Best Cardio To Burn Fat And Calories: More Than Just Running!

best cardio to burn fat

It’s a known fact that cardio exercises are the best way to burn fat.  They increase your heart rate and metabolism, which both play important roles in weight loss.  But people tend to have a hard time staying consistent with their cardio exercises, whether it is too repetitive, boring, or just a lack of commitment.  Instead of just running on the treadmill as your only means of cardio exercising, try spicing up your regiment a little by adding new workouts.  There isn’t just one best cardio to burn fat, as they are all somewhat different, yet get the job done.

Types of Cardio Exercises

Low Impact – These types of exercises are easy on your muscles and joints.  It’s the only form some people can perform due to injuries, being overweight, or chronic  health problems.  Some examples of these activities are using the elliptical machine, stair-stepping machines, and swimming.

High Impact – High impact exercises put stress on your  knees, ankles, and hips.  However, they are great for building strength in your bones.  Running, jump rope, tennis, and aerobics are all examples of high impact activities.



Running is probably the most basic cardio exercise, but it gets the job done.  Whether you’re running on the track or on a treadmill, it’s a high impact exercise which helps build strong bones and connective tissue.  A person weighing 145 pounds can burn 300 calories by running about 5 miles per hour (mph) for 30 minutes.  The same person would burn about half of that by walking the same distance.  Running also builds your heart rate up quicker than lower impact exercises.

One of the greatest benefits of running is how convenient it is for anyone to do.  There is no equipment needed and you can do it just about anywhere, anytime.  Make sure you have comfortable running shoes though, otherwise your feet may hate you for it.

For a bigger challenge, run uphill or even with weights on yourself.  You can also change between running, jogging and walking for an interval type of training.

Somebody who has knee or leg problems might have difficulty running on hard surfaces such as cement.  Running constantly can cause joint point for some, meaning it’s better if you use a treadmill or run at the track.  There are also other forms of cardio you can do which are easier on your body, yet have the same fat burning results.


A bicycle can be used as a means for transportation, or for a great workout.  By using only the power of your legs, you can burn around 250-500 calories in 30 minutes, depending on how fast you are going. If you don’t own a bicycle, you can always use the stationary bike machines at your gym that have the same effect, but with more options such as different modes and difficulty.

This is a great option for people with knee or joint problems.  Bicycling is a low impact exercise that burns fat and calories just as well as any other cardio workout.  And it can be performed by both children and adults of all ages.

The best part about bicycling is that you can get to places while exercising at the same time.  Start bicycling to work or school instead of driving your car.  Or ride around with your friends on the weekend at the beach or park.  Just remember to always wear a helmet for safety.


If you know how to swim and you have access to a pool, I highly suggest you add this exercise to your list.  Swimming raises your heart rate, burns calories, boosts your lung capacity and gets your blood pumping all at the same time.  Because swimming allows you to feel relatively weightless, you may not even realize how hard you are actually working.

Swimming is perfect for people who can no longer run or do other land-based workouts for a long period of time because of previous injuries.  Since there is little to no physical impact with the ground, your heart is being taxed less than say running.  Swimming the breaststroke as a 125 pound person is said to burn around 300 calories in 30 minutes.


Take up kickboxing if you want a high energy, fun and effective cardio workout.  It’s both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise that helps burn fat faster than most other exercises.  A good kickboxing workout can burn up to 800 calories per hour.  You can expect to increase your strength, learn some kickboxing moves, and build self-confidence all at once.

Don’t know of any kickboxing classes around your area?  Try out this kickboxing course, which contains 32 lectures full of kickboxing moves and workouts.  What’s even better is you have the convenience of using this material anytime, anywhere so you don’t have to drive to a gym or classroom


Also known as jump training, plyometrics is an exercise technique used to increase muscular power and explosiveness.  It is used by many athletes that are in track, basketball, football and other high energy sports.  It works by implementing exercises that rapidly stretch a muscle (eccentric phase) and then rapidly shorten it (concentric phase).

You can expect to be doing a lot of jumping and hopping when doing plyometrics.  This in turn is also a great way to burn calories and fat.  It’s important you follow a trainer or professional who is familiar with plyometric exercises though, otherwise you could possibly injure yourself.  And don’t worry if you aren’t able to finish the entire workout on your first day, as it’s typically more intense than most other cardio exercises.


This aerobic dance class is a great cardio exercise that involves swiveling, shaking and pivoting to Latin music.  It’s a perfect fit for people who like to dance and exercise.  And since your core is constantly being engaged while dancing, you can expect to burn fat around your abdominal region.

Dancing Zuma for at least an hour burns around 450 calories.  However, not all Zumba courses are designed the same way.  To make the most of your sessions, focus more heavily on the faster songs to intensify your workout and burn more calories.  Use your arms and not just your legs when dancing.  Move up and down more on the floor.

Don’t Over-do-it 

You may be motivated to run 5 miles every day to burn as much fast as possible, which is great!  Alternatively, you can injure yourself from too much repetition and not enough rest.  Ideally you should spread what you do by switching from high impact to low impact activities.  Run a few miles on one day, then try swimming the next day.

Lose Fat By Eating Healthier

As great as all of these cardio exercises are at burning weight, it’s equally as important to make good decisions when it comes to your diet.  Author Jon Gabriel has an online course that will show you how to eat smarter and exercise right so you can lose fat and look good.  He lost over 200 pounds in less than 3 years without dieting or surgery using the same approach he teachers in his course.

So now that you have all these different options at your disposal, there are no more excuses as to why you aren’t doing cardio exercises.  As you can see, they all require different movements but are all effective at burning fat.  So give them all a try, and you might surprise yourself as to which one you enjoy the most!