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Most Effective Types Of Cardio For Losing Weight & Toning Your Body

It is a common fact, that in order to lose fat that you have to get your heart rate going and the only way to do this is to engage in cardiovascular activities, A.K.A cardio.

1. Treadmill
Target: Arms, Legs, Hamstrings, Glutes.

While using the treadmill, you are working out your legs and arms. For those of you who are looking to target your upper legs, you should increase the incline. When there is no incline your lower legs are doing most of the work, but when you set the incline high your hamstrings and glutes take on more pressure, making your workout more effective. Increasing the incline not only helps tone your legs but also helps strengthen and tighten your abdominal muscles, since they also feel more pressure and work to help you stabilize your body. Not only are you increasing the effectiveness of your workout (by strengthening your muscles) but you are also burning more calories than you would walking with no incline!

Take home message: if you are planning on running on the treadmill, make the most of it and increase the incline. Go high or go home!


+130 pound woman: burns approximately 130 calories / 15 min
+180 pound man: burns approximately 180 calories/ 15 min.

2. Exercise Bikes
Target: Legs, Hamstrings, Lower abdominal.

The two types of exercise bikes that people use are: the recumbent bike and the upright bike. The obvious difference between the two is that the recumbent bike is more comfortable than the upright. Although both bikes work out your legs, due to the positioning of your legs – your hamstrings are doing more work on the recumbent bike, compared to the upright bike. Both the recumbent bike and the upright bike workout the lower abdominal muscles; however the recumbent bike is much more effective at targeting your abs, especially when the seat is closer to the pedals. The closer the seat is to the pedals the greater the impact on your lower abdominal muscles.


+130 pound woman: burns approximately 125 calories / 15 min
+180 pound man: burns approximately 165 calories/ 15 min.

3. Swimming
Target: All muscles, flexibility.

Swimming is a great cardio exercise because it works almost all muscles your muscles!. Also due to water resistance, swimming helps build strength, which is very effective for toning your body. Swimming is also one of the safest cardio exercises, due to the fact that your joints are more mobile in water and there is not that much force exerted on them. Swimming is an excellent exercise if you are looking to improve your flexibility or are having joint pains.

+130 pound woman: burns approximately 150 calories / 15 min
+180 pound man: burns approximately 205 calories/ 15 min.

4. Skipping
Target: Legs, Quadriceps, Glutes, Core.

A cardio exercise that most people seem to neglect and the one, which burns a lot of calories is Skipping.

Skipping is very effective if you want to work out your legs, specifically targeting your quadriceps and gluts. Not only are you working out your legs but if the rope is at an appropriate length you are also working out your upper body because you are extending and flexing your arms with every jump. Since jumping rope requires you to balance, you will be using your core the entire time, which will help you get you one step closer to those rock hard abs. So if you don’t have a gym pass, you can easily find a skipping rope for $5-10 and begin burning calories and toning that body at home!

+130 pound woman: burns approximately 177 calories / 15 min
+180 pound man: burns approximately 245 calories/ 15 min.


Interval training is the most effective way for burning fat and increasing your fitness. In regards to burning fat, it is very important that each individual calculates their target heart rate. The formula to calculate target heart rate is “(220 minus your age) x .85” this will ensure that your heart rate is at an optimal level to burn fat.

With that being said, do a minute and half at your target heart rate and then one minute on a slower speed, to slow down your heart rate. You will find this strategy to help burn fat more efficiently!

Written by: Noreen

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