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How Much Cardio to Lose 30 Pounds?

author image Heather Topham Wood
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.
How Much Cardio to Lose 30 Pounds?
Work out frequently and at high intensity to lose large amounts of weight. Photo Credit: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images

When you have 30 pounds to lose, you need to increase the time and intensity of your cardio workouts. Before you use cardio exercise as a weight loss tool, speak to your doctor. Keep in mind that each person’s rate of weight loss is different. For instance, the more you weigh, the more calories you are likely to burn in one hour of cardio exercise. Also, you have to be careful not to overdo it if your current fitness level is not up to the exertion. That will improve very quickly once you get started.


It takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound. If you want to achieve weight loss, you need to participate in calorie burning cardio exercise frequently. For instance, if you weigh 160 pounds, power walking at two mph for one hour may only burn 181 calories. This means you would have to walk about 20 hours per week to lose one pound. Moderate to high intensity exercise can make the pounds come off quicker. One hour of tennis burns approximately 441 calories, one hour of hiking burns about 431 calories, high impact aerobics burns roughly 508 calories in an hour and running at 8 mph burns 979 calories in an hour.

Time Frame

You need to do more than the Department of Health and Human Services recommended, which is 2 1/2 hours of cardio each week in order to lose weight. Aim for five to six days per week for a minimum of 45 minutes. If you can’t exercise continuously for that long, break up the workout sessions into shorter sessions over the course of the day.

Dietary Considerations

Following a reduced calorie diet can help you achieve your 30 pounds weight loss quicker. Reduce portion sizes and eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Drink plenty of water during the day and throughout your cardio workouts. If you are participating in large amounts of cardio exercise, try to drink at least 10 to 12 glasses per day.


Although cardio can help you burn off calories, you need to do more to lose a large amount of weight, such as 30 pounds. You can amp up your cardio workout by doing interval training. If you walk for example, you can walk briskly for five minutes and run for one minute. Strength training can help you build lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. Plan to participate in strength training routines at least three days per week. Use resistance training machines, such as abdominal exercisers, pull up bars and leg presses to work the upper body, core and lower body muscles. Start off with a low amount of weight and a higher number of reps. Increase the weight as you improve strength.

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