The Secret to Burning Fat, Faster
Hate cardio? But hate fat even more? We hear you. Science shows that cardio is without a doubt the best way to incinerate calories.
By Michele Stanten
Research proves you can put an end to the tedious routine of repeating the same mind- and body-numbing workouts. In fact, doing fewer when-can-I-stop sessions will help you get past plateaus and burn more fat than ever. Now who wouldn’t love that?
If you’re doing cardio but aren’t switching up the pace and length of your heart-pumping workouts, you need all three of these calorie-torching variations. Think of them as the ultimate fit trifecta.
LSD: Long, Slow Distance
Why it works: Low-intensity, chat-with-your-BFF cardio sessions build your fitness foundation. Even though you’re moving slowly, these one-speed, “no-sweat” workouts increase your endurance. Long (more than 45 minutes) sessions train muscles to keep on going, so no matter what type of workout you’re doing, you stay strong to the end. Plus, they serve as active recovery, refueling you for the more intense bouts you do on other days, research shows.
Why they work: Juiced-up medium-speed sessions push you closer to your anaerobic threshold, the point that your body shifts from burning a higher percentage of fat to more carbs, which are easier to access for energy. You’ll be breathing hard but not breathless. As a result, your calorie burn spikes in this zone, explains exercise physiologist Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise.
High Intensity Interval Training
Why it works: Killing it for short bursts, then quickly recovering, activates fast-twitch muscle fibers, which makes you stronger. HIIT accelerates calorie burning because higher exercise intensity creates greater metabolic demand, Bryant says. Research from the University of Guelph shows seven hours of HIIT over two weeks raises women’s fat-burning power (compared with 12 hours of tempo).
The Awesome Benefits of Cardio
Your face is dripping. Your fight-or-flight response has kicked in. Here’s how your body benefits when you push it to the limit.
Your Perfect Week of Cardio Workouts
Research proves this mix hits the calorie-sizzling sweet spot.