Nobody likes dieting for a long time that´s why I keep looking for shortcuts to speed up fat loss. While diet and strength training are way more important for fat loss cardio can still assist you on your fat loss journey.
These three types of cardio work best for me (and chances are they work great for you as well!).
#1 Skipping Rope
This may surprise you because most people never touch a jump rope again after they turn eleven. It is seen as a toy for children. But have you ever watched professional boxers – some of the most fit people on earth – train? Skipping rope is part of their daily training routines for a reason.
Jumping is great for conditioning and building endurance. You will work your whole body but the emphasis is on the legs, the biggest muscle group you have. If you are a runner you will benefit from the extra muscle skipping rope will build.
While as a beginner you won´t be able to jump for a full hour doing so would burn between 900 and 1200 calories depending on your weight and height. Try jumping for 60 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest for as long as possible. 15 minutes would already make a great HIIT workout.
You don´t have to spend more than 20$ on a rope. I bought a great jump rope with extra weights for 12$ at a local store. Do not overcomplicate this – just jump for 15 minutes and feel the burn.
Note that skipping rope is a high intensity exercise. Take at least two days a week off and get some rest for your legs. Experiment if you prefer jumping on a harder or softer ground. If you know you have problems with your ankles or knees skipping rope is not the right exercise for you. Don´t worry, you will still be able to lose weight. Just pick another form of cardio from this list.
I can talk for hours about the benefits of walking. It is low impact, almost everyone can do it, you can listen to music or make your daily walk a social event. No equipment is needed and you can do it literally everywhere.
Walking is one of the few exercises you can and should do every single day of your life. You will not need any recovery days and the risk of getting injured is very small. It also will not make you very hungry unlike other forms of cardio making it easier to stick to your diet.
Read more about the health benefits of walking here.
Swimming is my secret tool to shed fat in no time. Once you get into the rhythm swimming feels like meditating. Your mind gets calm, your body feels weightless in the water. I not only use swimming for fat loss but for relaxing as well. For me, an hour in the water is better than a day at Disneyland.
In the water you only have to bear about 85 percent of your body weight making swimming a low impact exercise. Swimming is especially helpful if you are injured or obese and can not jump or run but still want to get a good workout. Working out in the water is even recommended by the Arthritis Foundation to ease pain. Some studies hint that swimming can increase bone strength for some people.
But if you only care about fast fat loss and not about all the other benefits of swimming try to find a pool that is colder than body temperature. Your body needs to burn extra calories to keep you warm in the water making swimming even more effective for weight loss.
If you can not find a pool with a low water temperature don´t stress about it. You will already burn about 60 calories every ten minutes of slow breast strokes and 100 calories for every ten minutes of freestyle swimming. Do not make the mistake to keep up your head all the time. Your head and your spine should aligned at least 30 percent of the time to prevent injuries.
Drink at least two glasses of water after your workout. You are less likely to realize how much you sweat when you workout in the water.
The only downside of swimming is that it may be hard to make it a social event. Since your ears will be underwater half of the time striking up a conversation is nearly impossible.
If you have found another form of cardio that helps with losing weight fast please let me know in the comments below!