The primary role of cardio exercise on a weight loss program is as fat burning exercise. Its job is to burn up as many calories for you as possible. After all,
every 7,700 calories burned is about one kilo of body fat gone!
Now, I’m sure you’ve heard the term many times before, but what exactly is cardio exercise?
Well, cardio exercise, as the name suggests, is simply any exercise whose main aim is to target your cardiovascular fitness – meaning your heart, lungs and blood circulation. In other words, it gets your heart pumping.
But like most things, cardio exercise comes in all shapes and sizes, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. By becoming familiar with fat burning exercise, how it works, why it works, and so on, you can be sure to always get the most out of your workouts.
One of the most common misunderstandings circulating these days about burning fat is the notion that you can exercise a particular area of your body to burn fat specifically from that area. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. It’s simply a lie that’s been spread by marketers of various exercise gadgets – for so long that it’s now commonly held to be true by many.
The truth is there’s no such thing as targeted fat loss. All you can do is use the best fat burning exercise possible – only your body decides where is comes off.
So many women who don’t really understand how genuine fat loss works are still under the misguided influence of targeted fat loss. As a result they waste a lot of time and energy with what they believe to be effective exercise for burning fat. But it isn’t.
The Development of Fat Burning Exercise
In the past, fat burning exercise had other issues.
Years ago exercising to burn calories was all about getting your body into what’s called the Fat Burning Zone. This is a range in exercise intensity level (measured by your heart rate) where your body burns mostly body fat for fueling exercise.
That meant that pretty much the whole weight loss industry was focused on long duration, low intensity cardio workouts. That’s why aerobics became so popular, along with workouts like Jazzercise, Boxercise, Tae Bo, and so on. At the time, these were considered to be the best form of fat burning exercise.
These days, our understanding of cardio exercise has improved greatly. We now know that the amount of fat you burn depends on how many calories you burn in a workout. And we know that the higher the intensity of your workouts, the more calories you burn.
That explains why High Intensity Interval Training has become so popular as a fat burning exercise in recent times.
What’s Right For You?
So then, does that mean that everyone should now be doing high intensity cardio exercise at the exclusion of other types?
Of course not. Everyone has their own special requirements, lifestyle, fitness level, amount of weight to lose, etc., and so there will never be one type of fat burning exercise that suits everybody. In some situations, even something as moderate as walking may be the most appropriate for weight loss.
Understanding how cardio exercise works and how to best use it will help you to make the best choices for your particular circumstances. This will allow you to burn calories as effectively as possible without running into any problems. It will also help you decide which of those exercise gadgets you see on TV – the ones that supposedly burn off the calories like butter in minutes, are really going to work for you.
I’ve tried a few of these myself over the years and not surprisingly, I’ve never found any to be at all effective. And on top of that, I always found them very difficult to use for more than a few sessions anyhow because of how mind-numbingly boring they usually are. I’m sure if you’ve ever tried one you’ll know what I mean.