Cardiovascular exercises are excellent for weight loss, as they burn calories fast and cause your heart rate to accelerate, improving the condition of your body both inside and out. For optimum results, it is recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of cardio, 5 times a week.

Walking, jogging, and running

If you are just starting out with exercise, it is best to start slow, and then build up the intensity as your body grows stronger and more accustomed to the exercise. Start by going for regular brisk walks. A brisk walking program is a good option on many levels – it burns calories, is extremely low-cost, and is convenient as it can be done both indoors and outdoors (join walking groups, walk through the mall, or go for a quick walk during your lunch hour). A brisk hour-long walk can burn up to 300 calories, and if you want to burn even more, simply increase the speed, or progress on to more intense workouts like running and jogging. If you are roughly 160 pounds, an 8-mile per hour run will burn 986 calories, while a 5-mile per hour jog will burn 584 calories.

Water-based exercises

Swimming is one of the best, more intense, and most effective all-body cardio exercises. Depending on your weight and the intensity and number of the laps you perform, you can burn anything from 511 to 763 calories. If you are a beginner, start slow, by swimming the width of the pool – as you grow more comfortable, you can begin swimming the length of the pool too. If swimming is too taxing for you, you might consider water aerobics such as water jogging, pool walking, etc.


Bicycling is an excellent cadio exercise for burning calories and shedding the pounds. This exercise can be done in a variety of ways, like riding a stationary bike indoors, or riding an actually bike outdoors. If you are adventurous, you can even opt for activities like cross-country bicycling or mountain biking. When bicycling, it is important to make sure you choose the right bike – the seat should be at a proper level, and this is when your knee is straight with the pedal at its lowest.

Stairs, rowing and climbing

Gym equipment can also be used for cardio exercises – this is as effective a method as any for weight loss. Stair treadmills burn 660 to 980 calories per hour, and a stair climber machine can be just as effective (if you are unable to purchase a gym membership, simply climb up and down a flight of stairs). Cross-country skiing or using elliptical machines that simulate similar movements, burns 511 to 765 calories, and a stationary rowing machine also helps you burn the same amount.