Does Cardio Help Burn Fat?

Cardio can help burn fat, but it is not the only strategy to shed unwanted pounds.

The real key to burning fat and losing weight is to end each day in a caloric deficit. The calories you take in need to be lower than the calories you put out.

Primarily, this will be controlled by your nutrition habits, but implementing workout strategies like cardio can play a factor in helping reduce some of those daily calories.

When it comes to exercise, low-intensity steady-state cardio has long been touted as the best way to burn fat, and while it can be beneficial, it’s certainly not the most efficient (or fun) strategy. 


Generally, cardio is broken into two categories:

Low-intensity and high-intensity.

Each can burn fat in different ways, and understanding the difference between the two may help determine the best strategy for you.

Low-Intensity Cardio

More of the calories you burn will come from fat.

Have you ever seen a bodybuilder or a figure competitor walking on a treadmill or strolling on an elliptical for what seems like hours? 

Low-intensity cardio is the ideal strategy for them because they don’t have the muscle mass to spare. 

They can afford to spend hours in the gym performing steady-state cardio as competitors, but this probably isn’t realistic for the average person.  

High-Intensity Cardio

More calories can be burned in a short amount of time, but some of it may come at the expense of muscle.

For most people, this probably isn’t a big deal.

The majority of clients we work with want to get the best workout possible in the short amount of time they have to dedicate to their fitness.

The benefits of high-intensity cardio go beyond it being the more time-efficient option.

Studies have shown that after a high-intensity cardio workout, your body may continue to burn calories at a rate of 50 calories per hour for an additional 10-12 hours. 


Aside from the weight loss benefits, there are many ways that HIIT cardio can positively affect your overall physical and mental health. 

HIIT training has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar while improving oxygen consumption. 

It has also been shown to increase brain function, regulate mood, and ward off depression. 


Our 45-minute BURN classes are built around high-intensity cardio in a group setting.

So whether you are looking to burn fat, improve your overall health, or want to run your first 5k, these classes may be just what you’ve been looking for.