When starting on your weight loss journey, all the information overload about crash diets, detox teas, supplements and crazy gym workouts can be really daunting. Wondering why this particular beginners’ cardio workout to lose weight is the way to go for you?

Keeping aside all the crazy and bizarre ways that are recommended by the health industry to lose weight, the actual foolproof scientifically proven way to lose weight is really simple!

You lose weight when: Daily Calories out > Daily Calories in 

You gain weight when: Daily Calories out < Daily Calories in

Beginners' Cardio Workout to Lose Weight

“Calories in” refers to the calories you get from eating your food and “Calories out” refers to the calories that you burn in a day through your workouts and other bodily functions. 

Yes!! It is that simple! And here comes Cardio.

Cardio is one of the best and easiest ways to burn your daily calories and increase the “Calories out” part of the equation.

So, read on to find the best beginners’ cardio workout plan to lose weight.

What is Cardio?

According to Wikipedia, Cardio is “physical exercise of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process”. Aerobic refers to a process that requires oxygen to burn energy. 

A Calorie is the basic unit of energy and hence by doing cardiovascular exercises, you are essentially burning calories and hence you are bound to lose weight, provided you keep your diet and lifestyle almost the same as before.

For beginners, even low-intensity exercises can bring up the heart rate to a great extent and you will find this such a curated beginners’ cardio workout to lose weight here.

Cardio for Weight Loss

Beginners' Cardio Workout to Lose Weight

As discussed in the previous version, cardio or aerobic exercises burn calories and thus help you lose weight.

For losing 1 kg of body weight, you need to burn around 7000 Calories. Calories are burnt by us throughout the day, like when we are walking, sitting, digesting food, exercising, or even when we are sleeping. 

So by doing this beginners’ cardio workout at home, you will be able to lose weight at a quicker pace.

Benefits of Cardio

Apart from just losing weight, cardiovascular exercises have numerous health benefits:

  • It has been proven time and again that doing cardiovascular exercised regularly can have immense positive effects on your heart health
  • Cardio can greatly increase your endurance and stamina even in a short period of time
  • If you want to improve your lung capacity in the long run, then you should definitely try cardio exercises and this is why they are often recommended by health care professionals
  • Cardio reduces the risk of various health conditions like heart attacks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, various forms of cancer and many more
  • Aerobic exercises even help with pain relief. Yes! When we do cardio, endorphins are released by our bodies which work with brain receptors and reduce the feeling of pain
  • Cardio has many positive effects on mental health because cardio releases feel-good hormones like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which help with mental health issues
You will be able to sleep better Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system It improves your brain power and cognitive performance It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go! Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person
  • You will be able to sleep better
  • Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly
  • Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones
  • You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body
  • Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent
  • Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system
  • It improves your brain power and cognitive performance
  • It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints
  • If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go!
  • Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually
  • Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body
  • Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion
  • The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere
  • Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person

Easy BeginnersCardio Workout to Lose Weight

You will be able to sleep better Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system It improves your brain power and cognitive performance It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go! Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person

Now that you know that cardio is one of the best things you can do to your body and soul, here is something you can start with. 

This beginner cardio workout plan will comprise of a 20 min workout. There are 10 exercises, and you will perform each exercise for 40 seconds and then take rest for 20 seconds. After 1 round of all exercised and 10 mins are over, you can repeat the same for the next 10 minutes.

If you find it too difficult on the first day, you can skip the 2nd round.

Try and do this beginner cardio workout to lose weight 3 to 4 times a week. If you do this regularly and simultaneously watch your diet, you are bound to see results. 

Do not expect to see results in your weight in 2 to 3 sessions, even though you will feel good instantly. 

Do not try this workout immediately after eating meals. Also, stop the workout immediately if you feel intense pain anywhere. It is better to consult your physician before proceeding with any new workout routine if you are suffering from any health conditions. 

