Most of us are already aware of the several health benefits cardiovascular training provides; however to quickly recap, these include improved heart and lung capacity, reduced the risk of diseases (i.e. coronary heart disease, diabetes etc.) and increased fitness.
Despite the obvious health benefits though, one thing the majority of us are most concerned with, is the role of cardio workouts or exercises, when trying to burn fat.
As the saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat” and the same applies to burning fat. Here is how the two most common forms of cardio exercises are in relation to burning the fat to improve overall body composition.
LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) Cardio Workout
Low intensity steady state cardio exercise is a popular method used by many recreational gym goers in an attempt to lose fat.
It involves working at a low to moderate intensity, and maintaining a steady heart rate over a prolonged period of time, to allow the body to use its fat stores as its main fuel source for providing energy.
Because of its low intensity nature and low energy demand, LISS sessions must last from 30 to 90 mins and once you complete this cardio workout, the calorie burn and benefits of that workout stop almost instantly.
Here’re some LISS Cardio Exercises You Can Try Today
- Brisk walking
- Steady cycling
- Steady rowing
- skateboarding or surfing
Do any of the above exercise for at least 35-minutes
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Cardio Workout
High intensity interval training is fast becoming the preferred method of training for burning fat. HIIT consists of working out close to maximum heart rate for a short periods of work followed by an even shorter rest period.
Due to the high energy demand, and the overall stress placed on the body, HIIT sessions should last between 10-30mins. As a result of the high intensity nature of these sessions; HIIT continues to burn calories for a long time after the work out as ended.
Some reports suggest that the increased calorie burn can last for as long as 24-48 hours after. This differs from LISS cardio, where the calorie burn stops almost instantly after the workout has finished.
Despite its short duration and excess calorie burn, HIIT doesn’t have to be performed on a cardio machine or outside running. Instead it can be incorporated alongside resistance training.
This unique blend of training will allow you to get the benefits of both cardio exercise and resistance training in one workout.
When planning on adding in cardio exercises to your current fitness routine for the sole purpose of burning fat, the following points should be considered:
- Is your cardio workout specific?
- What method of cardio exercise do you prefer?
- Do you want your cardio workout to interfere with your strength gains and burn muscle?
6 Best No Equipment HIIT Cardio Exercises to Burn Fat
- High Knees
- Butt Kicks
- Jumping Jacks
- Basic Burpees
Do Each Exercise for 1-Minute & Take a Break for 1-Minute
Diet, Nutrition & Workout
It is important to note that nutrition and exercise both play a key role in improving overall health, body composition and performance.
Nutrition is a complicated and ever evolving topic and with so much misleading information out there, it can be hard to know where to start!
So, here are some tips to follow, when you want to burn some fat with a well-balanced diet!
A well-balanced diet should include a wide variety of wholesome minimally processed foods, a host of fibrous fruits and vegetables, and lots of water (around 1-2 litres per day).
Below are some general guidelines for implementing good nutrition to burn fat & lose weight
- 80% of your overall food intake should come from wholesome foods
- Allow for only 20% of your total food intake to come from processed foods
- Eat protein with every meal/ snack
- Drink 2 glasses/ 1 pint of water with each meal
- Aim to snack on low to moderate carb and high protein sources
- Choose a plate size relevant to your goal and size
- Eat plenty of green fibrous vegetables with each meal
You have probably heard that – “It’s all about the exercise!” or “It’s all about the diet!” or “To get results its 80% diet and 20% exercise!”, but on the contrary, it’s all about 100% living a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and exercise that achieves sustainable long lasting results.
You lifestyle includes the food you eat, the liquid you drink, how much exercise you do, how much you work/ study, how much sleep do you get, the people you socialise with.
Adherence to both the training plan and nutrition guidelines, should result in a significant improvement over a period of time.