What is the best exercise to lose weight? The best exercise to lose weight in a short amount of time, in my opinion, would be one of the variations to cardiovascular exercise – the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). In this article, I’ll share with you what cardiovascular exercise is, how it is normally done, what is HIIT, and the 4 reasons why I consider HIIT as the best workout to experience weight loss.
What Is Cardiovascular Exercise?
Cardiovascular, or ‘cardio’ for short, literally means the heart. Cardio exercises raise your heart beat rate for a period of time, training your heart and lungs to be stronger. It is also known as aerobic exercise. As the name suggests, aerobic exercises require continuous delivery of oxygen to your muscles, with your heart keeping up with the intensity of the workout.
Examples of aerobic exercise are jogging, brisk walking, swimming, and etcetera, where there is no or very little break in between routines. Cardio exercises can burn a huge amount of calories, if done correctly.
How Do People Normally Practice Cardio?
Many gym instructors and personal trainers advocate the “heart-rate” method. While long sessions of running on the treadmill could burn quite some calories, you must have the stamina to hold out through to the end of the sessions. Therefore, the intensity (how hard you train) of the workout must be at a level where your heart can keep up with.
Heart-rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. Maximum heart-rate means the maximum number of heartbeats your heart can sustain. The ideal “training zone” is approximately 60% to 80% of the maximum heart-rate. That is the intensity you should be training at for 30-60 minutes a session, 3-5 sessions a week.
I’ll illustrate how to calculate maximum heart-rate in the coming articles.
High Intensity Interval Training
Basically, I’m not the person who likes to stay on a treadmill for 60 minutes. Repeating the same movements at the same pace pretty much bore me out quickly. Let me share with you the best exercise to lose weight that I enjoy doing – the High Intensity Interval Training.
This is how it looks like:
- 3-4 minutes of warming up,
- 1 minute of intense running (approximately 75% of your capacity),
- 1.5 minutes of brisk walk,
- 1 minute of hyper intensive running (give it your all or beyond),
- 1.5 minutes of brisk walk.
Repeat the routine for 4 times for a full 20 minutes of fun workout.
4 Reasons Why HIIT Is The Best Exercise To Lose Weight:
- Short and Fun
As mentioned before, running on a treadmill at steady pace for 60 minutes is boring. In addition to that, 60 minutes per session is simply taking up too much of my time! A good HIIT workout burns way more fats and takes up only approximately 20 minutes a session.
- The potential physique development
Compare the physique of a sprinter and a marathoner. A sprinter has a lean and powerful looking physique. A marathoner, on the other hand, looks “sickly”. It is scientifically proven that prolonged cardio sessions could lead to muscles loss, giving you the skeletal look of a marathoner.
- The “Afterburn Effect”
HIIT leaves your body to recuperate heavily from all the ass-kicking you gave it during the workout. The recovery makes you expend approximately 9 times more energy than you usually do when you watch your favorite TV channel.This massive fat burning after a HIIT workout is known as the “Afterburn Effect” or “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” (EPOC). It usually lasts for several hours after the workout.
- Superior Heart Training
The rest-burst-recovery routine trains your heart to be able to withstand rapid changes, thus making it more capable in handling day to day stress and coping with different levels of blood pressure.
Cardio is undoubtedly an unavoidable exercise that you would have to practice if you want to experience weight loss in a short period of time. The HIIT makes cardio workouts short, interesting, and allows continuous fat burning even after the workout session.
That’s why High Intensity Interval Training is the best exercise to lose weight.