The bottom line when it comes to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. Adding cardiovascular exercise to your routine is a good way to create the calorie deficit necessary for dropping unwanted pounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting 150 to 300 minutes of exercise each week, with times on the higher end of this range being effective for weight loss. Talk to your doctor before starting a new workout program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends walking as a good form of cardiovascular exercise. This choice is ideal for beginners and experts because you can tailor the workout to your abilities and goals. In addition, walking works the muscles in your lower body, which helps tone and define them. Carry dumbbells to increase the muscular benefit to your upper body. In general, walking for one hour burns between 200 and nearly 500 calories, depending on your body size and speed.
MayoClinic.com suggests aerobic dancing as a form of vigorous exercise, which means it burns a higher number of calories than lower-intensity choices. In addition, it provides an all-over workout, making it ideal for getting in shape. Most recreation centers and gyms offer aerobic dance classes tailored to a variety of skill levels. Start with an easier class and progress to more advanced sessions as you gain endurance and strength. A typical one-hour class burns as many as 800 calories, depending on the intensity and your current weight.
Burpees challenge your whole body and get your heart rate elevated at the same time, perfect for toning and weight loss. The exercise is recommended by personal trainer Bob Harper as one of the best moves for dropping excess weight. To do a burpee, start in a squat position, knees bent at 90 degrees and arms at your sides. Extend your feet behind you by kicking into a pushup position. Without resting, bring your feet back to the squat position and jump as high as you can, extending your arms overhead. Land in the starting position. Continue for at least 30 seconds. Mix burpees with other cardiovascular exercises to enhance the calorie burn.
Many people choose interval training because it works well for many types of exercise. Intervals involve working out a moderate pace for a set period of time, mixed with short bouts of high-intensity exercise. For example, walk briskly for three minutes, then jog for one minute. Alternate back and forth for 30 to 60 minutes. This type of workout burns more calories than traditional versions and allows you to shorten your exercise time, if desired. Interval training also builds your cardiovascular endurance, helping you get in shape.