Cardio is a great way to start your weight loss journey.

It is a workout routine that not only gets your heart pumping, but also helps burn maximum calories, which is extremely crucial if your aim is to lose weight.

In addition, cardio workouts are known to improve cardiovascular health.

From lowering blood pressure to regulating blood sugar levels, these set of exercises work wonders for your health.

Is cardio enough?

While cardio has an array of health and fitness benefits, it alone cannot give you all you desire. Whether you’re a regular gym-goer, or someone who is into home workouts, just indulging in cardio may not be enough. In addition, what you need to note is that too much cardio can also spike your hormones, especially cortisol, which is a stress hormone. This can affect your brain and instruct it to store fat, especially around the belly and may even stop your body’s ability to process sugar, which can in turn make you gain weight.

So what do you do?

Combining strength training with cardio may speed up weight loss

According to experts, if the key is to lose body fat and to keep it off, then one must combine strength training with cardio to reap maximum benefits. This is because your metabolism is boosted by lean muscle tissue. Muscles, unlike fat, are denser and need calories at rest, which means the more muscles you have, the more calories your body will need at rest.

That said, if you just keep doing cardio, your only focus will be to burn calories, making your muscles weaker and letting body fat thrive. Therefore, replacing fat with muscle may actually result in weight gain.

So the best approach is to combine strength training with cardio, since the former helps muscles burn calories very efficiently. The more muscle you build, the more calories your body can burn. This way fat will reduce more quickly.

The best cardio workouts to do

Some of the best cardio exercises for weight loss include running (on treadmill or outside), HIIT workouts, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, climbing stairs and more. These require minimal equipment and can get your heart racing in no time.

The best strength training exercises to do

Strength training exercises include bodyweight exercises such as push ups, squats, glute bridge, lunges, burpees and lifting weights. Deadlifts, bicep curls, and barbell workout are some of the exercises that help form stronger, leaner muscles.

Give yourself a rest day

Exercising regularly uses most of our body’s stored energy and fluids, which is why rest and recovery is an equally essential component of an exercise routine. Besides providing the body the time to repair, rebuild, and strengthen itself between workouts, it also helps re-energize the body.