Home » Cardio To Lose Weight: How Much Cardio Is Required?

Cardio To Lose Weight: How Much Cardio Is Required?

Cardio To Lose Weight
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Physical activity could be a good way to keep your weight in check. Cardio or cardiovascular exercises may help you achieve weight management goals and improve overall health.

A combination of cardio workouts and a balanced diet is essential when aiming to shed pounds.  However, the requirement for the intensity and frequency of cardio could vary depending on factors such as age, eating habits, gender, or overall health.

This exclusive article will give you a detailed understanding of cardio. It will also provide insights into the types of cardiovascular exercises. You’ll also learn how often and with what intensity you should perform cardio exercises.

What Is Cardio?

“Cardio” refers to any cardiovascular exercise that raises your heart rate and increases oxygen consumption. It may involve repetitive movements that engage large muscle groups, such as cycling, running, swimming, or jumping rope.

The cardio needed for weight loss may vary based on personal factors like diet, age, weight, and daily activity level.


Requirement Of Cardio Activity That You Need

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC have set forth specific recommendations regarding cardio. These might help you determine the cardio activity needed for weight loss. The guidelines suggest including a weekly workout routine that includes:

  • 150—300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (e.g., brisk walking, badminton, or cycling at a moderate pace)
  • 75—150 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (e.g., running, hiking, or soccer)
  • A combination of vigorous and moderate activities
  • Strength-building exercises involving major muscle groups at least twice a week (e.g., lifting weights, working with resistance bands, heavy gardening, or some forms of yoga)

Combining cardio with strength training exercises may help enhance lean muscle mass, which may help burn calories and increase resting metabolism rate, supporting weight loss efforts.

How Does Cardio Help You Lose Weight?

Cardio may boost metabolism, which could help burn more calories. Consistent cardio training could enhance endurance levels, making it easier to engage in intense workouts over time.

  • Burn More Calories

    Cardio activities like swimming, cycling, running, hiking, and dancing might effectively burn calories while engaging your cardiovascular system. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more calories you could burn during the session. However, changing your exercises to focus on different muscle groups and keeping your workouts engaging is essential.

  • Focus On Moderate Eating

    While engaging in cardio for weight loss, you should avoid imposing strict restrictions on your eating habits. This may help you maintain a balanced and sustainable diet for optimizing calorie control, potentially leading to weight loss.

    Regular cardio could aid in regulating blood glucose and insulin levels while keeping the body weight in check. These effects may reduce blood sugar fluctuations that induce hunger cravings, helping focus on moderate eating.

    Benefits of Avoiding Food Restrictions Explanation
    Greater Sustainability Sticking to dietary changes in the long term is easier by not eliminating entire food groups.
    Balanced Nutrition Moderation and making mindful food choices could support your weight loss efforts without making you feel deprived.
    Improved Relationship with Food Avoiding strict rules promotes a healthier mindset towards eating and reduces feelings of guilt.
    Enhanced Energy Levels A well-rounded diet may provide the necessary fuel for cardio workouts, optimizing performance and results.
  • Create A Balanced Workout

    Cardiovascular exercise (cycling, running, or swimming) may help burn calories, improve heart health, boost metabolism, and enhance endurance. Strength training (including weight lifting or bodyweight exercises)could help build lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, and improve overall strength.

    Cardio could help burn calories, while strength training may aid in converting fat to muscle and burn calories even at rest. This combination may promote weight loss and enhance body composition, overall fitness, and metabolic rate.

How Often Do You Need To Do Cardio To Lose Weight?

Here are some guidelines on how often you should do cardio to achieve your weight loss goals:

  • Frequency: The general recommendation is to engage in cardio exercises at least 4 to 5 days a week to see significant long-term results.
  • Progression: If you are new to exercising or have been inactive, start with 2 to 3 days a week and gradually increase the frequency as your fitness levels improve.

Which Cardio Exercises Burn Weight The Fastest?

When aiming to maximize calorie burn during cardio exercises for weight loss, focusing on engaging the body’s larger muscle groups at a moderate to vigorous intensity is beneficial. This approach helps in burning more calories efficiently.

Specific cardio exercises are known to burn weight the fastest.

  • Swimming: Swimming is a medium-intensity full-body cardio workout that may burn approximately 255 calories in 30 minutes. It may engage multiple muscle groups and is easy on the joints, making it suitable for those looking to shed weight efficiently.
  • Cycling: Cycling is a more suitable cardio exercise for those seeking a more challenging exercise. Depending on the intensity, a person could burn around 300 calories per hour during cycling. It engages lower body muscles and the core.
  • Running: It is a high-intensity cardio exercise that involves major muscle groups like glutes, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, and calf muscles. On average, a person may burn between 280 to 520 calories per 30 minutes while running.
  • Hiking: Hiking is a moderate-intensity activity. It helps burn calories proportionate to your weight, which means the more you weigh, the more your body tends to burn calories during hiking. It could burn 185 calories in 30 minutes.
  • Dancing: The number of calories burned during dancing depends on the intensity and duration. On average, you could burn between 90 and 126 calories in 30 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Does Stress Impact Weight Loss Progress When Including Cardio Into a Routine?
    Stress may hinder weight loss by increasing cortisol levels, promoting fat storage, and disrupting metabolism. Managing stress through adequate sleep, relaxation techniques, and a balanced lifestyle is crucial for optimal weight loss results.
  • Can Hormonal Imbalances Affect the Effectiveness of Cardio for Weight Loss?
    Fluctuations in cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones can affect metabolism, energy levels, and fat storage. These hormonal imbalances may hinder weight loss progress despite regular cardio exercise.
  • Are There Specific Time Frames During the Day More Optimal for Cardio?
    Engaging in cardio at any time during the day can aid weight loss by burning calories and improving cardiovascular health. Consistency and finding a time that fits your schedule and energy levels are important.
  • How Does Age Play a Role in Determining the Amount of Cardio Needed for Weight Loss?
    Age impacts the amount of cardio needed for weight loss. Older individuals may require longer or more frequent sessions due to metabolic changes and decreased muscle mass. Tailoring cardio routines to age-related factors is essential for effective weight loss.
  • Can Varying Intensities of Cardio Workouts Have Different Effects on Weight Loss Results?
    Varying intensities of cardio workouts might impact weight loss results differently. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may burn more fat in less time than moderate-intensity exercises. Combining different intensities could optimize weight loss outcomes.


Though cardio could be effective in weight loss, pairing it with strength training could double the impact. Try to find a balance between the duration, intensity, and frequency of cardio exercises to achieve sustainable results.

Consume a healthy diet according to your weight loss goals. Avoid consuming processed foods, limit added sugar, and stay hydrated to reach your weight loss goals.

Enjoy cardio exercises that may help you develop a habit. Going too hard on yourself might ruin your weight loss progress. Do not deprive yourself of the things you enjoy.

Sustainability is the key when doing cardio to lose weight, which is why you should find something that could get you moving daily for your overall health and well-being.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • It is recommended to consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before trying any tips or strategies.
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