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Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss: Top 8 Workouts to Burn Fat Fast

Team AckoMay 13, 2024

Are you looking to lose weight and get fit? Cardio exercise is one of the most effective ways to burn calories, shed excess body fat, and improve your overall health and fitness level. Engaging in regular cardio workouts can help you lose weight, boost your metabolism, and strengthen your heart and lungs. Any weight loss exercise can also enhance your mood and energy.

But, with so many different types of fat-burning exercises out there, it can be challenging to know which ones are the most effective for weight loss. That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to the best fat-burning exercises to help you lose weight and achieve the fit and toned physique you desire. Whether you prefer outdoor activities or working out at the gym or at home, we've got you covered with a variety of fun and challenging exercises to lose fat suitable for all fitness levels.

So, lace up your trainers, grab a bottle of water, and let's dive into the 8 most effective cardio exercises for torching calories and shedding those extra kilos!




What is Cardio? 

Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any type of physical activity that raises your heart rate and increases your breathing rate for an extended period of time. When you engage in cardio, your body works harder to supply your muscles with the oxygen they need to keep moving. This increased demand for oxygen forces your heart to pump harder and faster, strengthening your cardiovascular system over time.

So, how does cardio help with weight loss? It all comes down to calorie burning. When you perform cardio exercises, your body burns calories to fuel your movements. The more intense the activity and the longer the duration, the more calories you'll burn. This calorie expenditure can help you create a calorie deficit, which is essential for losing weight.

In addition to burning calories during the actual workout, cardio also provides a post-exercise calorie burn known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even after you've finished exercising as it works to return to its pre-exercise state. The more intense the cardio session, the greater the EPOC effect.

The best cardio exercises for weight loss

Listed below are the best 11 workouts that are effective in losing weight.

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

It is a type of workout that alternates between short intervals of very high-intensity activity and periods of rest or low-intensity activity. The goal is to push your body hard for a short period of an interval, then allow the body to recover for another small amount of time before starting the cycle again. This cycle is repeated several times. 

HIIT can significantly improve your fitness level when compared with other types of workouts. It is effective in improving heart health and managing diabetes. It can also help you burn more calories and speed up your metabolism.

2. Stair climber

Stair climber is another low-impact cardio workout that works on the whole body. It helps you develop greater leg endurance and improves cardiovascular fitness as well. It can even aid your weight loss journey. By doing this form of cardio, you can burn 360 to 520 calories in an hour. All you have to do is adjust the speed and intensity to suit your fitness level. 

3. Running

Running is another great cardio exercise. It is one of the top 15-minute exercises for burning fat. It offers a range of health benefits, including burning fat. It can help you build and strengthen muscle, improve your cardiovascular health, boost your mood, and maintain a healthy weight. How many calories you burn depends on the intensity by which you run.

4. Walking 

Walking is the easiest and most low-impact workout anyone can do. Brisk walking is great for losing and maintaining a healthy weight. Also, it offers a series of health benefits. Walking regularly can help reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. It can improve cholesterol levels, strengthen bones and muscles, lower blood pressure, and boost mental health. 

5. Cycling

Cycling is excellent not only for kids but for adults too. This low-impact exercise can help make you fitter, healthier, and happier. It can improve your cardiovascular health and bone strength, as well as tone your abdominal muscles. As a workout that improves your overall health and fitness, it is a perfect option to take up to lose some weight.

6. Sprinting

Sprinting is a type of interval training that alternates between high-intensity bursts of speed and brief periods of rest or recovery. This type of training can help you improve your speed, agility, and cardiovascular fitness. In sprinting, your high-intensity bursts (sprints) last for 30 to 90 seconds and your rest periods last anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes between sprints. The rest periods allow your muscles to recover so you can perform the next high-intensity burst more effectively. You can burn many calories by counting on this type of interval training.

7. Elliptical

Elliptical machines are a form of exercise equipment available at most gyms. It is designed to provide a low-impact cardio workout that is safe for people with knee or joint issues. The pedals on an elliptical trainer move in a smooth motion. So your joints don’t have to bear the brunt of your workout like they would if you were running on a treadmill. 

8. Jump rope

Jump rope is a perfect workout for adults. It is a full-body cardio exercise that can lend you a hand in shedding kilos. When jumping rope, you are engaging both your upper and lower body. It gets your heart rate up and burns calories. Jumping rope can be a good source of fun and exercise at the same time.

Also read: ABHA Card

Benefits of cardio exercise

In addition to being a highly effective tool for weight loss, regular cardio exercise offers a wide range of health benefits for both the body and mind. Here’s a quick rundown of the health benefits you can reap by incorporating cardio exercise into your routine.

