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Is Cardio a Bad Way to Lose Weight?

author image Kate Richey
Kate Richey has been active in the health and fitness fields since 2005. Following completion of her M.S.Ed in exercise science and wellness from Old Dominion University, Richey obtained her physical activity in public health specialist certification and health fitness specialist certification through the ACSM.
Is Cardio a Bad Way to Lose Weight?
Exercise with friends to prevent boredom and promote consistency. Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Cardiovascular exercise coupled with a healthy diet is the most effective way to lose weight. Your body must work harder to provide your active muscles with oxygenated blood and adequate energy. When your body is working harder, more calories are being burned. Resistance training is a great way to supplement your workout but isn't considered an effective way to lose weight; typically, you are working individual muscle groups.

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Time to Sweat

To receive the health benefits of exercise you should engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise weekly, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Greater health benefits can be achieved by engaging in upwards of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise weekly. While this amount of exercise may be difficult to achieve at first, begin by participating in frequent bursts of 10-minute sessions spread throughout the day.

Quality Cardio

Cardiovascular activity increases your heart rate, heart stroke volume and cardiac output. Your heart has to work harder to make sure that your muscles and brain receive the oxygenated blood and energy needed to perform. The coordinated movements that cardiovascular exercises involve are dynamic and require large amounts of energy which your body provides by burning a lot of calories.

Feel the Burn

Kick boredom to the curb by engaging in a variety of cardiovascular exercises. Gyms frequently offer treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and stair steppers, as well as group exercise classes like aerobics, kickboxing and step routines. If you prefer the outdoors, go hiking, cycling, jogging or playing group sports -- these are great cardio activities to give your heart a workout and promote weight loss.

Weight Loss Success

One pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories. Therefore, in order to lose about one pound per week you need to create a daily caloric deficit of 500. When the calories that you consume are less than the calories that you expend throughout the day, you will experience weight loss. This can be achieved by focusing on consuming healthy foods in reasonable portions, as well as incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine.

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