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CALORIE CRUNCH: Cardio Fat Blasters

So after yesterday's post, y'all should be off your fad diet kick and ready to devote your soul to getting in shape the healthy way. Right???? That's what I thought. It's time to talk CARDIO. Barf. I'll admit - as much as I like fitness, I. hate. cardio. And I think I speak for most. But we all know that in order to lose one pound of fat, we have to burn 3,500 calories. And because I am anti-food deprivation, cardio is my only saving grace. The best cardio in my mind is one that you will actually do. Consistently. And hopefully kinda enjoy it. For me this means doing interval cardio training. If I don't move from one exercise to another, I seriously want to commit mental suicide. For example, I'll do the elliptical trainer for 15 minutes, then switch to the stationary bike for another 15 minutes and finish off on the treadmill for the last 15 minutes. Interval training is a great way to keep everything fresh.

Accroding to Shapefit.com, there are two schools of thought when it comes to cardio training. The "slow & steady" group and the "high intensity" group. These two groups breakdown like this:

Slow & Steady Cardio:
Long duration (45min - 1 hour)
Low intensity
Burn fat and not carbs
Preserve joints

High Intensity Cardio:
Short duration (20min - 30min)
High intensity (interval training)
Burn tons of calories & rev up your metabolism throughout the day
Treat cardio like weights - explosive movements (sprinting, etc)

If you are unsure as to which approach will bring you the best results for your body type, they suggest trying both for at least six weeks. Monitor your progress with a journal and take weekly photos to see which one is working those love handles best.

Wondering which cardio exercise burns the most calories? Below are the top 10 cardio exercises which burn the most calories in 30 minutes -

1. Step Aerobics - One of the most favorite cardio exercises preferred by women. Step Aerobics mainly target your legs, hips and glutes, and can burn approx. 400 calories in 30 minutes.

2. Bicycling - Stationary or outdoors is a great cardio exercises, depending on resistance and speed can but 250 to 500 calories in 30 minutes.

3. Swimming - Like cross-country skiing, swimming is an excellent cardio exercise as it is a full body exercises. Swimming is a great cross-training for other cardio activities. Doing the breast stroke can burn approx. 400 calories in 30 minutes.

4. Racquetball - Side to side sprinting makes racquetball an excellent cardio exercises. A 145-lb person burns over 400 calories in 30 minutes.

5. Rock Climbing - Is not only a cardio exercise, but also uses arm and leg strength and power. Rock Climbing can burn up to 380 calories in 30 minutes.

6. Cross-Country Skiing - Whether on a machine or outdoors on snow, is an incredible cardio exercises as it involves both upper and lower body. A 145 lb person can burn approx 330 calories in 30 minutes.

7. Running - Running is an excellent cardio exercises because all you need is a pair of quality running shoes. Running burns serious calories. A 145 lb person can easily burn 300 calories in 30 minutes.

8. Elliptical Trainer - Is an excellent cardio exercise and a great way to build endurance. A 145 lb person can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes.

9. Rowing - Is both a cardio exercise as well as giving your arms an incredible workout. 145 lb person can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes.

10. Walking - Brisk walking is a less strenuous form of cardio exercise. Personally one of my favs. Walking can burn up to 180 calories in 30 minutes. Sprinting, adding hills or an incline can increase amount of calories burned.

For the real high intensity cardio people out there who love more of interval training, below are the top three cardio exercise which will provide amazing results -

1. Jumping Rope - This is one of the simplest, yet most effective exercises one can do. In just 15 to 20 minutes, jumping rope will give you an unparalleled total body workout. Jumping rope is ideal for cardiovascular endurance and enhances performance in virtually any sport - tennis, basketball, football, skiing, volleyball and more. This simple exercise is also great for eye-hand coordination, lateral movement, foot and hand speed and agility.

2. Sprinting - Sprinting not only burns HUGE amounts of calories while sprinting, it also keeps your metabolism flying for days after. Sprinting combined with running/jogging can bring amazing results

3. Spinning - These high-intensity workouts to music simulate a challenging bike ride, complete with hills, valleys and varying speeds, all dictated by the group instructor. Another fav of mine.
Young or old, you can do any of these!! Just know your limits and start feeling the burn. Your heart will thank you later! And if you're interested to read more of Hailey's helpful hints on being fit for life, check out my previous post - Getting Back to Basics.

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