Best Aerobic Exercise Options

These Best Aerobic Exercise Options are the perfect complement to your resistance training. Not only does it help to increase calorie-burning and improve cardiovascular function, but it specifically targets body fat. While weightlifting burns more calories of glucose, the low-intensity state of aerobic exercise utilizes fatty acids and oxygen for energy. The result: more calories of body fat burned!

In the end, “weight loss” isn’t what’s truly important. Your weight isn’t what’s unhealthy; it’s all the body fat. By doing more aerobic exercise, you can encourage more effective fat-burning and improve your health overall.

If you want to make the most of your time at the gym, below are the best aerobic exercise options to consider.

High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) isn’t only aerobic exercise. During the periods of high intensity, you push into an anaerobic state of exercise. However, the combination of the low intensity periods with the high means you’re getting an amazing aerobic workout.

You can burn a significant amount of energy during the high intensity period. Additionally, the energy-burning will continue during the low intensity period as your body is recovers. The fact that you’re taking in lungfuls of breath during low intensity exercise means your body can burn fatty acids and oxygen—ergo, fat burning.

The beauty of HIIT training is that it’s far less time-consuming than other aerobic exercise options. You can get a full workout in just 10 to 15 minutes of HIIT training. Not only will the HIIT workout be shorter, but it will lead to a boost in your metabolism and better long-term fat burning.


Jogging is probably the most common of the aerobic exercise options. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and you can jog anywhere! For example, on the streets, at the running track, around your park, in your gym, even on mountain and forest trails.

The beauty of jogging is that it’s low intensity, meaning it doesn’t sap your energy as quickly and encourages the consumption of oxygen. This, in turn, leads to better fat burning, which is why jogging is considered one of the best forms of exercise for losing weight.

You don’t need to be in great shape to start jogging—jogging will actually help you work up to that great shape. Whether you can jog for 5 minutes or for 50, it’s an excellent way to get your cardio in.

The downside of jogging is that it is high impact, meaning it can be hard on your joints. Those looking to lose weight may find that their excess body weight can increase the burden on the joints, leading to back, hip, knee, or ankle pain. Thankfully, over time, your body will get used to the jogging and the pain will diminish.


Cycling is an amazing workout for those who hate the confines of a gym. You can simply hop on your bike and zip around town. Alternatively, you can take to the highways and get out of town. At a decent pace (13 to 15 MPH), you can make a weekend cycling trip to another city and back.

Of course, there are always cycling machines indoors. Not only is cycling low intensity, but you can cycle while watching TV, reading a book, or talking to friends. The low-intensity exercise means it’s great for burning fat. If you want to kick things into higher gear with a HIIT-style workout, there are training programs like Soul Cycle or Spinning to help you push yourself harder.

Cycling can be a very social activity. Spin classes are hugely popular, and you can make friends at these classes to make the training a whole lot more fun!


Swimming is, by far, the best of all the aerobic exercise options. It’s a full-body workout, one that forcibly improves your cardiovascular function thanks to the fact that you have to control your breathing. The only reason it’s not ranked higher on this list is because not everyone has access to a pool.

If you can get to a gym with a pool, try to incorporate at least one swimming training session into your weekly workout. Swimming works your upper body, lower body, and core muscles, and it incorporates endurance training into your aerobic workout. Swimmers develop lean, strong bodies with less body fat. The more you swim, the more fat you burn!

Dancing/Zumba/Cardio Classes

If you’re looking for a form of aerobic exercise that is as fun as it is effective, you’ll definitely want to take a class at your local gym or dance studio. These classes—Zumba, Cardio Boxing, Hip Hop—are a great way to take your mind off the “work” part of the workout. You’ll end up dancing away the calories, and time will fly as you push your body to adapt to new movements.

Of course, there’s also a very important social aspect of these classes. You’ll make new friends as you spend hours every week training beside them. It’s a great way to increase your social interaction while enjoying your workout!

Gym Machines

Rowing machines, elliptical machines, Stairmaster, and Ski Machines are all good alternatives to gym-based cardio training. Rowing machines are the most effective—as they give the best full-body workout. However, you can still get in a great workout using the elliptical, Stairmaster, or ski machine as well.

The only thing that matters is that you keep moving and push your body to its cardiovascular limits. Whatever machine you choose to work with, you need to remember that it’s about working in a low intensity (less than 65% Max Heart Rate) in order to activate stored fats to burn.


Related Post: Strength Training For Runners


Best Aerobic Exercise Options

Athletes Insight™