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Can You Lose Body Fat Without Cardio?

author image Jeremie Guy
Jeremie Guy has been a certified personal trainer since 2011, but has been active in gyms and athletics since he could walk. His articles have appeared on a number of websites, and he ghostwrites part time. During the summer of 2013 he rode a bicycle from Providence, R.I., to Seattle, Wa.
Can You Lose Body Fat Without Cardio?
Two women workout in a gym using old fashioned weight training techniques. Photo Credit: oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

To lose body fat you have to burn off more calories than you consume. Aside from eating healthily, being as active as possible is imperative to losing weight. While cardio is effective at burning calories, your body can also burn calories through weight training, calisthenics and day-to-day activities. Without cardio, you need to focus your daily tasks and exercises around activating muscles and moving as much as possible to burn the calories needed for weight loss.

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Weight Training and Muscles

Muscles are made of active tissue and burn more calories than fat tissue, even when you are at rest. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body requires to perform any given activity. The movement and challenges placed on muscles when you lift weights also burns calories, and the more muscles being utilized at one time will increase the calorie burn.

Calisthenics Can Burn Calories

Similar to the way weight lifting works, calisthenics burn calories by challenging the target muscles. Some calisthenics are aerobic in nature, which can yield additional caloric burning. Many calisthenics utilize multiple muscle groups, and using more muscles means burning more calories and increasing your potential to lose body fat. Sweating burns calories as well, so try some calisthenics outside in the summer heat to burn even more. Extra cardiovascular activity is needed to pump blood to the skin so sweat can cool the body, which results in an added calorie burn.

Day-to-Day Activities

Every movement your body makes burns calories, even if you are not out of breath when you’re finished. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car in the back of the lot and walking the rest of the way, standing while you watch television or pacing while you talk on the phone are all great ways to burn a few extra calories without doing cardio.

Tips and Safety

Exercising will help you burn the calories you take in, but eating healthy foods can limit the calories you have and make it easier to lose body fat. Still, eat enough calories to stay healthy. Always warm up before working out, and stretch after your workout. Stay hydrated, especially if you decide to exercise outside in the summer, and if you feel lightheaded or dizzy take a break or stop exercising.

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