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The 6 Best Intense Cardio Sports

Fitday Editor
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Cardio sports are a great way to get your daily dose of aerobics. If you really want to shed the pounds, it's best to go with a high intensity workout. Low intensity cardio activities, such as walking, get your heart rate pumping, but they only allow you to burn calories while you're exercising.

If you just raise the intensity level and the time period of your workout, your body will continue to burn calories throughout the rest of the day. This allows you to lose more weight and build more muscle mass in a shorter amount of time. Here's a list of the sports that will help you incorporate high intensity training into your fitness routine.

1. Running

Jogging slowly around your town will help condition your heart. However, it won't give you the benefits of a high impact workout. Try doing sprints for about 20 or 30 minutes to keep your calorie burn going long after you've stopped.

2. Cycling

Cycling is a great way to burn some calories. Depending on your speed, you can burn anywhere from 200 - 500 calories in just 30 minutes of exercise. Make sure you add the proper resistance to amp up the intensity and get the maximum calorie burn. For an extra intense workout, try a spinning class. These classes attempt to stimulate the difficulty of an outdoor bicycle course and are a great way to burn a lot of calories fast!

3. Racquetball

When you think of high intensity workouts, racquetball doesn't immediately spring to mind. However, this sport requires constant motion. Sprinting around the court can help you burn over 400 calories in 30 minutes. Cardio tennis is another effect high-impact activity.

4. Rowing

If you want to get a great cardio workout that also improves strength, join a crew team. Rowing is a fantastic cardio exercise that burns about 400 calories per 30 minutes. Rowing works all major muscle groups and helps strengthen your core. Other benefits included improved coordination and increased body awareness. If you're not close to a body of water, you can still get a great workout using the rowing machines at your local gym.

5. Hockey

Ice Hockey is one of the most cardio-intensive sports around. Hockey players are required to fly across the ice at high speeds for 20 minutes (the duration of a period in regulation hockey). In addition to boosting cardio, this non-stop workout also improves flexibility, endurance and coordination. If you're ice skating skills are sub-par, try your hand at field hockey, which has many of the same health benefits as ice hockey.

6. Soccer

Soccer is similar to hockey in that it requires constant motion. Players must travel down the field quickly in order to keep control of the ball. There are shifts between sprinting and jogging, but these quick shifts help to increase aerobic capacity and improve cardiovascular health. Other benefits of soccer include: improved coordination, increased stamina and flexibility. The sport also requires little equipment, so even beginners can enjoy a great cardio workout.

If you really want to make strides in your weight loss program, push yourself to the limits. Engaging in these heart-pounding activities will help you get on track to achieving your health goals.

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