Want to lose weight, but running gives you nightmares? You’re in luck! Running isn’t the only way to get your cardio in. Mix in different forms of cardio with resistance training and you’re on track to build muscle & lose fat, without the nightmares.
Cardio is physical activity that raises your heart rate and breathing rate into the moderate-to-vigorous intensity level for 10 minutes or more. Typical cardio exercises include brisk walking, jogging, running, hiking, swimming, dancing, HIIT classes, and rowing. Cardio is a great way to strengthen your heart and lungs, while improving the functioning of your circulatory system.
You do not need to cardio to lose fat. You can lose fat by lowering your caloric intake, resistance training, or a combination of both. However, cardio will supplement your fat loss by increasing the expenditure and creating a larger energy deficit. Cardio can help you expend more calories, but isn’t absolutely necessary. Ultimately, weight loss comes from an intake of fewer calories than expended. Cardio will help the process, not hurt it.
Start out with two cardio sessions a week, increasing in intensity as you go. Sessions should last from 30-60 minutes each.
Separate your cardio and resistance training days, either at different times or different days completely. If you must do them in the same session, always do cardio after resistance training. Avoid the interference effect - do not do cardio then weight training. This will inhibit your ability to lift heavier and build more muscle.
Cardio comes in many fun shapes & sizes, try a few to see which works best for you. Of course we want to help you lose weight, but we want you to enjoy the process. If you dread running, don’t do it! There are MANY alternatives that’ll give you just as great of a result.
Spin: hop on a bike at the gym or take a fun 45-minute class at a local studio
Walk: walk at a pace of 3.0 or more, if you have a treadmill, walk uphill at an incline of 10
Swim: tread water, swim a few laps, & get a tan while doing it!
Intervals: run for 60 seconds/rest for 60 seconds for 20 minutes
Hike: call up a buddy & catch up over a nice, moderate hike
Run: for my unicorns that love the runners high
Dance: take a local dance class or YouTube a dance cardio in your home (that way you can dance like nobody's watching!)