One of the most popular reasons for exercising is to burn fat. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get lean, or just stay generally fit and healthy, burning excess fat is at the heart of many long-term fitness plans.

And one of the most effective method for burning fat is, of course, cardio. But cardiovascular exercise is something of a blanket term, covering a myriad of different sports and activities. It’s defined as “anything exercise that raises your heart rate.” That covers a lot. From walking and running to tennis and football. But what are some of the most effective cardio exercises? And which ones could stand to help you burn the most fat in the most time effective manner?

Here’s our list of some of the most common and effective fat burning cardio exercises. . .

Indoor rowing

Both an incredible cardio exercise and a full body workout. Rowing targets a lot of body parts (lower and middle back, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and biceps). So whatever area you’re looking at working, chances are that a rowing machine will cover it.

This great all-rounder is a low-impact, high-reward exercise. It will improve muscle and joint mobility, reduce stress, and melts away fat whilst building up muscle.

Calories burned: 200 – 400 in 30 minutes.

Skipping

A classic, and the boxer’s staple. The humble skipping ropes have remained quietly popular in the face of modern cardio machines and fitness fads for good reason: they work.

Skipping is good for the heart, tones muscles in both the upper and lower body, and is incredibly effective for weight loss. What’s more? You can pick up a skipping rope for next to nothing, and the exercise itself requires barely any space to perform. So they’re an excellent choice for small budgets and smaller spaces.

Calories burned: 300 – 500 in 30 mins.

Running

The top dog of cardio. Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise around. Spend ten minutes driving through any town in the UK, on any given day, and you’ll probably spot at least one runner. And it’s not just because it’s free that people enjoy it.

Running is a mood-enhancing, fat-burning, addictive form of exercise. Known for its positive effects on mental health (), running gets you out in the fresh air, builds stamina and confidence, and requires nothing but a good pair of shoes and some comfortable clothing.

Calories burned: 300 in 30 mins (based on a rough weight of 10 stone).

Swimming

We’ve discussed some of the many health benefits of swimming previously on the blog. As a brief refresher, they include: lowered risk of diabetes, improved heart health, and greater longevity (among many more).

The beauty of swimming is its low impact nature, which means that anyone, no matter their level of fitness or age, can jump right in (pun intended) and start reaping the rewards of this fantastic water-based exercise immediately.    

Calories burned: 400 in 30 mins.

Cycling

Many people are filled with dread at the mere thought of cycling through the streets of England, with its potholes, hills, and general scarcity of cycle paths. But the stationary bicycle is an altogether different beast. These can be found scattered around most gyms, and offer a stress- (and traffic-) free alternative to an otherwise wonderfully healthy activity.

Depending on how hard you pedal, cycling can be an intense fat burning activity. Another low-impact exercise, it’s great for older people or those starting out with a lower level of fitness. And not only will cycling obliterate fat, it will also do a nice job of toning up your legs, glutes, and abs.

  Calories burned: 250 – 500 in 30 mins (depending on intensity and resistance).

Calculate your calories

The figures provided above are just rough estimates of the amount of calories you can expect to burn from 30 minutes of each exercise. But they are by no means completely accurate, as there are a number of factors, unique to you, that they fail to take into account.

If you’d like a more accurate projection of how many calories you can burn from the various activities, here’s a much more comprehensive calculator. It allows you to input your gender, age, height, and weight, then gives you an enormous list of activities to choose from (which even includes brushing your teeth, ironing, and gardening), before giving you estimate of how many calories you could expect to burn from each.

What’s your favourite?

As with many things in life, sticking to a cardio regime is all about motivation and enthusiasm. And those two things can only come from enjoyment, so it’s important to find an exercise that suits you. If you’d like to try out a variety of different cardio exercises, why not visit our gym, where you’ll find all manner of cardio machines to have a go at!

One of the most popular reasons for exercising is to burn fat. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get lean, or just stay generally fit and healthy, burning excess fat is at the heart of many long-term fitness plans.

And one of the most effective method for burning fat is, of course, cardio. But cardiovascular exercise is something of a blanket term, covering a myriad of different sports and activities. It’s defined as “anything exercise that raises your heart rate.” That covers a lot. From walking and running to tennis and football. But what are some of the most effective cardio exercises? And which ones could stand to help you burn the most fat in the most time effective manner?

Here’s our list of some of the most common and effective fat burning cardio exercises. . .

Indoor rowing

Both an incredible cardio exercise and a full body workout. Rowing targets a lot of body parts (lower and middle back, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and biceps). So whatever area you’re looking at working, chances are that a rowing machine will cover it.

This great all-rounder is a low-impact, high-reward exercise. It will improve muscle and joint mobility, reduce stress, and melts away fat whilst building up muscle.

Calories burned: 200 – 400 in 30 minutes.

Skipping

A classic, and the boxer’s staple. The humble skipping ropes have remained quietly popular in the face of modern cardio machines and fitness fads for good reason: they work.

Skipping is good for the heart, tones muscles in both the upper and lower body, and is incredibly effective for weight loss. What’s more? You can pick up a skipping rope for next to nothing, and the exercise itself requires barely any space to perform. So they’re an excellent choice for small budgets and smaller spaces.

Calories burned: 300 – 500 in 30 mins.

Running

The top dog of cardio. Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise around. Spend ten minutes driving through any town in the UK, on any given day, and you’ll probably spot at least one runner. And it’s not just because it’s free that people enjoy it.

Running is a mood-enhancing, fat-burning, addictive form of exercise. Known for its positive effects on mental health (), running gets you out in the fresh air, builds stamina and confidence, and requires nothing but a good pair of shoes and some comfortable clothing.

Calories burned: 300 in 30 mins (based on a rough weight of 10 stone).

Swimming

We’ve discussed some of the many health benefits of swimming previously on the blog. As a brief refresher, they include: lowered risk of diabetes, improved heart health, and greater longevity (among many more).

The beauty of swimming is its low impact nature, which means that anyone, no matter their level of fitness or age, can jump right in (pun intended) and start reaping the rewards of this fantastic water-based exercise immediately.    

Calories burned: 400 in 30 mins.

Cycling

Many people are filled with dread at the mere thought of cycling through the streets of England, with its potholes, hills, and general scarcity of cycle paths. But the stationary bicycle is an altogether different beast. These can be found scattered around most gyms, and offer a stress- (and traffic-) free alternative to an otherwise wonderfully healthy activity.

Depending on how hard you pedal, cycling can be an intense fat burning activity. Another low-impact exercise, it’s great for older people or those starting out with a lower level of fitness. And not only will cycling obliterate fat, it will also do a nice job of toning up your legs, glutes, and abs.

  Calories burned: 250 – 500 in 30 mins (depending on intensity and resistance).

Calculate your calories

The figures provided above are just rough estimates of the amount of calories you can expect to burn from 30 minutes of each exercise. But they are by no means completely accurate, as there are a number of factors, unique to you, that they fail to take into account.

If you’d like a more accurate projection of how many calories you can burn from the various activities, here’s a much more comprehensive calculator. It allows you to input your gender, age, height, and weight, then gives you an enormous list of activities to choose from (which even includes brushing your teeth, ironing, and gardening), before giving you estimate of how many calories you could expect to burn from each.

What’s your favourite?

As with many things in life, sticking to a cardio regime is all about motivation and enthusiasm. And those two things can only come from enjoyment, so it’s important to find an exercise that suits you. If you’d like to try out a variety of different cardio exercises, why not visit our gym, where you’ll find all manner of cardio machines to have a go at!