If you’re on a mission to get fitter and healthier, the first and most difficult step is usually to get rid of that stubborn fat—the kind that may have been there for years. You know what we’re talking about: love handles, saddlebags, and those things that are hanging where your triceps used to be. Could cardio be the answer?

Whether you call it aerobics, cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, the focus is the same: get your heart pumping and your lungs working. It is perhaps one of the best fat-burning and calorie-burning options out there. In addition to helping you reduce fat and weight, cardio has some other excellent benefits as well:

  • It strengthens two of your most important muscles, your heart and lungs.
  • It tones muscles across the body, such as those pesky fat-storing areas of the legs, glutes, abs, and arms.
  • It can reduce stress and tension.
  • It helps increase blood circulation throughout your body by making your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
  • It builds stamina and increases endurance.

Which Cardio Is Best?

There are all kinds of cardio exercises you can do, and most require no special equipment. Your ultimate goal should be to get one hour of cardio each day, but we all have to start somewhere. If you’re not already incorporating cardio into your daily life, consider:

Burn up to 400 calories per hour.
Walking is a great option for beginning exercisers because you can do it anywhere and only need comfortable clothes and a sturdy pair of walking shoes.In addition, since it is a low-intensity workout, it is ideal for individuals who are obese or have joint problems.
Beginners: 20 to 45 minutes three to four times a week.

Burn up to 600 calories per hour.
Running is a higher intensity workout than walking, although they require the same kinds of equipment. It is efficient and helps build stamina as well as heart and lung strength. Running also helps build metabolism, which is vital for weight loss. Running focuses on the lower body and targetsthe hips, legs, and abs.
Beginners: 20 to 30 minutes three days a week.

Burn up to 600 calories per hour.
The calorie count is the same as running, but cycling is a lower impact choice. Whether you bike outside on the road or trails or choose a stationary bike at the gym, the effects will be the same. You’ll see your whole body transform through some steady biking, and you can mix it up with a spinning class at the gym when you’re ready to really burn those calories.
Beginners: 30 to 45 minutes three or four times a week.

Burn up to 600 calories per hour.
Swimming is a great exercise for the entire body. It provides a total-body workout and helps you lose fat quickly. This is a perfect choice for people who cannot tolerate stress on joints because swimming is practically zero impact. Even mixing in one session a week with your other cardio is good, but if this is your only choice, aim for 45 to 50 minutes four to five days a week.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is a popular and effective weight-loss exercise. As the name applies, it is a high-intensity workout that moves through a series of options in an interval approach. Depending on what you choose, the workout may include pushups, planks, burpees, jumping jacks, or jumping rope. Because of the intensity, it’s less time consuming than other cardio options—with all of the benefits. In HIIT, you focus on one exercise one minute, followed by a 30-second break and then do the exercise again for one minute and so on. You would perform three to four sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise. The entire workout lasts up to 30 minutes. Beginners: 20-minute sessions four times a week.

Before You Start

If you’ve never worked out before, checking in with your doctor is always a good idea. In addition, follow these common-sense approaches with your routine:

  • Don’t try to kill yourself. When you feel like you’ve reached your limit, stop exercising.
  • Always warm up before exercising with a quick walk, stretching, or even a few jumping jacks.
  • Drink water before, during, and after your exercise. This is important all the time and even more so if you’re exercising outside in the Phoenix sun.
  • Start slowly. Don’t rush into a high-intensity workout that your body can’t handle.

Add CoolSculpting

The ideal candidate for CoolSculpting is one who is already in pretty good shape through exercising regularly and eating well. So if you’re a cardio expert or just looking to up your game, you might benefit from one or two fat-freezing treatments.

With this noninvasive approach, you’ll spend less than an hour in our inviting Phoenix office while our trained technicians apply the patented CoolSculpting applicators to the targeted areas. Over the next couple of months, your frozen fat cells will naturally flush from your body, leaving you with the sculpted approach you’ve been working so hard to achieve.

Take a look at our before-and-after photos to learn more and get going with your own fit journey!