ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Relationship Between Cardio and Weight Loss

Updated on April 26, 2010

Cardiovascular exercise refers to training the heart. Cardio burns lots of calories, so it is a great addition to a weight loss plan. Cardiovascular activity, however, is just one component of weight loss. Combine healthy eating with a variety of activities and you'll accomplish your goal of losing weight.


Cardiovascular exercise comes in many forms. Walking is one of the simplest types of cardio activity. When comparing machine-based activities such as treadmills, indoor bikes, and elliptical machines, note that any machines that engage the upper and lower body simultaneously, burn more calories than lower body-only modalities. Swimming, dancing and step aerobics are all forms of cardio. When choosing a mode of cardiovascular exercise, consider personal interest, injury risk and fitness goals.


In addition to burning calories, cardiovascular exercise has many health benefits. Resting heart rate and blood pressure are lowered with regular cardiovascular activity because the heart becomes stronger. Increased HDL ("good" cholesterol), reduced body fat, lower risk of coronary artery disease, and decreased anxiety and depression are benefits of regular physical activity. Additionally, weight-bearing exercises like walking and jogging maintain bone density. Non-weight-bearing activity, such as cycling and swimming, is good for those with arthritis.


Healthy adults under age 65 should do moderately intense cardio for 30 minutes a day, five days a week recommends American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. "Moderately intense" means working hard enough to break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. ACSM states that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.


Intensity is a major factor in exercising for weight loss. High-intensity exercise burns more calories in a shorter amount of time than low-intensity exercise. Choose a mode of exercise that can be adjusted to challenge the respiratory system. Incline, speed and amount of resistance effect intensity. For instance, treadmill walking can be made more challenging by increasing the incline or speed. Increase the intensity of indoor cycling by raising the resistance.

A Complete Approach

A well-rounded weight loss program includes modifications in diet to consume fewer calories, performing resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. Resistance training burns calories and improves your muscle tone. According to an ACSM Position Stand, moderate-intensity exercise for between 150 and 250 minutes per week improves weight loss in studies that use moderate diet restriction. Relying on cardio exercise alone requires a tremendous time commitment. Maximize your calorie deficit by eating smaller meals and planning your workouts.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Cardio and Weight Loss 

      7 years ago

      These are some really good tips. I used to think that running was the only real way to burn serious calories, but that is actually not the case at all.

    • mixfitness profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Round Hill, VA

      Thanks, GmaGoldie!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very well written. Great Hub! Voted it up!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)