Is Running Really the Best Way to Lose Weight?
Everyone's first approach to weight loss is often to start a cardio routine, usually running a few times a week. But, is running really the best way to lose weight?
Weight loss comes down to being in a calorie deficit, which means expending more calories than you consume. While many people rely on cutting calories alone to lose weight, evidence suggests that this is not the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Achieving a calorie deficit is best done through a combination of diet and exercise. A simple rule to follow is the 80/20 rule: focus 80% on your diet and 20% on your workout.
Here are some of our favorite types of cardio that not only help you lose weight but also give you more energy and support a healthy sleep cycle. Sure, running is at the top of the list, but it’s not the only cardio out there!
The Best Cardio for Weight Loss
Running at a steady, moderate pace is an efficient way to lose body fat and improve cardiorespiratory fitness. However, running, especially on pavement or downhill, can be hard on your joints. If you feel pain in your knees or any part of your body, consider choosing another cardio workout.
High-impact, high-intensity cardio isn't for everyone. For those who suffer from joint pain, specifically in the knees, low-impact cardio like walking can be beneficial. To burn calories and lose weight, pick up the pace for a fast, moderate-paced walk.
The elliptical machine is a popular gym machine that offers low-impact exercise and minimizes stress on parts of the body prone to injury. It's an excellent option for a full-body workout in a relatively short amount of time.
Stairs or Stairmaster
Climbing stairs, either real stairs or using the machine, is one of the best cardio activities to burn fat. However, it can put a lot of weight on your joints, so if you have bad knees, avoid climbing stairs.
Cycling is one of the most adaptable types of cardio for weight loss. It can be done at high or low intensity depending on where you take your bike. Also, most gyms have stationary bicycles and spinning classes, so you can take this activity indoors if the weather isn’t cooperating.
Swimming is one of the best full-body cardio exercises. It's low impact, builds muscle, and burns a huge number of calories.
Rowing provides an excellent full-body workout. It works all the major muscles, with less impact than running, and burns more calories per hour than any other common aerobic exercise.
Jumping rope is great to combine with strength training. It can improve your balance, bone and heart health, coordination, and lung capacity.
HIIT training or high-intensity interval training has grown in popularity over the last few years. It is a short but very effective full-body workout that provides maximum fat burning.
Incorporating variety into your exercise routine makes it less likely you’ll get bored and quit. So keep things fresh and try something new this week!
For more information, talk to one of our Fitness Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request in our Mavyn web application.