If you are a woman who wants to get fit and toned and lose weight, chances are you found this page while looking for information on the best cardio workouts for women.
When combined with a sensible eating plan, regular cardio workouts will enable you to reach your fitness goal faster than diet or exercise alone will.
There isn’t a single best cardio workout for women. Some women will prefer one type of exercise; others will prefer something else and respond best to it. The key is to find a physical activity that you enjoy and do it regularly.
Following are some questions to ask yourself when considering your cardio workout options. Your answers will help you to determine which form or forms of exercise may suit you best.
Questions to Help you Decide the Best Cardio Workout for You
How active are you?
The best cardio workouts for women who have led a sedentary lifestyle for years will differ from the best cardio workouts for women who are already physically active.
If you’re currently inactive, you should choose an activity that is not too strenuous or high in impact. Examples are brisk walking or gentle jogging. Other options include working out on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer, swimming laps, doing a beginner’s Zumba workout, and the list goes on. These are good steady state cardio workouts that can be modified to suit people of just about any fitness level, and they offer plenty of scope to improve your fitness.
At this early stage, doing high-impact exercises such as HIIT or kickboxing would be unwise. Along with being exhausting, such extreme exercise could result in injury. You can always build up to these when your fitness has improved by putting in more effort or increasing the pace and length or frequency of your workouts.
If you are moderately to very active, you may want to include some short, higher intensity workouts such as HIIT in your regimen. After a few weeks of this type of training, some people like to take a one week break during which time they do only steady state cardio to allow their body to rest and recover.
What exercise do you think you’d enjoy?
The best cardio workouts for women (or men) are not necessarily those that burn the most calories. It’s preferable to choose an activity that you like to do. Many people immediately think of running or cycling when they hear the word cardio, and they will opt to take up one of these even if they hate it because they’ve heard these burn fat quickly. This is a big mistake.
There’s nothing worse than having to force yourself to train, hating every minute of it. If you don’t enjoy your workouts, you will look for every excuse under the sun to avoid them, and eventually totally lose interest and quit. Do this, and your fitness goals will never be reached and losing weight will be very difficult. Your strength and stamina will also suffer.
With so many cardio activities to choose from, there is no need to do one you dislike. Try kickboxing, Latin dancing, power walking, trampolining, or rowing. Pick whatever interests you and try it. If you like it it will be easy to stick with a program; if you don’t, try something else.
New exercisers sometimes find it difficult to stay motivated. One way around this is to try a sport that requires you to play against an opponent, such as tennis or squash. Join a sports club, or if you will be playing with a friend, book the court in advance. You won’t want to let your friend down by backing out, and once you get there, you will more than likely have a blast. After a few weeks you will start looking forward to your sessions, and you won’t want to skip them.
Don’t obsess over fat loss. If you eat healthily and watch your calorie intake, your cardio sessions will boost your metabolism, and you will lose weight and lower your body fat. It may take a bit longer, but you won’t be torturing yourself doing something that you hate.
What is your goal?
Undertake cardio that will help you to achieve your fitness goals. If you want to increase your strength, choose a cardio activity with strength training components. To improve your stamina, pick a cardio activity that focuses on building endurance, such as jumping rope. If your goal is muscle sculpting, try a combination of HIIT and body weight exercises, or lift weights.
Are you trying to tackle too much, too soon?
If you are obese or if you have mobility issues, high-intensity training will be too stressful. Instead, try walking at a moderate pace for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week, extending the duration or frequency of your sessions when you become more fit. If you do this and cut calories, over time you will lose your excess weight. And when you do, you will be able to cope with more strenuous workouts.
Cardio Workouts for Women Summary
The best cardio workout for you will depend on your goals. Don’t make the mistake that a lot of people do and stop training when you reach your goal weight. For lasting success, make fitness a part of your lifestyle. If you enjoy your workout, this will be easy. If you dislike your workout, you will struggle to keep up with it. You may even stop doing it, in which case you will regain the weight you’ve lost, and possibly more.
Be consistent with your training, and be realistic. Results don’t occur overnight; they take time. You may see some small changes after a couple of weeks, but give yourself 90 days, and if you’ve been consistent with your workouts, you will see significant changes for the better.