Weight Loss & Diet

Weight Loss – the Benefits of Cardio

Weight Loss - the Benefits of Cardio
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Exercise for Weight Loss

You may already know that exercise burns calories, and that can help you lose weight. However, the calorie-burning boost to weight loss may not be the greatest benefit of exercise for weight loss and health. Research suggests that what you eat is far more important for weight loss than how much you work out. However, exercising regularly appears to be important in keeping off the weight successfully. It may because exercise:

  • Is a reminder of how hard you are working to control your weight.

  • Helps your body directly feel the benefits of being good to yourself.

  • Is a signal to yourself that you are committed to your healthy lifestyle.

  • Improves your confidence in your own ability to treat yourself right. Exercise has benefits way beyond weight loss. It improves health and quality of life. Consider these effects.

  • Exercise can lower blood pressure, total cholesterol, and blood sugar, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol.

  • Exercise lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and hypertension.

  • Exercise helps you sleep better.

  • Exercise increases energy.

  • Exercise can improve mood. So how much exercise should you do, and what is the best type? Along with stretching to increase flexibility and lower injury risk, experts suggest doing cardio and strength training regularly.


“Cardio,” or aerobic activity, burns calories and has the health benefits mentioned above. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, suggest getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or at least 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. You can add up bouts of 10 minutes at a time to hit your 30 minutes. These are examples of moderate-intensity activities. They burn about 150 to 200 calories per half-hour for someone who weighs 150 to 200 lb.

  • Walking briskly.

  • Dancing.

  • Gardening.

  • Leisurely bicycling. You can also hit your recommendations by getting at least 75 minutes per week, or 15 minutes 5 days a week, of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. You might burn 125 to 175 calories in 15 minutes doing these activities.

  • Running.

  • Swimming laps quickly.

  • Bicycling hard.

  • Kickboxing. Exercise can help with weight control, but stay aware of two common traps. One is that exercise makes you hungrier, so some people eat more when they exercise. They may eat enough to outweigh the weight loss benefits of their exercise – that is, they eat more extra calories than they burned. The other trap to avoid is exercise extra to burn more calories so you can eat more. Most people overestimate the calories they burn, and underestimate the calories they eat, so it is likely that you will lose out if you try to match extra eating with extra exercise. The other problem is that calories from food add up faster – the cookie may have 300 calories and take a minute to eat, while it might take you an hour of exercise to burn that off.

Best Weight Loss Health Coach App

You are putting in the work, so you deserve to maximize the benefits. A weight loss health coach app can help you do just that. A health coach app serves all the functions of a regular coach: informing, motivating, guiding, cheering, and organizing. The best weight loss health coach app:

  • Informs you about healthy ways to lose weight and incorporate healthy behaviors into your lifestyle.

  • Motivates you to keep setting and chasing new goals.

  • Guides you through your weight loss journey in your own way.

  • Cheers your successes, your efforts, and, should you fall short of your goals for a time, your renewed dedication.

  • Organizes by encouraging you to log your food, activity and weight, and storing that information. Lark Health Coach serves all of those roles, and then some. Lark is available 24/7 to be your coach and friend. Your health coach automatically customizes your program for you. Lark even learns your patterns and coaches around them. Do you prefer a gluten-free or dairy-free lifestyle? You’ll get tips on healthy ways to get your nutrients without eating gluten or dairy products. Do you normally take an afternoon walk? Then do not be surprised if Lark gives you a gentle nudge if you forget to take it one day.