The Best Cardio to Torch Calories

Running is great for burning calories.

If you want to burn a lot of calories, you need the right workout. Try these six workouts to achieve the results you desire.

The number of calories you’ll burn during a workout can fluctuate greatly and is dependent on a variety of factors including your current weight, workout intensity, overall difficulty level, as well as your current fitness level. So, when looking at calories burned for each activity, the actual calories burned can vary greatly for each individual. (The numbers shown below are based on a 200lb individual).

1: Running: 755- 1074 per hour

Running is great for burning calories and requires no equipment so you can easily incorporate it into your fitness routine. Running at a pace of 8mph can burn 1,074 calories, and at slower pace of 5mph can burn 755 calories. You can increase your calorie burn by adding in hills (this is more muscle-building, especially for the butt and hamstrings.) Picking up the pace or extending your run past the one hour will increase the burn. Another way to make running more intense is to do bouts of sprinting with a little rest in between each 10-15 second burst. Training in this interval style can be a lot more fun.

2: Jumping rope: 1074 per hour

Jumping rope is a high impact activity that challenges your body in the same way running does. It’s cardiovascular in nature, but unlike running using a rope requires a little bit of coordination. If you’re lacking in that department you can do the jumping action without the rope, but for one hour that may seem a little crazy. The speed and intensity of the jumping will heavily impact the number of calories you burn, so going fast is the key to maximizing the burn. Also, finding a pace that you can sustain for one hour is tough, so jumping rope in an interval style may be the best approach.

3: Vigorous swimming- moderate paced swimming 892- 528 per hour

Swimming is an amazing, low-impact exercise that can burn a lot of calories. The higher calorie burning strokes are front crawl and butterfly. In order to achieve the higher calorie range with this exercise, you need to be proficient in the water and able to swim vigorously for the entire hour. The breast stroke is more gentle and less demanding on the body so if this is your stroke of choice, consider alternating in a front crawl or swim for a longer duration to maximize your burn.

4. Stair running: 819 per hour

Running stairs is an athletic favorite of mine. Running up and down the stairs is great for muscle building and improving your cardiovascular fitness level. Your speed, number of steps and the height of the steps will all factor in to determining your overall calorie burn. Keeping a faster pace up the stairs and walking down is the safest approach. You can vary your upward speed to increase the intensity level, or if you have the coordination, taking two steps at a time will make your muscles work harder and therefore increase your calorie burn. The more steps you climb overall, the harder your body is working.

5. High impact aerobics 664 per hour

High impact refers to activities where both feet leave the ground, such as jumping jacks, plyometric style hopping movements and some forms of dancing. This form of exercise is often fun and allows for a lot of variety. However, the impact on the joints is not for everyone. This type of exercise can be made more intense by adding in weighted equipment, keeping the intensity level high and doing exercise that specifically works the large muscle groups, such as the glutes, chest and back. This type of training done in a HIIT style, where you do timed work to rest intervals, can increase the overall calorie burn dramatically. However, when you’re working at a high intensity, a shorter, overall workout duration is important. A typical HIIT session will last only 20-30 minutes.

6. Backpacking 637 per hour

Carrying a backpack on a hike is a great form of outdoor exercise, and because you are carrying extra weight, it can help you to build muscular strength. The varied terrain is also great for improving coordination and working the small, stabilizing muscles in the legs and ankles. To burn more calories while backpacking, consider increasing the weight you are carrying, or choose a steeper terrain.

Find out more at:

Running and Training Equipment Essentials

Train with the right footwear for the best results.

Getting started with a new running or training program? Here are a few essential products to help you succeed.

When you’re getting started with a new running or training program, getting the right equipment is critical to your success. Your footwear is usually the most essential and expensive purchase that you’ll have to make. Because staying hydrated on the go is important for good performance, getting a good water bottle that is durable and lightweight is essential, too.

Related Article: How to Start Running for Health and Fitness

All About Footwear

Why you need quality shoes: There are so many risks associated with overtraining in the wrong type of shoes, especially a pair that is worn out or fits poorly. Some of those risks include knee pain, shin splints, Achilles tendon strain and stress fractures. If you are running in shoes that have lost their support, or are generally worn down, you are at a greater risk of getting injured.

Protection and performance: Wearing quality shoes prevents our feet from getting sore, corrects imbalances and helps to stabilize them. Selecting the right pair of shoes may actually help to improve running technique and foot placement.

When is it time to get a new pair: You can tell that your shoes are worn down on the inside when the arch support has become flat or the inserts have become thin. On the outside of the shoe, the heel and toe area tend to be areas that show wear. Once you can see wear patterns created by the way your feet hit the floor, it’s a good indication that the shoe is no longer helping to correct your foot placement or providing you with proper support. Also, if the bottom of your shoes no longer have a good tread pattern, it’s well past the time for getting a new pair.

How to pick the right shoe: Technology has come a long way and I’m a believer in buying the right shoe for the purpose intended. Selecting the right shoe should be a priority for anyone who enjoys engaging in regular physical activity. There is a fine balance between getting a shoe that is supportive and essentially takes over the job of the small connecting structures in the feet, and getting a pair that is not supportive enough.