Improves cardiovascular health

  • Strengthens the heart muscle and improves its efficiency.

  • Lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues.

Boosts lung capacity and function

  • Increases the amount of oxygen your lungs can take in and deliver to the body.

  • Improves overall lung function and efficiency.

  • Reduces the risk of respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis.

Strengthens bones and muscles

  • Weight-bearing cardio exercises like running and jumping rope help build and maintain strong bones.

  • Cardio workouts also engage and strengthen multiple muscle groups throughout the body.

  • Helps prevent age-related bone and muscle loss.

Enhances brain function and mental health

  • Increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, improving cognitive function.

  • Releases endorphins, the body's natural "feel good" chemicals, boosting mood and reducing stress.

  • Regular cardio exercise has been linked to a lower risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Improves sleep quality

  • Cardio workouts can help regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

  • Promotes deeper, more restful sleep by reducing stress and anxiety levels.

  • Helps combat insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Boosts immune system function

  • Regular moderate-intensity cardio exercise has been shown to strengthen the immune system.

  • Helps the body fight off infections and illnesses more effectively.

  • Reduces inflammation throughout the body, which can contribute to chronic diseases.

Increases energy levels

  • Improves overall cardiovascular fitness and endurance, making everyday activities feel easier.

  • Boosts circulation and oxygen delivery to the body's cells, providing a natural energy lift.

  • Helps combat feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.

Promotes longevity

  • Regular cardio exercise has been linked to a longer lifespan and improved quality of life in older adults.

  • Helps maintain independence and mobility as we age by keeping the body strong and functional.

  • Lowers the risk of chronic diseases that can shorten lifespan, such as obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Tips on Getting the Most Out of Cardio Exercise

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your cardio workouts for optimal weight loss results:

Find activities you enjoy

  • Choose cardio exercises that you find fun and engaging.

  • You're more likely to stick with a workout routine if you actually enjoy it.

  • Mix up your workouts to prevent boredom and challenge your body in new ways.

Aim for consistency

  • Make cardio a regular part of your weekly routine, aiming for at least 3-5 sessions per week.

  • Schedule your workouts in advance and treat them like important appointments.

  • Consistency is key for seeing results and maintaining weight loss long-term.

Gradually increase intensity and duration

  • Start with shorter, less intense workouts and progressively increase over time as your fitness improves.

  • Aim to keep your heart rate elevated in the moderate to vigorous range for maximum calorie burn.

  • Increase the length of your workouts by a few minutes each week to continue challenging your body.

Incorporate interval training

  • Add short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity movement.

  • Interval training is highly effective for boosting metabolism and burning fat.

  • Try HIIT workouts or add sprints to your regular cardio routine.

Fuel your body properly

  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after your workouts.

  • Don't exercise on an empty stomach, but also avoid eating heavy meals right before cardio.

Vary your workouts

  • Incorporate a mix of different cardio exercises and intensities throughout the week.

  • This helps prevent boredom, challenges different muscle groups, and optimises results.

  • Try combining activities like running, cycling, swimming, HIIT, and dancing.

Listen to your body

  • Pay attention to how your body feels during and after workouts.

  • Push yourself, but avoid overtraining, which can lead to injury or burnout.

  • Give yourself adequate rest and recovery days each week to allow your body to rebuild and recharge.

Set goals and track progress

  • Set specific, measurable weight loss and fitness goals to stay motivated.

  • Track your workouts, including type, duration, and intensity.

  • Celebrate your progress and achievements along the way, no matter how small.

By following these tips and staying dedicated to your cardio routine, you'll be well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals and improving your overall health and fitness. Remember, every workout counts, so give it your all and stay consistent. Your leaner, stronger, more energised self awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here is a list of some common questions and answers about cardio exercises and weight loss.


Is 30 minutes of cardio enough to lose weight?

For beginners, yes 30 minutes of cardio exercises every day is good. It's also advised to follow a calorie deficit. 

How do cardio exercises affect weight loss?

Cardio exercises can help you burn more calories if you do them at least 5 days per week. 

Which form of cardio burns the most fat?

Running and HIIT are two cardio exercises that burn a good amount of calories. 

What happens if you stop cardio?

You will notice decreased muscle mass when you stop cardio for a longer time. You may also experience a reduction in your muscular endurance.

Can cardio burn belly fat?

You can burn overall fat, including belly fat, if you combine cardio and resistance training with a suitable diet.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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