high intensity workouts if you are a beginner.
  • Wear good shoes. Shoes are very important when it comes to doing any cardio exercise as they protect the soles of your feet and your knees.
  • Stay hydrated. Sip a little water every 20 minutes to keep yourself hydrated and keep your stamina up. After you are done with your workout, make sure you continue to rehydrate and refuel.

So much effort and just weight loss? Nope, you’ve got more benefits than just weight loss. Take a look at the list below.

Benefits Of Cardio

  • It improves stamina and muscle power.
  • Improves heart and lung capacity.
  • It helps strengthen the bones.
  • Boosts confidence.
  • Improves productivity.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Prevents depression and anxiety.
  • Protects from heart disease.
  • It helps sleep better.

Get your heart pumping with this 30-minute cardio workout video. Burn calories and tone up with this aerobic exercise routine. Check it out!

Infographic: Top Ten Cardio Exercises To Lose Weight

Practicing cardio exercises daily is a great way to stay in shape, tone your body, and burn calories. Not only do they aid weight loss, but they are also good for your overall health. Check out the infographic below for a rundown of the cardio exercises you should be practicing regularly to lose weight and learn about their benefits!

top ten cardio exercises to lose weight(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While there are many fitness regimens and gym workouts to keep yourself fit and healthy, cardio exercises for weight loss are widely gaining popularity. They help increase endurance and the metabolic rate, which in return aid in fat burning for successful weight loss. Cardio workouts not only keep you fit but are easy to stick to if you enjoy it. It not only helps you lose that excess flab but also helps tone your muscles and strengthen your arms and legs. Cycling, dancing, running, and jump rope are good aerobic exercises that are not only cost-effective but also keep you feeling fresh outdoors. With the right posture, reps, and timings, include any of the many variations of cardio workout in your daily wellness routine to see a visible difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I do cardio everyday?

You can do cardio everyday. However, if you practice high intensity cardio, you may benefit from a rest day inbetween to prevent fatigue and reduce risk of injury.

Is cardio 5 days a week good?

Yes, engaging in cardio for 5 days a week is optimum for getting the benefits of exercise as well as rest days for recovery.

Is 20 minutes of cardio enough?

Yes, 20 minutes of cardio is enough to get the health benefits of regular exercise. 20 minutes of high intensity cardio can also help in weight loss.

Key Takeaways

  • Cardio exercises may help burn calories, improve lung capacity, and boost confidence.
  • Rope jumping, cycling, swimming, and stair climbing are some of the best daily cardio exercises for improved stamina.
  • If you are doing High-Intensity Interval Training, take it easy to ensure that your body is getting accustomed to the exercises to avoid injury.
  • A balanced diet and staying hydrated to get effective results.
cardio exercises for weight loss

Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Personal Experience: Source


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  1. Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise
  2. The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance
  3. Chronic Stress, Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease: Placing the Benefits and Risks of Physical Activity into Perspective
Jackie Womble is a registered and licensed dietitian with 12 years of experience. She specializes in corporate wellness, sports nutrition, and physical fitness. She is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist and Certified Spinning Instructor.

Read full bio of Jackie Sharp Womble
Charushila Biswas
Charushila BiswasHealth & Wellness Writer
Charushila is an ISSA certified Fitness Nutritionist and a Physical Exercise Therapist. Over a span of 6 years, she has authored more than 400 articles on diet, lifestyle, exercises, healthy food, and fitness equipment. She strives to inform, educate, and motivate her readers via authentic, straightforward, and fact-checked information.

Read full bio of Charushila Biswas
Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

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Aparna Mallampalli
Aparna MallampalliHealth & Wellness Writer
Aparna is a professor-turned-content writer with over 5 years of experience in life sciences. Her passion for writing and interest in the healthcare and wellness industry pushed her toward a career in content writing. She has a master’s degree in microbiology from Osmania University, Hyderabad, and a diploma in nutrition from Fab Academy.

Read full bio of Aparna Mallampalli