8 Great exercises for fat loss

For anyone trying to lose weight, burning fat is essential. The best way to do that? Exercise! And while it's important to note that exercise should be combined with a healthy diet for the best weight-loss results, eight heart-racing cardio exercises will help you melt the fat and look great in no time.

Step aerobics

Long a favourite workout routine of women everywhere, step aerobics are now an exercise for men and women alike. Since this workout routine involves a step platform, it mainly targets hips, glutes and legs and can burn up to 400 calories in a mere 30 minutes.


If all else fails, turn to a tried-and-true calorie-burning exercise: Running. Work off up to 300 calories in 30 minutes when you take to the street or treadmill. For a more intense exercise, try running uphill or on the beach -- the resistance from the sand helps you burn even more calories. But since running can be tough on your knees, make sure you've got a good pair of shoes for the proper support.


Hop on a bike to burn some fat. Head to the local park for a bit of outdoor cycling or take a group cycling class. Spinning classes have become all the rage at gyms across the UK, and for good reason: You can burn up to 500 calories in a 45-minute cycling class. To make sure you're getting the most from your cycling, gradually increase the resistance on your bike.


What could be better on a hot day than burning calories in the cool water of a swimming pool? Dive in for some major fat-blasting cardio and burn up to a whopping 700 calories in only 30 minutes. Swimming is a full-body workout that helps you build and tone muscles and shed fat, all while sparing your joints from stress that other workouts can cause.

Cross trainer

Whether it's at home or in the gym, using a cross trainer machine can be a fun and useful fat-burning tool. Made to simulate the motions of jogging, running and stair climbing, the elliptical is a low-stress exercise -- perfect for individuals who suffer from knee problems. Try using a machine that has moving arm handles, since this gives you an added workout.

Power walking

You may not think of taking a walk as the most intense workout, but power walking can produce some major results. If you walk at a brisk pace -- 4.5 miles per hour is a good pace to aim for -- you can burn almost as many calories as you would when jogging for the same amount of time. For an extra challenge, add in a couple of small weights and walk up hills.

Weight lifting

Sometimes it doesn't take a heart-racing workout session to get results. With weight lifting, you can slow things down a bit while turning fat into lean muscle mass. Try incorporating a full-body weight workout and don't overload yourself -- focus more on increasing the number of reps than the amount you're lifting, unless you're trying to build up a lot of muscle.

Interval training

Although running, walking and cycling make great fat-burning workouts on their own, interval training -- alternating between several types of exercise and pace of workout -- can produce even greater results. To change up the intensity of your workout, try jogging for five minutes, then walking briskly for five minutes and repeat as many times as desired. To add variety to the type of workout, ride the bike for 15 minutes and then switch to the treadmill for 15 minutes, alternating until your workout is complete.

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About the Author

Mary Avant has worked for several international, national and regional magazines and received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written on everything from fashion and health to business and food, and she specializes in women's style, fashion and beauty.