Top 10 Cardio Exercises & Tips on How to Get Peak Results

Top 10 Cardio Exercises & Tips on How to Get Peak Results

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Running improves cardiovascular function.

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Gaining peak results from cardiovascular exercise isn't rocket science. In fact, it simply requires a commitment to fitness. The key to reshaping your body in a dedicated effort to develop "movie star" physique is to maximize your quality of exercise. Basic recommendations, cited by the American College of Sports Medicine, state that you need at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week to maintain the health benefits generated from cardiovascular exercise. However, you can boost the efficiency of fat-burning mechanisms in your body by increasing the intensity level of aerobic activity in short bouts.

Post-Exercise Metabolism

Aerobic training is the best type of exercise for the purpose of burning fat, according to Duke Health. It more effectively uses fat for fuel than other modes of exercise, such as resistance training, because it increases your resting metabolic rate. A high level of post-exercise metabolism prompts your body to expend more energy at rest than it would if you were sedentary. Duke Health enlisted a study that tested 234 overweight or obese adults to determine the effectiveness of aerobic exercise over resistance training in terms of overall weight loss. The results indicated that adults who participated ran approximately 12 miles per week during the course of the study and lost a significant amount of body fat.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Forcing yourself to total exhaustion on a treadmill in order to achieve your goal of shedding unsightly body fat doesn't need to be your strategy for success. offers ideas for alternative types of activity that can help you reach new levels of physical fitness, such as backpacking, brisk walking, dancing, hiking, stair-climbing and swimming. It's important to select an activity that you enjoy for the purpose of increasing your quality of exercise. Sixty minutes of swimming laps burns an estimated 423 calories in a 160-pound person, which rivals the total number of calories you would burn in one hour of high-impact aerobic training. Other types of enjoyable cardiovascular exercise include sports, like basketball, racquetball, tennis and volleyball. An hour on the basketball court burns approximately 584 calories in a 160-pound person, fueling fat loss in a fun environment.

Sprint Interval Training

Upping the intensity level of cardiovascular exercise ultimately provides peak results. Sprint interval training, for example, is a highly intense mode of exercise that demands short bursts of maximum exertion. In 2008, the "Journal of Physiology" tested the metabolic adaptations experienced by untrained adults during low-volume sprint interval training in comparison to traditional endurance training. The study concluded that sprint interval training produces rapid improvement in muscle oxidative capacity and metabolic adaptation in a shorter amount of time than endurance training. This high-octane activity demands one-minute segments of sprinting to be performed periodically during an intense running session, according to the American Council on Exercise. For each minute of sprinting, a two-minute “recovery” jog ensues. This cycle is performed at least four times in an estimated 22-minute time period. A five-minute warm-up and cool-down period are implemented before and after the workout.

High-Intensity Exercise

Getting peak results from cardiovascular exercise demands dedicated ability to train at high-intensity levels outside of your comfort zone. However, it's also important to participate in activities that you find enjoyable. Challenging yourself to reach peak cardiorespiratory fitness requires trying to conquer difficult modes of exercise. It's a goal-oriented mindset that can help you achieve your fitness ambition. The top cardiovascular exercises for gradually improving post-exercise metabolic rate demand continuous movement over elongated periods of time, such as brisk-walking and jogging. However, ramping-up the intensity level of your cardiovascular training regimen will provide stronger results in a time efficient manner.