Exercises

1. High Knees

You will be able to sleep better Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system It improves your brain power and cognitive performance It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go! Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person

High knees are a great warmup exercise that brings up your heart rate gets you moving. It helps increase your glute and leg muscles’ strength.

Steps 

  • Start by standing up with your feet hip-width apart and your hands in a running position
  • Lift your left knee and bring it close to your chest, then switch quickly to your right knee
  • Repeat this alternately at a fast pace so as to mimic running in your place

Easier Variation

If jumping is too difficult for you or if you want to switch to an easier variation in the middle of the exercise, you can simplify the cardio exercise by eliminating the jumping. 

Simple lift your knees and bring it to your chest without jumping.

2. Jumping Jacks

You will be able to sleep better Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system It improves your brain power and cognitive performance It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go! Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person

Jumping jacks are an easy and versatile exercise which works on all major muscle groups of your body like thighs, calves, shoulders and many more. So for a beginner cardio workout at home, I could not have skipped this easy one.

Steps 

  • Start by standing up with your feet close together, knees bent and hands by your side
  • With a slight jump, open your legs and arms to your sides. Your feet should land beyond your shoulders and arms above your head
  • With a slight jump again come back to the starting position
  • Try to keep your core (abdominal muscles) engaged throughout the exercise and always have a slight bend in your knees

Easier Variation

Instead of jumping, alternately bring your legs side to side, one leg at a time. Arm movement should be the same.

3. Downward Dog Pose

You will be able to sleep better Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system It improves your brain power and cognitive performance It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go! Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person

Downward dog is a popular upper body yoga pose that works on your whole upper body including shoulders, chest and back muscles. Even though it is a stationary exercise, you will notice that it brings your heart rate up and you will definitely feel the burn.

Steps 

  • To practice the downward-facing dog pose, start by coming onto the floor on your knees under your hips and placed on the mat and hands apart and placed farther than your shoulders
  • Then gently lift your knees and straighten your leg and try to press your heels on the mat
  • Firm your shoulder blades, straighten your back and pull up your sitting bones so that your body forms a triangle shape
  • Now slightly swing your body by gently lifting your ankles alternately, one at a time.

Easier Variation

To make this easier, you may pause for a few seconds in between and get back to the pose again.

4. Front Kicks

You will be able to sleep better Next time you are stressed, try cardio since it is known to reduce stress levels and elevate your mood instantly Studies have shown that regular cardio can increase your bone density and prevent brittle bones You will be more flexible than ever as you will be utilising your entire body Cardio helps to reduce symptoms of asthma to some extent Research has shown that cardio can strengthen your entire immune system It improves your brain power and cognitive performance It also reduces arthritis pain and stiffness because you will be moving your joints If you want to look younger and age gracefully, then regular cardio is the way to go! Since cardio increases blood circulation throughout the body, you will develop healthier skin gradually Cardio is one of the best ways to increase your body’s metabolism and tone your whole body Cardio is even known to improve your gut health and improve your digestion The best part about cardio is that it is free, accessible and can be done almost anywhere Last but not least, cardio will definitely improve your self-confidence and self-esteem and you will feel like a totally new person

Front kicks are a fun kickboxing exercise which will, apart from elevating your heart rate, also work on your core and hamstring muscles.

Steps 

  • Start by standing up with your feet hip-width apart and lift your right leg and kick in the forward direction
  • Then keep your right foot down and repeat the same with your left foot and so on alternately
  • Remember to push through your heel

5. Jump Squats

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Squats and especially jump squats work on core, leg and glute muscles and strengthen them. 

Steps 

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart (or slightly more than that) and slightly pointing outwards
  • Now slowly sit back till your butt is parallel to the floor while keeping your abs engaged. 
  • As you sit back, feel your weight shifting to your heels. Do not put your weight on your toes. All your weight should be on your heels.
  • Then from this position, jump up explosively and come back again to the squat position.

Easier Variation

Beginners' Cardio Workout to Lose Weight

Many beginners may find jump squats challenging, hence they may switch to regular squats which replaces jumping with simply standing up.

