Losing stubborn body fat and getting into the best possible shape typically requires aerobic activity. The range of aerobic methods available and the different ways in which to engage in cardio are many and is enough to cause confusion for many people.
As a Fitness Expert, I’m often asked the following questions: What are the best methods of aerobic exercise? Is there a perfect way to lose fat through cardiovascular means, and if so, what is it?
Aerobic activity by its very nature requires fat to be used as a primary fuel source, with carbohydrates and protein being used to a smaller extent. Therefore it is obvious that in order to lose fat, some degree of aerobic work will need to be done. But it’s the type of aerobic work needed for fat loss that is often the subject open to much debate.
Aerobic activities (typically done at a moderate intensity, although higher intensity aerobics has been shown burn more calories) constitute any form of exercise that is repetitive, long, and hard enough to challenge the heart and lungs to use oxygen as a fuel source to sustain the body over a longer period (15 to 20 minutes or longer).
Aerobic activities can include: rowing, swimming, cycling, running, skipping, fitness classes etc. ..and other variations of these. These types of exercises use the body’s largest muscle groups.
Exercising aerobically at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate (75% or more), burns more in the way of total calories, which adds up to greater fat total losses. So if your goal is fat loss, choosing higher intensity activities will be more beneficial to you. **To find out your MHR subtract your age from 220.)
Here is a list of some high-intensity exercises and an estimation of total calories burned per hour… Please keep in mind, total of calories burned depends on a variety of factors–such as the weight of an individual, and that these figure are simply approximations.
Running (approx 750 calories per hour)
Cycling (approx. 600)
Rowing (approx 800)
Swimming (approx. 600)
Skipping (approx. 1000)
Fitness Classes (600)