How to Burn Fat With Cardio Workouts

How to Burn Fat With Cardio Workouts

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Burn fat with aerobic exercise such as cycling.

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A well-rounded exercise program includes a fat-burning cardiovascular workout, especially if weight loss is one of your fitness goals. The secret to a successful cardio workout that uses fat as fuel lies in your heart rate. Not only does your heart pump the oxygen-filled blood to your working muscles, the rate at which it beats determines whether or not you are burning fat.

Calculate your target heart rate training zone before beginning your cardio workout. Subtract your age from 220 and multiply the result by 0.60 and 0.80.

Select a cardiovascular exercise that is rhythmic, full-body and one that you can consistently do for an extended time period. Choose from activities such as walking, swimming, biking, skating, dancing, stair climbing or jogging.

Perform your selected exercise at a low-intensity level for 5 minutes to warm up and prepare your body for the workout. For example, if your exercise is jogging, walk for 5 minutes first.

Increase your workout speed to an intensity level that feels moderate to hard. After 5 to 10 minutes, locate your pulse with your first two fingers pressed against the side of your neck or just below the base of your thumb on the underside of your wrist.

Count the beats you feel within 10 seconds. Multiply the number of beats by six and determine if your heart rate is within your pre-determined 60 to 80 percent fat-burning heart rate range.

Increase your speed if you are below your heart rate range. Decrease your speed if you are above your range. As your fitness level improves, aim to stay toward the higher end of your training range to burn a greater number of calories and overall fat.

Exercise within your training range for a minimum of 45 minutes to burn fat and aid in weight loss. Aim to perform your cardio exercise for 45 to 90 minutes for at least five days of the week.

Slow down your pace for the last 5 minutes of your workout to cool down your body.


  • Vary your cardiovascular workouts to keep your body and mind stimulated. The type of exercise is not as important as the intensity and duration of your workout, so choose exercises that you enjoy.


  • Talk with your physician before you begin a fat-burning exercise program. If you take any heart medications, speak with your doctor about the correct training zone for you.