Updated 20th March 2023
Will I Lose Weight Doing Cardio Exercise? This is a common question and it is a common trend these days in the fitness community that cardio is not required, and that resistance training and forms of exercise such as yoga alone is enough to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
While it’s important to understand that any exercise is good exercise, to say that cardio exercise can’t play a role is simply not true.
cardiovascular exercise and Weight Loss
In simple terms, cardio exercises increase metabolism and burn calories, hence helps with weight loss. But beyond the weight loss benefits, by doing regular cardiovascular exercise, you will improve both the health of your heart and lungs.
There are many cardiovascular exercises that you can include in your workout schedule which include: biking, running, cycling, aerobics, skipping, walking, jogging, team sports, kickboxing, and swimming.
For you to get the best from cardiovascular training, aim to fill your schedule with at least thirty minutes every day.
Another great benefit of cardio is that it helps improve the level of endorphins in the body. These “happy hormones” make us feel livelier and happier – which is a great thing!
How many calories does cardio burn?
This is a tough question to answer but in general, you can burn 8-15 calories per minute of exercise at a moderate level of intensity. If you do a solid 45 minutes of activity, you should burn around 500 calories but it will vary depending on a range of factors including the type of activity (eg running burns more calories than cycling) and also your current body weight (for example, in general, larger people burn more calories during exercise).
The best course of action for if you are looking to lose weight and start a fitness routine is to find a fitness professional or personal trainer that can get you setup with an appropriate program for your individual circumstances.
Tips to lose weight
1. Plan all your meals
Planning ahead is one of the simplest ways to ensure you eat healthy. How many times have you woken up in the morning and got ready for work, only to find that you’ve not planned a healthy lunch?! A useful way to keep on top of food planning is to use the weekends to plan for the week ahead.
2. Strength training
The body burns calories throughout the day in order to maintain muscle tissue. So a great way to get your body burning as many calories as possible is by doing resistance training for shape and tone – we’re not talking about building bulky muscles. Weigh training is good for losing weight and also great for giving you fantastic shape and tone too.
3. Set Your Goals
Determine why you want to incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your routine? Are you looking for endurance? Do you want to lose body fat and show off those muscles?
4. Record Your Workouts
Keep track of your workouts so you can see what you accomplished. Use a notebook or use a phone app (here is a list of fantastic fitness apps for iOS and Android)
5. Healthy Eating
Nutrition is the final component in achieving your fitness goals and the most important. Not only does food provide us with valuable nutrients and the fuel we need to survive, but the way we eat is also 70% of the battle when it comes to losing weight.
Of course beyond losing fat with cardio exercise, there are a range of other benefits too.
Cardiovascular exercise training has multiple health benefits that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Let’s take a look!
Health Benefits Of Cardio Fitness Training
1. Improved eyesight
Something that wasn’t even considered until recent studies is that improved circulation extends to the eyes and the blood flow to the retina and may potentially lead to improved vision.
2. Improved cognition/memory
The improved blood flow to your eyes also extends to your entire head, including your brain. Without goign all science-ey on you, increased cerebral blood flow improves the efficiency of its neurons, which drastically improves their performance and general cognitively ability. Checks out.
3. Improved recovery times
The more you exercise, the more efficient your body becomes at the uptake and utilisation of oxygen, which is the foundation of fitness – how fast can your body use the oxygen and get rid of the carbon dioxide.
Weightlifters often skip cardio due to a fear of not seeing the benefits for muscle growth; however the improved recovery time alone that comes from improved fitness, can help to perform weight training with more intensity. This ultimately leads to better muscle growth over time!
4. Improved breathing control and quality
For people who are frequently out of breath, suffer from asthma or other breathing disorders can significantly improve their symptoms by incorporating some regular cardio exercise into their weekly routine. This is due to the fact your lungs require blood flow to perform gaseous exchange at the lungs (in the alveoli).
Cardio fitness is all about helping your body to become more efficient – at the way it moves blood around, can uptake and utilise oxygen, and get rid of waster product. The more you do, the better your lung become!
5. Improved mental health
Most cardio activity is linked with the release of feel-good hormones, known as endorphins. The endorphins released during exercise help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and grief. It shares the #1 spot with meditation for ways to improve your mental health without the use of prescription medication.
When starting any new diet or nutritional program, we recommend that you seek the advice and support of a qualified professional to ensure that it is suitable for you and your individual circumstances.