Getting desperate to lose weight and shed off those extra pounds? A good cardio workout is one of the most popular ways of burning the surplus calories and if you can exercise at home, nothing better than that.
Here is a useful and practical guide to understand the basic types of cardio workouts that you can opt to achieve a better fitness level and stamina, and work towards that dreamy bikini body!
Impact vs Non-impact Workouts
An impact workout means that you are hitting the ground with your feet while working out in an aerobic mode. An opposite ground reaction force acts on your body joints, specially your feet, ankles, knees and hips. Walking, jogging, sprinting, treadmill running, stepping, Zumba are all types of popular impact workouts known for their calorie burning capacity. Anybody who is suffering from painful or weak joints or wants to prevent trauma to the joints can still lose weight by engaging in a non-impact workout, for ex. Static cycling, swimming, cross trainer, rowing. These are equally loved as they encourage aerobic activity without causing jarring of the joints.
Intensity of Cardio Workouts
LISSC or Low Intensity Steady State Cardio is a slow paced exercise form which has to be continued for an hour or so. Recommended for beginners, it ensures more oxygen for fat cells to be burnt down. It can get a bit boring though. You can make the fitness mantra more exciting and effective by adding at least two sessions per week of HIIT i.e. High Intensity Interval Training. This involves doing a fast paced activity like sprinting for 30 seconds, followed by a pause of 30 seconds, continuing it for 10-15 minutes. This also has an after-burn effect and you can boost your body’s fat burning ability plus save time too!
Best Cardio Workouts
Having understood the types of workout, it is also important to choose best exercises which can be done and mixed as per intensity to make up a good workout plan.
Following workouts provide a all round movement to the body and can be easily done at your home or gym:
Targeting fat loss for your body, you can take up a regular routine of fast paced walks either outside in a park, up on a hill or hit the dreaded treadmill in the gym with the intention of doing an LISSC for about 45 minutes. This improves the leg circulation, burns a lot of calories and also exercises your heart. Jogging or swimming has similar results.
Though each person should work out on a personalised protocol, the general recommendation is; keep skipping at a regular pace for about 30 minutes, or do it at a maximal speed for 30 seconds, then pause for a minute, then repeat this cycle for at least 10 minutes. You are sure to love doing it!
Don’t feel like going to the gym some day or if the weather outside is not letting you walk; you can consider sprinting in counted sets up and down your own apartment stairs. Say, a flight of 10 stairs with ten steps each can be sprinted at least in 5 sets starting with one set up and down and then rest, and moving on to 4 sets and then rest, Then slowly come down to the starting pace.
This will make you love your body. It is a popular apparatus used at most of the fitness centres. It exercises your arms and legs simultaneously and the aerobic workout eats away a large number of calories per session.
Swimming is a non impact exercise and is very good for improving heart contractility, decrease blood pressure, lower heart rate and improve lung efficiency. As swimming is a non-weight bearing exercise, those with joint issues can tolerate higher-intensity water-based forms of activity and may be able to promote greater improvements in contractility.
Cardio workouts together with a weight training program and the right diet plan can help you reshape your body and up your fitness quotient. Remember, there are no shortcuts to weight loss! But a good cardio workout is the perfect way to make you leaner at a very fast pace, besides giving you a stronger heart.