6. Alternating Forward Lunges

Alternating Forward Lunges
Alternating Forward Lunges

Alternating forward lunges work on your whole lower body as well as your core. This exercise helps to work on each of your legs individually and hence improves your balance.

Steps 

  • To start with forward lunge also known as the split squat, start by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips
  • Now take a step forward with your right foot and place it in front of you so that both your knees form a right angle
  • Make sure all your weight is on your right knee and engage your core throughout
  • Now lift your right foot and come back to the starting position while driving back off your right heel
  • Repeat alternately on both legs

Easier Variation

You can make the exercise easier for you by lunging down only halfway, rather than forming a right angle on both your knees. 

7. Alternating Lateral Lunges

Alternating Forward Lunges
Alternating Forward Lunges

It is very important to include lateral movements in our workouts as they work on muscles that may be missed by other exercises that target our legs. Alternate lateral lunges mainly work on your quads, inner thighs and outer thighs.

Steps 

  • Start by standing up with your feet hip-width apart and step your right knee to the side and come into a lunge position by bending your knees
  • Come back to the start position and repeat the same on the other leg

Easier Variation

This exercise is pretty easy but you can still make it easier by lunging halfway instead of a full lunge.

8. Plank Jacks

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Plank jacks are an excellent cardio exercise which can challenge you and increase your endurance. It works mainly on your core muscles and strengthens it from inside out. Apart from that, it also works on your legs, shoulders, chest and back muscles.

Steps 

  • For performing plank jacks, all you need to do it come down on the floor with your hands extended and placed on the floor and align them right under your shoulders
  • Your legs, glutes, back, neck and head all should form a straight line like a plank. This can be done by engaging your core, squeezing your glutes and holding a firm and neutral spine all the way up to your head
  • Then, similar to jumping jacks, open your feet wide apart with a slight jump and then place them back together again with a slight jump.

Easier Variation

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Plank jacks can be quite challenging for some beginners. In that case, you may make it simple by just tapping on the sides.

Instead of jumping and opening both your legs together, first place one leg away, then bring it back and then repeat the same with the other leg.

9. Alternating Leg Drops

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Alternating leg drops work on your abs, especially your lower abs. 

Steps 

  • Start by lying on your back and both legs raised at a 90-degree angle with the floor. 
  • From here, drop one leg and lower it as much as you can with an exhale. Do not touch your heel on the floor and keep your core engaged throughout.
  • Bring the leg back to starting position and repeat the same with the other leg.

Easier Variation

Beginners' Cardio Workout to Lose Weight

An easier variation would be to keep your legs bent at a right angle and then doing the same exercise with your knees always bent.

10. Plank Pose

Alternating Forward Lunges

Planks are the ultimate total body exercise that works almost on every muscle of your body. Holding a plank pose for even 10 secs instantly gets your heart rate up and increases your endurance to a great extent.

Steps 

  • For holding the classic plank pose, all you need to do it come down on your elbows by aligning them right under your shoulders
  • Your legs, glutes, back, neck and head all should form a straight line like a plank. This can be done by engaging your core, squeezing your glutes and holding a firm and neutral spine all the way up to your head
  • You may keep your forearms parallel to your body or you may even clasp both your hands to together

Easier Variation

Beginners' Cardio Workout to Lose Weight

The easier variation of a plank would be doing planks on your knees. 

For doing the plank on your knees, come down on your knees and you may even rest your knees on a towel for comfort. You may straighten your arms completely and hold this position.

Doing plank on your knees reduces the stress on your back and core to a great extent. Hence this plank pose can be held for a longer time.

Conclusion

Congratulations on your first step towards a healthy and fit lifestyle. 

Remember that consistency is the key. Doing this once or twice won’t help. Regular sessions will lead to amazing results. 

Also remember that 80% of your weight loss journey is determined by your diet, hence focus on that as well.

Checkout at-home beginner full-body workout and beginners yoga routine in Womans’ Health and let us know your feedback.