One of the main reasons a lot of you will want to do cardiovascular exercises is most likely because of the weight loss image it has. Does cardio really burn fat? Read this section to find out all about it.
One of the mistaken health benefits is that cardio burns fat. However, cardiovascular exercises do NOT belly fat or fat from your butt. The fact that cardio does not simply melt down body fat, does not mean it is useless. Actually cardiovascular exercises (as can any activity which requires energy) can help in the weight loss process. A lot of people think that cardio is necessary in order to get six-pack abs, which is also a myth.
Even though cardio does not directly burn fat, it still helps in the fat burning process. The way this works is that it burns calories. Most of these calories are made up of glucose. Since glucose is what delivers energy for activities, cardio will also burn a lot of glucose. Actually most of the energy burned through cardio comes from glucose. Once we are out of glucose we start to use body fat in order to have enough energy for activities.
So basically what cardio does is burn calories. As explained in the "Weight Loss" section, you will need to have a negative energy balance to start using body fat as energy. With a negative energy balance I mean that you eat less calories than you burn.
Generally speaking you will need to get in 500 kcal less than you would need in order to maintain your body weight. This adds up to 3500 kcal a week, which is good for losing 500 grams (1 pound) body weight each week.Example:
If you need 2500 kcal to maintain body weight, you will only need 2000 kcal if you want to lose weight. There are two options: you can either choose to eat 500 kcal less that day, or you can spend 500 kcal extra on doing exercises.
You can choose to do cardio when you are trying to lose weight, since it does burn a lot of calories. More about how this works can be found in the "Weight Loss" section (See Fitness > Weight Loss).
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