To answer the question of How Much Cardio to Lose Weight, lets start with hearing what the US Surgeon General has to say.

The US Surgeon General’s current recommendation is 150 minutes of moderately intense activity each week.

So cardio exercises such as jogging, brisk walking or swimming would fall into this category.

Cardio can be performed either aerobically or anaerobically. (anaerobic exercise kicks your butt but gets the job done faster)

Aerobic means with oxygen, anaerobic means without oxygen.

So the difference between the two is when you perform anaerobic exercise, your body’s demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available so you quickly run out of air.

While aerobic exercise, like marathon running, you can maintain for long periods of time.

So perhaps the question you really need to ask is… What cardio exercise will lose weight more effectively?

Aerobic exercise is less intense and is centered around endurance activities.

Examples of aerobic exercise include running, cycling, swimming, hiking and aerobics.

Sorry, I had the throw that one in there. I’ve never done it myself, it always makes me think of the eighties and the silly aerobics outfits they would wear aka tights, leotards, leg warmers, head bands and wrist bands. What were they thinking?!

Anaerobic is any exercise that is centered around short exertion, very high-intensity exercise, generally performed for less than two minutes. Examples of anaerobic exercise include sprints, interval training and jumping rope. (fast)

Anaerobic cardio is more effective to lose weight quickly because you have to spend less time doing it while reaping the benefits of an increased metabolism. Sprints seem to be the most popular anaerobic cardio I see at the gym. Now you know what that crazy guy is doing running at full speed on the treadmill.

How much cardio to lose weight

Find a good treadmill that allows you to program two speeds, your slow jogging speed and your comfortable sprinting speed.

After warming up for five minutes, sprint for a minute, then slow jog for a minute (taking deep breaths), rinse and repeat.

I generally try to go for 20 minutes with a five minute cool down at the end. If the treadmill isn’t able to program your preferred two speeds, look for a treadmill with good presets.
**UPDATE** I prefer skipping and burpees..treadmills are boring!

Not only will this allow you to lose weight fast, it will get you in the mood for working out. If I just jog on the treadmill, after 20 minutes I am very bored and I’ve probably thought of three different things I would rather be doing.

Why anaerobic cardio is my favorite way to lose weight

I’m going to repeat a point just for emphasis. Anaerobic means ‘without oxygen.’ That is why your body can’t maintain it for long periods.

Initially, anaerobic exercise burns fewer calories than does aerobic exercise but and this is a big but, anaerobic exercise builds stronger muscles and increased muscle mass eats up large amounts of calories.

Also…

Anaerobic exercise increases your VO2 max, a measure of the body’s highest oxygen capacity. Lose weight, gain muscle, increased metabolism, increased lung capacity and a decrease in treadmill boredom.

The anaerobic workout delivers most benefits for time you invest.

Get out of the gym, put your training to good use. Go play some soccer, sprint up some stairs, jump rope, the possibilities are endless.

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK final point: Change your mindset.

Stop asking how much cardio to lose weight. Instead, have fun with it like pretend you are an Olympic athlete and you are training for the next Olympics. Your country is counting on you, eat better, train harder and go for the gold.