How do I Choose the Best Cardio Exercises?

Dan Cavallari

The best cardio exercises will allow you to lose weight and improve muscle function without causing pain or excessive discomfort. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the best exercises for some people may not be the best for others, so it is a good idea to try out several cardio exercises to find out which ones work best for you. Running is perhaps the most common of these, and while it is a great way to burn fat for some people, the running motion can be too high-impact and stressful for others.

Jogging is a form of cardio exercise.
Jogging is a form of cardio exercise.

Many people who find that running is too hard on the joints of the legs and back decide to other cardio exercises, such as cycling or swimming. Swimming is a great whole-body workout that will ramp up your heart rate and strengthen and tone muscles. It can be a difficult motion for some people, and it may take a significant amount of practice before a good swimming stroke can be done. Once the learning curve is over, however, swimming is a great way to burn calories and build muscle. The downside to swimming is the need for a pool or large body of water. This may mean you may need to join a gym or fitness center, or find access to a large body of water.

Swimming works the entire body.
Swimming works the entire body.

Cycling is one of the best cardio exercises because it is easier on the joints than running and can be done on- or off- road at most times of the year. You will need to invest in some specialized equipment, however, and it is always a good idea to get professionally fitted for the bike to avoid damage to the knees, hips, and back. Once fitted to the bike, you can enjoy a fun activity that will burn calories quickly. Be sure to purchase all necessary safety equipment, as cycling can be dangerous without a helmet and gloves.

Bouncing on a trampoline can be a great cardiovascular exercise.
Bouncing on a trampoline can be a great cardiovascular exercise.

Some of the best cardio exercises are very low-impact and can be done at the local gym. An elliptical machine, for example, is a great way to raise one's heart rate and stimulate blood flow while burning calories and fat. This machine is extremely easy on the joints in the legs and lower back, and the intensity of the workout can be tailored quickly and easily using the computer controls that will raise or lower the ramp on which the machine runs.

Running may be too high-impact for some people.
Running may be too high-impact for some people.
Try out several cardio exercises to find which one is best.
Try out several cardio exercises to find which one is best.
Cycling can provide a low-stress, high intensity cardio workout.
Cycling can provide a low-stress, high intensity cardio workout.

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