Best Cardio for Weight Loss & Fat Loss Workouts

Consistency is the key to long term weight loss success.

7 min read

Health & Wellness

a woman is running

Published 8/10/20, Updated on 8/18/21

While you don’t need to exercise to lose weight, the combination of a healthy diet, caloric restriction, and exercise has been proven to be more effective(1) when accelerated weight loss is desired.

But how can you determine which workout is best for you? The answer is simple. Find an activity you can consistently perform every week, multiple times per week, without getting burned out or injured. Consistency is the key to long term weight loss success.

To help you determine which workouts are best for you, I have provided six different styles of workouts below that you can incorporate into your regular routine to start working towards your weight loss goal today.


1. Walking, Jogging, And Running Workouts for Weight Loss

Walking, jogging, and running are all great forms of exercise that can help you increase your cardiovascular health and help you burn calories.

If you plan on walking, I recommend at least 30 minutes every day. For running or jogging, I recommend 2-3 times per week plus walking on the other days for recovery. The best part about it is you don’t need any fancy equipment to walk, jog, or run.

Just put on a supportive pair of shoes and head out the door. This is a type of exercise that’s not only incredibly accessible, it also encourages you to get outdoors and enjoy your surroundings, which is a great way to reduce stress in your daily life.

Treadmills are a great way to consistently get your cardio in even when the weather or outside conditions don’t permit. Check out the treadmill workouts below for a great example of how to burn calories using one of our great treadmills.


2. Cycling Workouts for Weight Loss

Cycling workouts are one of the most popular ways to burn calories from the comfort of your home. Cycle bikes are low impact, compact, and extremely accessible for new or at home riders, given the sheer amount of workout videos and streaming options available.

While simply hopping on your bike and starting a casual ride will help you burn calories - if you’re interested in enhancing your calorie burning potential, having some fun, and seeing serious performance gains, you’ll want some further instruction.

Get started with our Beginners Guide to Cycling, which has some of our best tips, from bike set up to proper form during your ride.

Take your practice a step further with this Intro to Climbing series, which will help you stand out of the saddle for the first time and build endurance, strength, and form tips to excel at the toughest climbs!

We have full cycling workouts ready for all fitness levels. If you’re looking to hit the ground spinning (see what I did there?), check out the videos designed for beginners below!



3. Rowing Workouts for Weight Loss

Rowing is a great full body low impact workout that can help you burn significant amounts of calories while helping you develop the muscles in your legs, core, arms, back, and shoulders.

One thing I love about rowing is it takes you out of the position you spend all day when sitting at your desk - and specifically, challenges you to properly use and strengthen your postural muscles with each stroke, which will make you feel stronger and move better all day long.

There are all kinds of rowers, from compact to traditional size. Most of them are foldable, with the option to fold up and store away in a corner or closet if you’re working with minimal space.

If you are new to rowing, I would advise you to spend a few weeks working on your beginner rowing form. The workout below is a great place to start gaining comfort on the rower.

Once you feel comfortable with the rowing stroke motion, you can dive into more intense workouts.


4. Elliptical Training Workouts for Weight Loss

Ellipticals are great for beginners because they mimic a movement most of us do every day - walking.

I always recommend ellipticals to those who may regularly exercise outside, like runners, walkers, and joggers. Think about it, if you work out outdoors frequently, that’s a lot of pounding on the joints.

Ellipticals provide an opportunity to reduce the impact on your joints while remaining consistent in your workout sessions. It’s always good to have an option when the weather isn’t ideal, and having an elliptical gives you one less excuse for getting your movement in for the day.

Ellipticals also provide an incredible full body workout. As you stride, you’ll activate muscles in the lower body; holding on to the full-motion handlebars can stimulate muscles in your upper body - specifically in your chest and arms, and your core fights to keep you stable and upright as you move from foot to foot.

Ready to get moving? Be sure to try out the elliptical workouts below to take your first step forward.



5. Cardio Stepper Workouts for Weight Loss

When you climb stairs, you use one leg to lift your body to the next step. Muscles throughout your hips, thighs and lower leg activate to perform this movement. By repeating this movement, you can burn a significant number of calories over time.

If you’re looking for a quick and simple workout that’s like stair climbing, consider adding a mini stepper into your workout routine. Mini steppers are also the perfect solution for those looking for a cardio workout at home but don’t have a lot of space to work with.

Mini steppers offer a small and practical footprint that doesn’t sacrifice the effectiveness of your workout. It makes them great for small spaces, with the ability to store away under a desk or in a closet.

Sunny Health & Fitness mini steppers provide a surprising amount of resistance, so don’t be surprised if you feel these workouts faster than you thought you would. Even shorter workouts (10-15 minutes) on your mini stepper can have you working up a sweat and burning a significant number of calories.

Give our mini stepper workouts a try! Here’s just a few to get you started on your journey.



6. Strength Training Workouts for Weight Loss

While strength training may not be the most popular option for those looking to lose weight, it’s an aspect of your training that shouldn’t be overlooked.

If you’re looking for sustainable weight loss, strength training can help you build strong lean muscle. In fact, whether your goals are to improve the way you look, the way you feel, or your health - strength training provides benefits for all the above.

Muscle helps our bodies burn more calories at rest or increases our metabolism - which means even when you aren’t exercising; you’ll be burning more calories throughout the day, contributing to your overall goal to lose weight (or as your goals shift to maintain weight and not gain it back).

Weight training with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or weight machines is all great options to choose when looking to build some muscle. You can see results from as little as one to two resistance training sessions per week.

If you are new to resistance training, start with one or two sets of 15 repetitions per set for each major muscle group. Start with a light weight first and focus on good form before increasing the weight and number of sets you perform.

The workouts below are great examples of strength training workouts for beginners!


If your goal is to burn more calories during your sessions, setting up a circuit (completing a series of exercises one after the other), supersets (completing two exercises back-to-back), or creating a HIIT style workout (alternating periods of work with short periods of rest) are all ways to help burn more calories during your strength training sessions.

If you’re interested in burning more calories during your resistance training sessions, try one of the workouts below that use both a variety of HIIT and circuit training, as well as supersets with minimal rest to help you maximize your calorie burn as you get stronger! 



Good luck starting your weight loss journey, and be sure to let us know if these tips and workouts for weight loss were helpful to you in the comments below. Keep in mind; we have a variety of workouts for all levels, time frames, and fitness equipment; so, if you either aren’t finding what you’re looking for in this article or looking to build on the workouts provided in this article, be sure to check out our full library here.


(1) “Diet, Exercise or Diet With Exercise: Comparing The Effectiveness Of Treatment Options For Weight-Loss And Changes In Fitness For Adults (18–65 Years Old) Who Are Overfat, Or Obese; Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2015, Accessed 10 August. 2020.


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