When it comes to a successful fitness routine, balance and consistency are key, and any activity is better than none… well sometimes. When it comes to burning fat, understanding how much cardio is enough, how much is too much, and the right types of cardio to reach your goals are very important components to your success. Ahead, we’re talking about signs you may not be doing enough cardio, plus four cardio workouts for weight loss.
The Benefits of Cardio For Weight Loss
Cardio has been proven to help increase your chances of losing weight, and maybe even more importantly, keep it off. But shedding inches aside, cardiovascular training is an important part of living a healthy life because it may help support:
4 Signs You’re Not Doing Enough Cardio
If you’re incorporating cardio into your weekly workouts, but you’re still not seeing or feeling the results you want, more may be the answer. If you’re experiencing any of these 4 signs you’re not doing enough cardio, it’s time to amp it up!
#1 You Always Finish Your Workouts Feeling Like You Could’ve Done More
Are you holding back in your cardio sessions? If so, you’ll probably experience at least one of the following:
- Never breaking a sweat
- Feeling like the workout was “easy”
- Wondering if you should push yourself harder
If any of these are occurring, it’s time to take it up a notch. Feeling strapped for time? Instead of focusing on the number of minutes of cardio, start paying attention to the intensity. Can you increase your speed or resistance or add in some HIIT?
RELATED: HIIT Workouts At Home: Top Tips & Exercise Routines
#2 You’ve Hit a Weight Loss Plateau
If you’ve been losing weight steadily and then suddenly a few weeks go by and you’re making no progress, you’ve hit a plateau. There are a few ways to overcome a plateau — one of them is to increase the amount or intensity of cardio you’re doing. Take an honest assessment of how much cardio you’re actually doing or if you’re pushing yourself hard enough during those minutes.
#3 You’re Just As Out of Breath Doing The Same Workout For Weeks
If you’re coming back to your weekly cardio workouts week after week, not feeling like they’re getting any easier, it may be time to increase the frequency or amount of time you’re doing cardio. We know it sounds counter-intuitive, but this is a surefire sign you’re not getting your heart rate up enough each week.
#4 You Spend More Time Scrolling Through Your Phone Than Sweating
If you’re distracted during your cardio training, you’re probably not getting as much out of those priceless minutes as you could. Instead, put the phone away (or turn on do not disturb if you can), pop in some headphones, and blast some motivating and upbeat music that will help you keep tempo.
The Top 3 Cardio Workouts For Weight Loss
Have a love-hate relationship with cardio? We get it. If you’re not used to getting your heart rate up, or you haven’t found the right type of cardio workout for you, exercising can feel more like a chore. If you’re just starting out, know that falling in love with cardio can take time. But we promise it’s worth the investment. Finding the right type of cardio to get you hooked can also take some trial and error. Not into walking, running, swimming, or cycling? Try out these three calorie-blasting cardio workouts that are so engaging you’ll forget you’re exercising.
#1 Low Impact Cardio Blast
If you want to burn some major calories while also being nice to your joints, look no further than this 21-minute butt-kicking workout with Jeanette Jenkins. Exercises like step to leg lifts, lateral shuffles, and modified Burpees will give you that post-workout glow and high vibe energy to keep you motivated for the next workout.
#2 Fat Burn Cardio
Just like its name, this 24-minute Tabata cardio workout uses short and intense intervals to burn fat and help you lose inches quickly. Kenta Seki makes this workout super fun because he combines boxing exercises with agility and plyometric movements that will keep your body and mind guessing.
#3 Quick HIIT Fix
We can’t talk about cardio workouts for weight loss without talking about HIIT! This effective 22-minute HIIT workout will fire up your metabolism and have you burning extra calories for up to 24 hours after you’ve completed it. The exercises Breanne Mitchell guides you through, like high-lows, ski jump lunges, and mountain climbers, done at high intensity for short bursts, creates this “afterburn” effect, taking your cardio game to a whole other level.
Don’t Forget to Stretch After Your Cardio Workout!
The biggest factor in your weight loss success is consistency. If your body isn’t feeling good and ready to go for your next workout, you may be more tempted to skip it. Stretching after your workout is non-negotiable. It will keep your body feeling in tip-top shape and reduce your chance of injury so you can keep crushing your goals. If you want some stretching guidance, head over to the FitOn app’s Stretch section for a library of stretch routines.