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Cardio & Heart Rate, the Secret to Weight Loss

We all know that getting your blood pumping and your heart rate up is a great way to ward off heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes; but it’s also the secret to melting away excess weight and sculpting your body how you like. During cardio your heart race tends to increase, which also revs up your metabolism and burns more calories than when your heart is at its normal resting state (typically between 60-100 BPM). 

Cardio and Metabolism

In its essence, cardio is any activity that gets your heart rate up. Running, swimming, aerobics, walking, and bike riding are all prime examples of this. It’s important to keep in mind that the harder you do these activities, the more your heart rate will increase. When you’re able to achieve a fat-burning heart rate your body starts to tap into energy stored in your body’s fat leading to fat loss. Your fat-burning heart rate is usually around 70% of your maximum heart rate.

To find out what your maximum heart rate is, subtract your age from 220. For example if you are 40 years old, subtract 40 from 220 to find that your maximum heart rate is 180. To find your fat burning heart rate, you would then take 180 times .7 to find that it is 126 beats per minute. If your heart rate is below this level during exercise, you may want to increase your intensity to achieve a good heart rate for weight loss.

Cardio Workouts that Increase Heart Rate

Not all workouts are created equal, especially when it comes to burning fat. When it comes to losing weight, experts recommend 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity between 3 and 5 days per week. If you’re new to working out, start by exercising 30 minutes 3 times a week (at your local TruFit, of course) until you feel comfortable going longer and adding on more days. No matter how you like to get your workout in, this list of the best cardio for weight loss has something for you:

  • Burpees – Burpees can be done as part of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) regimen or at a slower pace. The amount of calories you’ll burn doing these depend on weight, but most people can burn up to 250 by doing them for about 20 minutes.
  • Elliptical Training – Using an elliptical is a great option for those who want to go to the gym but don’t love taking classes. The average person can burn anywhere between 175 to 225 calories in a 30-minute elliptical session.
  • Jump Rope – Jumping rope is another great full body workout that helps melt the pounds away. On average, most people can burn around 300 calories with a 30 minutes workout, but this can also vary depending on the intensity of your workout. You can use a calorie calculator to get a more accurate understanding.
  • Kettlebells – A recent study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that kettlebells are a powerful workout, with most people burning up to 400 calories with just a short 20-minute workout.
  • Kickboxing – Kickboxing is great for toning love handles and eliminating belly fat. During a 30-minutes kickboxing session the average person can burn between 300-400 calories.
  • Rowing – Using a rowing machine is great for losing weight, toning muscles, and helping you feel energized. Most people burn around 300 calories after a 30 minute workout.
  • Swimming – Swimming is another workout that works almost every muscle in the body, particularly your core abdominal muscles. Whether you’re doing a breaststroke, laps around the pool, or treading; you’re likely to burn about 350 calories.
  • Walking – Walking is a simple way to ease into cardio workouts, and is a relaxing way to help you lose weight. On average, a 30 minute walk burns about 150 calories. Eventually you can work up to jogging, which is a 400 calorie burn for 30 minutes.
  • Zumba Zumba classes are a fun way to get your heart rate up and burn calories. How many calories you’ll burn in a Zumba class depends on weight, the length of the class (usually 45-60 minutes) and how high intensity it is. However, most people burn 500 or more calories in a single class.

Losing Weight with Cardio

When you’re looking to lose weight, cardio is your best friend. Remember that every workout is what you make it, and it’s important to safely push yourself to new heights. TruFit Athletic Clubs have everything you need to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Our wellness centers are equipped with rowing and elliptical machines, and each of our clubs hosts a number of cardio classes to help you get in the best shape of your life. And if you prefer a more personal experience, our personal trainers are here to guide you.

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