Does Cardio Help You Lose Weight?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Does cardio help you lose weight? To lose weight you need to be in a caloric deficit and cardio is what helps to illicit that. Cardiovascular exercise is a physical activity exercise that requires you to use oxygen, and that is what aerobic exercise means. To achieve a calorie deficit to lose weight the number of calories you consume needs to be less than the calories burn.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services you need to get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity per week. Or 75 to 150 minutes a week of high intensity exercise to see any type of weight loss changes.

To lose one pound per week you need to create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories which would be weekly. And it would be 500 calories daily for a deficit.

Does cardio help you lose weight? Photo Credit: iStock-nortonrsx

There are so many different factors that affect how many calories you burn:

  • Weight- The more you weigh them the more calories you can burn.
  • Gender- Men generally burn more calories than women.
  • Body composition- The more muscle you have the more calories you can burn.
  • Daily Activity- If you live a sedentary life, you burn the least number of calories.

According to the CDC a 154-pound person can burn between 140 and 295 calories in 30 minutes. Here are the different types of cardiovascular methods and the number of calories you can burn in 30 minutes.

Hiking- 185 calories

Dancing- 165 calories

Walking (3.5 miles)- 140 calories

Running (5 miles)- 295 calories

Bicycling- (>10mph)- 295 calories

Swimming- 255 calories

To lose two pounds in a week you need to be in a daily caloric deficit of 1000 calories. If I was to create an exercise plan to help someone lose weight it would be the following:

  • 3 to 4 days a week of 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity such as swimming, walking, jogging, cycling.
  • 3 to 4 days a week of resistance training that would be body weight training, dumbbell lifting and resistance bands training. Make sure you train your upper and lower body at least once a week.
  • Stretching
  • Rest about 2 to 3 days a week

If you want to be efficient in your workouts and save time, then focus on high intensity interval training workouts that are 30 minutes or less.  Not everybody can do this type of training because you must be somewhat fit to be able to handle any type of high intensity training. In fact, it is not advisable to advocate high intensity training for a novice or beginner.

Some of the best cardiovascular workouts that are easy on the joints, and this may be applicable to someone who is older are:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Gardening

These are low impact cardiovascular exercises that can still help you lose weight. To achieve maximum weight loss, you want to combine cardiovascular and weight training together. Cardio workouts allow you burn calories at the workout and weight-training allows you to burn calories after the workout.

Some good cardiovascular calorie burning exercises are jump roping. If you do this with moderate intensity you can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour. You can jump 4 to 5 sets of 90 seconds and you can do this with a rope and without it.

Burpees is also a good total body cardio workout you can do. It trains multiple groups such as chest, legs, and core. It incorporates push-ups, jumps, and squats. You can do 10 reps for 4 sets, and this can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

“According to the CDC a 154-pound person can burn between 140 and 295 calories in 30 minutes.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is there are many cardio exercises you can do to lose weight. The best exercise program to lose weight is to combine weight-training and cardiovascular exercise together. If you do this along with being on a structured diet program, then you will have success on your weight loss journey.

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  1. CDC-
  2. U.S Department Of Health and Human Services-

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