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Burn Fat Faster by Diversifying Your Cardio Routine

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Listen up, if you’re a cardio queen! What’s a cardio queen you ask? A cardio queen basically does “only cardio” for exercise because “I don’t want to get too bulky” or “I don’t like lifting weights!” Cardio exercise is good for you but you need more than just cardio exercise to give you the lean,toned and healthy body you want and need!

So, here is my Top 5 List to get you started on the way to blasting the fat and getting the lean and toned body that you want:

1. Make a commitment to a lifetime of fitness. This commitment trumps all other fitness commitments. Without it, you will always fall prey to the inevitable obstacles and pitfalls along the way.

2. Be willing to change your eating habits! Sixty to 70% of your fitness goal success or failure will depend on good nutrition. Since we must eat to survive, get ready to change!

3. You must change your body composition! You must increase muscle mass to become a “fat-burning machine.”

4. You must do more than cardio exercise to change your body composition!

5. Make a commitment to full-body strength training! Among other things, it speeds up your metabolism and helps improve your bone density. And, you’ll look great!

It is a good idea to start your training program with 3 days-a-week of full-body circuit weight training tailored to your body type. Circuit weight training (including bodyweight circuits) has dual benefits as a strength/cardio workout. This type of training has been proven to effectively burn fat and improve heart function.

Combine circuit weight training with 2-3 days-a-week of interval cardio exercise and you will burn even more fat. Twenty minutes per cardio session is enough to get the job done. Slow, steady-state, long-duration cardio (45 minutes or more per session) eats away at your muscle mass! And, you won't get bored doing 20-minute cardio sessions!

You could also split your strength or cardio workouts into 2 separate workouts. Research proves that two 20-minute workouts will burn more fat and calories than one 40-minute workout. Doing a second workout during the day (even a short one) keeps growth hormone levels high throughout the day.

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EmpowHER Guest

I agree with most of these points, especially that you make a committment to a lifetime of fitness. The most important part of any exercise routine is that you enjoy it so that you can continue doing it for life. I have read many experts who say the exact opposite thing about exercise and losing weight. They say exercising at lower intensity (such as brisk walking) for longer periods (more than 45 minutes) burns fat most effectively and for the best fat-burning results, you should do this first thing in the morning before eating so that you use stored fat rather than carbs as fuel. This works for me because it's easy to do and free. I walk out the front door, put on my pedometer and Ipod and go. I usually walk/jog 4-5 miles in an hour to an hour and 10 minutes, most days of the week. Since starting this routine 3 years ago, I've lost 25 pounds and have kept it off. I started adding a 7-10 mile hike once a week this past January and in June I joined a new gym and now I try to do a little weight training once or twice a week. I know I should do more weight training but it's not fun so I often make excuses not to go. I try to go to Jazzercise once a week (which is fun) but sometimes I oversleep and miss the class. Fast walking is something I can always do, anywhere I happen to be and as long as I have music to listen to, it's fun and I enjoy it. That's why this program works. I'm 52 years old and look better than most women half my age. The simple goal of taking 10,000 steps a day has worked for me. I can't reach it without doing my daily walk. I think your advice is asking too much of most people as it's too different from what most people routinely do.

September 24, 2009 - 1:09pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Congratulations, it is tough to make yourself get up in the morning and get moving. Good for you that you can keep it up most days and have kept off the weight. When I have the motivation, morning workouts are my favorite. You feel so good the whole day.

If you belong to a gym, another realistic way to switch up your cardio routine is to do 10 minutes on every machine. Usually there are at least 6 different machines to choose from (stair master, elliptical, sitting bike, standing bike, treadmil, row machine, stair stepper, etc). It is easy to tell yourself you can do anything for 10 minutes. Before you know it an hour has gone by. Your body also won't get use to the same machine, therefore you are constantly using different muscles.

It is always good to change things up!

September 24, 2009 - 4:13pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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