If you want to be sleeker than you already are, aerobic exercise will rev up your heart rate to help you burn calories and trim the extra fat. Aerobic exercise also comes in many flavors, so you’ll never get bored. Your options include taking aerobics classes with your girlfriends, shaking to a video at home with your spouse or jogging outdoors under the sun. You can also try all of the above. Whatever you do, just keep moving.
Walk at a moderate to fast pace. If you walk at 3.5 miles per hour -- that’s about a 17-minute-per-mile pace -- you’ll burn 149 calories in 30 minutes, if you weigh 155 pounds. Walking at 4 miles per hour burns 167 calories in a half hour, while walking at 4.5 miles per hour burns 186.
Run instead of walking to increase your calorie burn. At 155 pounds you’ll burn 298 calories in 30 minutes. The faster you run, the more calories you burn, all else being equal. You’ll burn 372 calories in 30 minutes at a pace of 6 miles per hour or 465 in a half hour at 7.5 miles per hour, which equals 1 mile every eight minutes.
Jump in the pool for a wet but efficient workout. If you’re a 155-pounder, you’ll burn 298 calories per 30 minutes by doing the backstroke, 372 with the breaststroke or 409 by swimming the butterfly or front crawl.
Ride a bike to get your cardio fix and choose from several options. Stay indoors and ride a stationary bike at a moderate pace and burn 260 calories in 30 minutes, if you weigh 155, or trim 391 calories by riding at a vigorous pace. Go outdoors and burn about 316 calories in a half hour of mountain biking, or 372 in 30 minutes of pedaling at 14 to 15.9 miles per hour.
Jump rope to trim some fat while improving your foot speed. If you can jump continuously for 30 minutes you’ll burn 372 calories, if you weigh 155.
Go dancing to burn some calories while you socialize. A 155-pound woman can expect to burn 205 calories per 30 minutes of disco, ballroom or square dancing, or 223 calories with fast dancing or ballet.
Add interval training to your aerobic routine to burn even more calories. Interval training alternates high- and low-intensity exercise. If you run, for example, alternate running fast for two minutes, then jogging for two minutes, and keep up the pace for a half hour to burn more calories than if you jog at a steady pace for 30 minutes.
- Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, perform at least 150 minutes or moderate aerobic exercise each week, or 75 minutes of more intense cardio activity, to maintain your overall health.
- Whichever aerobic exercises you perform, warm up by doing the exercise at a moderate pace for five to 10 minutes before you begin your normal workout.
- No matter how many calories you burn in your aerobic workouts, you’ll only lose weight if you burn more calories than you ingest. You’ll lose 1 pound for every extra 3,500 calories you burn.
- Speak with your physician before you start a new workout routine, especially if you haven’t performed aerobic exercise for a while, or you have any health concerns. Stop your cardio workout if you feel pain or dizziness.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.