We all know that the key to burning fat is a healthy balanced diet and a good exercise routine.
However, it can be difficult to know which exercises are the most effective when it comes to weight loss.
Here we have put together a guide to exercises which will help you to burn fat. All of these exercises are great workouts to help lose belly fat.
The term cardiovascular workouts covers a number of activities, including brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing and cross-country skiing.
It is exercise where your heart rate and breathing are raised to a moderate to vigorous intensity level.1
But is cardio good for weight loss?
Cardio burns calories and therefore helps with weight loss but you should ensure that you combine your cardio workouts with strength training, in order to maximise weight loss.2
Walking and fat loss go hand in hand.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine is by spending more time walking.
Walking can help you to lose weight and belly fat and walking just one mile can burn around 100 calories.3
Try walking for fat loss instead of taking the car or getting a bus. Or taking the stairs instead of getting in the lift wherever possible. And going for a country walk at the weekend.
Walking has been shown to have lots of other benefits too, including having a positive effect on your mindset and mental health.
Studies show that both running and jogging are some of the best exercises to help lose belly fat, which can otherwise be harmful to your internal organs.4
Running is also great exercise for burning calories overall. It is estimated that a person weighing 70kg burns around 298 calories, when running for 30 minutes, at a 5 mile per hour pace.5
Again, running is an easy and cheap way to add exercise to your week. You do not need any special equipment (aside from decent trainers) and you can do it anywhere.
If you are new to running, then programmes such as ‘Couch to 5k’ can really help to motivate you and get you started.
Get on your bike! As cycling is an aerobic exercise, it is a great exercise to help lose weight.
An hour’s bike ride can burn around 500 calories.6
Even just cycling to work can help to burn fat. Studies have shown that people who cycled to work for as little as 10 minutes each way lost weight and improved their BMIs over a period of two years.7
The great thing about cycling is that it can be done either outside or inside, depending on your preference.
Get out into the countryside or set up your turbo trainer or exercise bike in front of the TV – whichever works best for you!
If you find that exercises such as running are too hard on your joints, then swimming could be a good alternative for you.
It is low impact and can help tone your muscles, burn calories and increase your metabolism. Swimming can burn up to 500 calories per hour.8
As well as swimming, you can also use the pool for other water exercises to help you lose weight.
Why not try aqua fit? Doing aerobics in the water can also burn around 400 to 500 calories per hour.9
HIIT workouts (or high intensity internal training) are a type of cardio exercise where high intensity bursts of exercise are combined with short periods of rest.
The alternating of exercise and rest keeps your heart rate up and burns more calories in a short period of time.
You also continue to burn fat throughout the day, once you have finished your workout.
Studies have shown that HIIT workouts can burn up to 30% more calories than other cardio exercises when they are done for the same amount of time.10
HIIT workouts are perfect if you have a busy lifestyle, as you can do a HIIT workout for just 15 minutes and still see results. Although this does mean that there are no excuses not to work out!
Incorporating strength training into your workout routine is more effective than cardio alone.11
A good fitness routine might include three or four days of cardio exercises, lasting between 20 and 40 minutes, and two days which focus on strength training exercise.12
Strength training can include lifting weights, using resistance bands and body weight exercises such as lunges, squats and planks.
Ah, everyone’s favourite cardio exercise – burpees!
Burpees will get your heart pumping, thanks to their explosive movement and they work your core, chest, shoulders, lats, triceps and quads – great for a full body workout.
Read more: 17 weight loss tips to lose it for life
Last updated: 22 Janaury 2021
Author: Donia Hilal, Nutritionist
Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018. Donia has 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.
Donia has a special interest in; weight management, plant-based nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, special diets and disease risk reduction. Donia’s LinkedIn profile