Published On By Rachel Nall

How Much Cardio To Lose Weight?

Losing weight entails a comprehensive approach that includes maintaining a caloric deficit by burning more calories than you consume. Physical activities, including cardio exercises, could help you in this regard.

Cardiovascular exercise is a vital part of any weight loss journey. It may aid in burning calories, induce perspiration, improve heart health, and boost metabolism.

This article will disclose efficient cardiovascular exercises to support weight loss, their mechanisms in aiding weight loss, and recommended cardio activity duration.

Understanding Cardio

Cardio means any cardiovascular activity that elevates heart rate and promotes oxygen consumption. Cardiovascular exercises may support sustainable weight loss by accelerating calorie burning, improving cardiorespiratory fitness, and boosting metabolism. These activities may help engage multiple muscle groups, promoting fat utilization and aiding in weight management.

Mechanism Of Cardio Exercises To Help You Lose Weight

  • Enhance Calorie Burn

    You may enhance the calorie burn effect of cardio by making minor intensity adjustments during physical activities.

    A research study found that moderate-intensity exercise(s) and HIIT could reduce waist circumference and body fat. However, HIIT takes 40% less time than moderate-intensity exercise(s) to render the desired outcomes.

    You could also add strength training to your daily cardio routine, which may increase your overall calorie burn and support weight loss while also helping develop lean muscle mass.

  • Helps Maintain Calorie Deficit

    Burning 3500 calories more than you consume could result in a pound of weight loss. Creating a calorie deficit requires adherence to calorie control, healthy food choices, and physical activities.

    Cardio exercises, particularly moderate-to-vigorous intensity (like running, swimming, or HIIT), could help burn significant calories in a shorter period. These effects may help maintain a caloric deficit and promote sustainable weight loss.

  • Elevates Heart Rate and Burns Fat

    Cardio exercises could enhance heart rate, meaning your body utilizes more energy and burns calories faster. These virtues may encourage healthy fat loss and weight reduction outcomes.

    Increasing the intensity of your cardio sessions may elevate the heart rate even more. Working out in your fat-burning heart rate zone (about 70% of your max heart rate) enables the body to oxidize fat cells for energy production, potentially aiding weight loss.

    Some studies indicate that cardio might curb belly fat accumulation that raises the risk of heart disease or other metabolic disorders.

How Often Do I Need To Do Cardio To Lose Weight?

You must undergo a minimum of 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise weekly to observe substantial weight loss changes.

The general health recommendation suggests aiming for a weight loss of not more than one to two pounds weekly. The frequency of cardio needed to achieve this goal varies depending on individual factors like current fitness level and desired rate of weight loss.

Getting Started As a Beginner

When you are just starting out your fitness journey as a beginner, understanding the basics of cardiovascular exercise is vital for gradual progress and effective weight loss. Here are some essential tips to help you get started:

  • Start Slow and Gradually Raise Intensity: Begin with manageable sessions of 20-30 minutes at a comfortable pace, then gradually enhance the duration and intensity as your fitness improves.
  • Choose Activities You Enjoy: Whether it's brisk walking, cycling, dancing, or swimming, pick activities that you find fun and engaging to keep yourself motivated.
  • Mix Up Your Workouts: Include different cardio exercises to prevent boredom and work multiple muscle groups. It could include alternating between running, cycling, and aerobics classes.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to different exercises. Push yourself and know when to rest and recover to prevent burnout and injuries.

Recommended Cardio Activity Duration

The CDC states that an appropriate cardio duration for losing weight could vary from person to person. They suggest following a weekly cardio routine comprising:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic workout, like brisk walking
  • 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio activity, like running
  • An equivalent mixture of the two

Which Cardio Exercises Burn Weight The Fastest?

Focusing on activities that engage large muscle groups at moderate to vigorous intensities could help maximize calorie expenditure. To burn weight quickly, consider including the following cardio exercises in your routine:

  1. Swimming: Swimming could be a full-body cardio workout that may burn approximately 255 calories in 30 minutes. It engages multiple muscle groups and is easy on the joints, making it suitable for those looking to shed weight efficiently.
  2. Cycling: Cycling at a moderate to vigorous pace burns approximately 300 calories in one hour. It primarily targets the lower body muscles while providing a cardiovascular challenge, aiding in weight loss and improving overall fitness.
  3. Running: Running at a moderate pace may also help burn 240-336 calories in an hour. It is a high-impact exercise that engages the lower body muscles and boosts heart rate, making it an effective way to torch calories and shed excess weight.
  4. Hiking: Hiking is an intensive cardio exercise that can burn around 185-190 calories. It could aid in healthy weight loss and provide mental relaxation and a connection to nature, making it a holistic approach to fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I Reduce Weight by Doing Only Cardio Exercises Without Incorporating Strength Training?
    Engaging in only cardio exercises for weight loss might be effective, but complementing it with strength training enhances results. Cardio aids calorie burn, and strength training builds muscle, boosting metabolism. Combining both optimizes weight loss and improves overall fitness.
  2. Is It Better to Do Cardio on an Empty Stomach for Weight Loss?
    Engaging in cardio on an empty stomach for weight loss is a debated practice. Some believe it enhances fat burning; others argue it may reduce workout intensity. Personal preferences and individual responses should guide this decision.
  3. How Does the Intensity of Cardio Workouts Affect Weight Loss Results?
    The intensity of cardio workouts significantly impacts weight loss results by boosting calorie burn and fat loss. High-intensity cardio may accelerate metabolism, increasing energy expenditure and post-exercise calorie consumption. Such effects might aid effective weight management.
  4. What Role Does Hydration Play in Maximizing the Benefits of Cardio for Weight Loss?
    Adequate water intake ensures proper body function, enhances exercise performance, aids in fat metabolism, and promotes overall health. Consistent hydration is essential for effective weight management through cardio.
  5. Are There Specific Timeframes During the Day When Cardio Is Most Effective for Weight Loss?
    There is no specific timeframe during the day when cardio is most effective for weight loss. The focus should be finding a time that fits your schedule and allows consistent participation.


The recommended cardio duration for attaining weight loss is a relative concept. It could vary between people based on fitness levels, individual metabolism, and fitness goals.

Cardio exercises like swimming, running, jumping rope, or high-intensity interval training could help you burn significant calories in a smaller timeframe. These exercises may help you maintain a caloric deficit and aid in healthy fat loss.

Finding a balance between cardio activities and strength-building exercises is vital to encourage sustainable weight management and overall health.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this review.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

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