What Is The Best Cardio For Weight Loss?
Are you looking to shed a few pounds? Are you considering running a few times a week in order to shed some unwanted pounds? That might not be the best solution as recent research suggests. Today, we’re going to discuss the best cardio for weight loss.
What if just walking could help you drop the weight? As a matter of fact, it actually can! Weight loss doesn’t have to be about running your butt off and hurting your knees, it’s much simpler than that.
Target Heart Rate for Weight Loss
This is something most people don’t talk about. Instead, they just hop on the treadmill and run away without putting much thought into it. Did you know that your body has a target heart rate zone for fat burning? Most people should stay between 120 to 140 beats per minute if they want to target fat. You can get more accurate by figuring out what your max heart rate is. This can be done by simply subtracting your age from 220, so if you’re 35 you would do 220-35=185. Then your target fat burning heart rate is usually around 60-70% of that. So in the case you’re 35, this would be 111-129 beats per minute.
Grab yourself a FitBit in order to track your heart rate while doing cardio for weight loss. This will help you stay in tune and on track with your goals.
HIIT vs LISS Cardio
High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training, also known as HIIT is something newer to the cardio for weight loss game. HIIT cardio is made up of intervals of both high intensity and low intensity. The key here is that during your high intensity portion, make sure it’s actually intense and you’re going 100% for that time.
Studies show that you can see great results with just 30 seconds of all out 100% intensity followed by 4 minutes of rest. You repeat this cycle 4-6 times during a session. The results of the study showed a lot of fat mass reduction from the HIIT sessions over a 12 week period. You can also do longer periods of intensity if you wish, just allow adequate time to recover before repeating.
Study on HIIT: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
I would also suggest that you don’t use HIIT on a daily basis. HIIT is very stressful on your body and you need time to recover. It’s best to spread these sessions out every 2-3 days.
HIIT cardio for weight loss can be done outside by sprinting. It can also be done indoors on a stationary bike that you can add resistance to, treadmill or an elliptical. There are many options for HIIT cardio, give it a shot.
Low Intensity Steady State Cardio
Low Intensity Steady State cardio, also known as LISS is a very common type of cardio and you’re already doing it through the day. Walking is LISS for example. To reach the target heart rate zone discussed earlier, you will need to step it up and walk at a good pace though. You can also do this on a treadmill and increase the incline. Keep an eye on your heart rate though to make sure you’re working hard enough.
Not only can you do LISS by walking but you can also do this on a bicycle, elliptical or rowing machine. LISS cardio for weight loss presents you with many different options so you don’t really need a gym to do it. The key is in the target heart rate for weight loss, 120 – 140 beats per minute on average.
If you plan on using LISS in your routine then you want to do 30-60 minute sessions at least 3 times a week. You can also add to this by walking more in your day to day activities. Park further away and walk for part of your lunch break as some examples.
So What Is The Best Cardio For Weight Loss?
HIIT is definitely the winner as the best cardio for weight loss. BUT WAIT!
Just because HIIT is the best cardio for weight loss, that doesn’t mean you should avoid LISS cardio. When it comes down to it, you have to do the type of cardio that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy it, then you won’t be motivated to action do it. Also HIIT cardio takes a while to recover from and some people may not like that and will prefer LISS instead.
Many studies suggest that overall more people stop doing cardio when using HIIT due to recovery time and difficulty. It’s just not enjoyable for some. If this fits you then LISS is going to produce better results. If you love the challenge that HIIT gives you then go for it, you will see amazing results!
Nobody can tell you which cardio is best for you and your weight loss plan. Maybe you even mix it up some as I do personally. I’ll do 2 sessions of LISS per week and 1 session of HIIT. Sometimes I’ll do more HIIT but I definitely try to work both in during the week.