Moderate- and vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise burn fat as energy. Examples of moderate-intensity exercise include walking, brisk walking, gentle bicycling, water aerobics and swimming. Vigorous cardio includes jogging, running, swimming laps and high-impact aerobics. Moderate-intensity cardio is ideal fat-burning exercise if you are elderly, infirm or new to exercise. Vigorous cardio is appropriate if you are young, fit and strong.
Perform your cardio exercises three to five days per week.
Perform 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercises on a variety of fitness equipment in a gym. Do a 10- to 15-minute brisk walk on the treadmill, 10 to 15 minutes on the stationary or recumbent bike and 10 to 15 minutes on the rowing machine. If you are fit and used to exercise, compile 45 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio with a 15-minute jog or run on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the stationary bike and 15 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Aerobic classes can form an integral part of your cardio plan to burn fat. According to MayoClinic.com, a 200-lb. person burns 637 calories in 60 minutes of high-impact aerobics. Activities such as Zumba, an intense aerobic workout based on salsa and other Latin dance steps, may burn more calories. The “New York Times,” however, cautions against the risk of injury due to the frenzied nature of Zumba workouts — so ensure that your Zumba instructor is fully certified. Zumba may not be an ideal activity if you are new to exercise, elderly or infirm. Gentler exercises such as low-impact and water aerobics will also burn fat without excessive strain on your cardiorespiratory system, musculature and joints.
Jog or run outdoors for 30 to 60 minutes. A 200-lb. person jogging at 5 miles per hour for 60 minutes will burn 728 calories; for the same person, running at 8 mph for 60 minutes will burn 1,229 calories. If you are new to exercise or elderly, walking might be a more ideal fat-burning activity. A 200-lb. person walking at 2 mph for 60 minutes will burn 228 calories; brisk walking, at 3.5 mph, will burn 346 calories.
Leisure bicycling for 45 to 60 minutes elevates your heart rate and burns fat without placing your body under excessive stress. If you are young, fit and strong, chose vigorous bicycling by increasing your speed or incorporating hills in your route.
Do high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, once a week to accelerate fat loss and boost your metabolism.
Incorporate HIIT with any of your favorite cardio exercises. For example, when bicycling, do a 2-minute warmup, then adopt your usual cycling speed for 3 minutes. Inject a 30-second sprint, then return to your usual speed. Repeat this pattern six times for an intense cardio routine of just over 20 minutes. When jogging or running, meanwhile, intersperse 20-second sprint intervals with periods at your usual running speed.
If you are performing moderate cardio such as walking, inject 30-to 60-second intervals of brisk walking into your usual routine.
source: Livestrong By Ollie Odebunmi