Sport Specific Choices

Runners: If you are an avid runner like me, selecting a shoe that is designed with running in mind is the best way to go. Distance running shoes are often more lightweight and designed to encourage good running posture.

Cross-training: If you mix up your mode of training, selecting a good quality cross-trainer is also a good option. Shoes with a lower back are best for working out in the gym, so that you don’t restrict the Achilles and ankles when doing step ups and squats.

Supportive designs: These are great if you have a known imbalance, such as over-pronating, because they can help to correct this problem with each stride. A supportive shoe is also best if you run a lot on concrete.

A lightweight, less supportive design: This type of design offers limited cushioning from the lumps and bumps of your chosen running surface. This may leave your feet feeling a little tender and puts you at risk of sustaining an injury. However, worn in the right conditions, such as on soft grass or sand, this type of shoe will help you to strengthen up the small, often underworked muscles and tendons in the feet and ankles.

Get fitted: Go to a store that specializes in running and get fitted by a pro. It’s free and well worth the time.

Hydration Options On the Go

Staying hydrated when you’re exercising is critical, especially when it’s hot outside or when you are doing an intense routine that makes you sweat. Purchasing a water bottle that suits your training needs, is lightweight and easy to clean is important so that you feel comfortable taking it with you when you are out on the go.

Distance running: Consider purchasing a belt that holds a water bottle, or one with a strap that goes around your hand so that you are not discouraged from carrying it. If you are running for 90 minutes or more, there are several great backpack options so that you are completely hands free.

Consider choosing BPA-free: There is a lot of conflicting research out there, but I believe that erring on the side of caution is best. Choose a bottle that is BPA-free, especially if you train outside in the hot sun.

Glass bottles: Using a glass bottle is a great option and there are some really good products from which to choose. Glass is easier to keep clean than plastic and it tends to last longer. However, in a gym setting, plastic is a safer option.

Dishwasher-safe: Keeping your water bottle clean can be a pain, especially when you are adding important electrolytes or carbs to your bottle. Being able to throw it into the dishwasher will make things easier and keep your bottle free from bacteria.

The equipment you choose will go a long way towards supporting you in your workouts. Making sure you have a properly fitting pair of workout shoes and a water bottle will go a long way towards keeping you injury-free and hydrated.

Written by Samantha Clayton, A.F.A.A., I.S.S.A. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

Find out more at:

Four Facts on Why Exercising is Important to Your Health

Cardio exercise benefits the heart.

You can improve your heart health by working out. Here are some of the specific benefits of exercising your heart and cardiorespiratory system.

It’s common to think about what being fit looks like on the outside of your body. The external changes that result from increased physical activity are often the greatest motivational factor that gets people moving. People want to see the results of their hard work on the scale and in the mirror. The thought of a slimmer waist or leaner legs will often get people off the couch and into the gym. However, what if I told you that the true beauty and benefits that fitness provides lie beneath the surface?

I have shared before that external changes resulting from living a healthy, active lifestyle happen slowly. Yet many changes that happen inside the body actually start to happen as soon as you begin an exercise routine. I believe that positive internal changes in the body far outweigh the changes that we see on the outside.

Cardio 101

Cardiorespiratory exercise (also known as “cardio”) is the term used to describe exercise that works your heart and circulatory system. This system has to work all day, every day in order to keep us alive. I describe cardio exercise simply as movement that makes this system work harder. Exercises like running, cycling and swimming are all great examples of cardio exercises. In my opinion cardio should be renamed ‘heart strength training,’ because your heart is a muscle and exercise helps to improve your heart’s blood pumping capabilities.

Let me share with you a few of the great internal benefits that cardio exercise provides.

Lower Resting Heart Rate

Your heart has to work harder during exercise by pumping blood at a faster rate. As a result, it becomes increasingly efficient at pumping blood in general. This can make your everyday activities seem easier over time, because your heart has to work less to sustain them. You can often see this change in a reduced resting heart rate.

Weight Loss

When you increase your activity level with cardio exercise, your body has to burn extra fuel in order to meet this increased need for energy. Stored fat is the primary fuel source for prolonged cardio exercise. This increased energy expenditure, combined with a reduced calorie intake, can lead to significant weight loss.

Reduced Stress

Cardio exercise promotes the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. This function is often referred to as a ‘runner’s high,’ but playing tennis or even walking can contribute to this same feeling. Cardio exercise can often feel like meditation in motion. As you start to exercise and focus on what you are doing, your stress level may decrease. As a result, once you’re finished, although you may feel physically tired, you can feel mentally rejuvenated.

There are so many good reasons to add cardio into your current routine. The most important one is that it’s good for your heart.

Find out more at:

North Beach Nutrition - San Clemente Nutrition Bar - Offering Healthy Smoothies - Hot & Cold Tea - and Health Coaching To Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals. 1502 N El Camino Real San Clemente CA 92672