Does cardio burn fat? Yes, cardio exercise can help you burn fat and may also benefit your heart health, mood, sleep habits, and more.
All forms of cardio are beneficial, from walking to steady-state bike rides to lung-busting high-intensity interval training exercises.
What Is Cardio And How Does It Help Burn Fat?
Cardiovascular exercise, more commonly known as cardio, is any type of physical activity that gets your heart rate up and causes you to breathe harder.
For example, when you do cardio, your body uses more energy (calories) than it would if you were just sitting on the couch. This increased energy expenditure can help you burn fat, including belly fat.
What are some good examples of cardio exercises?
When it comes to cardio exercises, there are a lot of options to choose from.
But before you start your workout routine, it’s important to figure out which exercises are best for you and your goals. Here are some good examples of cardio exercises that will help you lose weight and get in shape.
10 Cardio Exercises To Burn Fat
According to the American Council on Exercise, running at a moderate pace for about 30 minutes can burn around 200-300 calories.
A moderate pace is around five miles per hour or about a 10-12 minute mile.
2. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a great exercise to help you burn calories and lose weight. A person who weighs 150 pounds can expect to burn approximately 100 calories in 10 minutes of jumping jacks.
3. Jumping Rope
All you need is around 10 minutes to burn 100 calories with jumping rope. You can up the intensity by changing your jump to double jumps, instead of plain old single jumps.
Burpees are a superb calisthenics exercise that burns between 8 and 12 calories each minute.
Burpees should be performed in sets of 10 or 15 reps. Rest for 30 seconds to a minute between rounds and then repeat.
5. Mountain Climbers
You can burn around 100 calories in 10 minutes doing mountain climbers.
This full-body workout, which has been utilized for decades, works your upper and lower body as well as your core, providing cardio and overall bodyweight training to the mix.
6. Stationary Bike
Biking at a moderate speed for 30 minutes on a stationary bike burns around 260 calories, while intense cycling burns around 390 calories in the same period.
Depending on your fitness level, you'll want to increase the resistance to increase your calorie burn further.
7. Elliptical Trainer
On average, the elliptical trainer burns around 400-500 calories per hour.
The number of calories you burn depends on what setting you have it on. If you are going at a slower pace, then the calories burned would be lower than if you were going faster and using more resistance.
The Treadmill can burn up to 600 calories per hour, depending on your fitness level. This is an average calorie expenditure and some people may burn more calories than this, while others will burn fewer.
The more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn. (That's one of the biggest benefits of weight training).
The StairMaster burns an average of 450 calories per hour, about 8 times more calories per hour than walking at 3 mph.
This number may vary depending on your weight, workout effort, if you are taking breaks during your workout, etc., but it is a good estimate for someone who is on the StairMaster for about an hour.
Swimming can burn a large number of calories, depending on the intensity and duration of the swim. A person who weighs 150 pounds can burn up to 408 calories in an hour of swimming at a moderate pace.
Swimming is a great exercise for people getting started because it's easy on the joints and helps to burn calories. Swimming can help you lose weight quickly because it burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
How To Make Cardio More Effective In Burning Fat
Cardiovascular exercises are a great way to burn fat, but there are ways to make them even more effective.
1. Make sure you are working out at a high intensity. This means that you should be breathing hard and feeling like you're working up a sweat.
2. Vary your routine. Doing the same exercises every time will get boring and you'll be less likely to stick with it.
3. Add in some strength training. Strength training will help you burn more calories, and it's also great for toning your body.
Weight Loss Comes From A Calorie Deficit
Most people are not aware of the importance of a calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
Weight loss is ONLY achieved by creating a calorie deficit and that there are multiple ways to achieve this (cardio, weight training, proper diet).
So if you want to burn fat, your goal is to create a calorie deficit through high intensity cardio workouts, strength training exercises, and a proper diet so you can achieve your desired body.
Does cardio burn fat or carbs?
You might have heard that cardio burns fat, or that it burns carbs. It turns out it does both!
Cardio actually burns a combination of both fat and carbs. When you do cardio, your body first burns the glucose in your bloodstream and carbs that are stored in your muscles. Once those are exhausted, it then begins to burn the fat.
I know cardio is good for burning fat, but does it actually burn belly fat?
Doing regular cardio exercise is a good way to burn overall body fat, including belly fat.
Keep in mind, there's no way to spot reduce, but in the overall weight loss, some of that will come from belly fat.