Effective cardio tools for weight loss

BLOG 62Effective weight loss happens with the right combination of a balances diet and physical exercise. You can choose between hitting a gym or working out on your own, doing weight, jogging, running and cardio. While most peple underestimate the importance of including cardio in their exercise schedule, the fact remains that it is one of the keys to an overall toned body. Cardio exercises include anything that will increase your heart rate and keep it up for a significant time period. Even though cardio is good for you, you must ensure you do not overdo it. There are limitations. Over doing your cardio workout can soon lead to aching knees, muscle loss and decreased metabolism. The best combination that works for most people is a blend of 10 – 20 minutes of intense cardio and 25 – 45 mins of low intensity cardio. Not only does this not cause any injuries, it also proves to be the maximum benefit routine.

High intensity interval training includes 10 mins of intense cardio exercise. It is devoid of warming up and down sessions and, should be repeated every alternate or 3rd alternate day. The intensity of this workout burns energy from the muscles and hence, must not be done every day, giving muscles time to recover from the stress.

The most effective cardio tools are:

1. Kettlebell

Exercises involving the kettlebell are whole body workouts and work better than isolation exercises. These are very basic exercises, and are most effective when done for a duration of about 30 to 35 mins. Since the whole body works out in these exercises, you burn a lot mote calories with each repetition.

2. Circuit training

A high intense workout including aerobic exercises and resistance training. The cycles, or circuits, are repeated continuosly, with minimum rest in between. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises can be blended. You can include exercises you like to create a circuit of your own.

3. Stair training

As is evident, this involves a stair or a series of stairs. These exercises increase cardiovascular stamina and work miraculously for toning the lower body. It may be slightly strenuous to start with, but you can easily build up on this exercise and also include it in your interval or circuit training.

4. Swimming

Swimming has been known for a long time to have cardio vascular benefits. Rigorous freestyle swimming can burn as much as 350 calories in just 30 minutes. The breast stroke or butterfly stroke are the best ones for the purpose.

5. Cycling

Compared to static indoor cycling in the gym, cycling outdoors works wonders for the overall fitness. The challenge of maneuvering through different terrains and routes can help add to the adventure quotient of a perceived boring activity. The calories burnt during a cycling session depend on the speed of cycling and the resistance offered by the route take.

6. Power yoga

Yoga has always been a great way to mental, emotional an physical stability. Power yoga in a form of yoga where the postures are performed in a temperature controlled room, with greater focus on cardiovascular fitness. Strengthening you abdomen, back, hips and pelvis, it helps to improves strength, stamina, posture, concentrarion and muscles toning.



Healthy soup recipes for fall and winter

bildeTuscan soup (63 calories per serving)


1 1/4 cup eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 cup water
1 can whole tomatoes, no salt added, undrained and chopped (14 1/2-ounce)
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small summer (yellow) squash, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, dried
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
12 oz can chicken broth, reduced sodium


Combine the first 10 ingredients in a large saucepan, stirring well. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

04dinner-articleLargeSpiced carrot cauliflower soup (70 calories per serving)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped carrots (about 8 medium carrots)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions for 3 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Heat the vegetable bouillon and the water.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
  5. Using an immersion blender or standing blender, puree all of the ingredients until smooth.

646bf4b723c2c36415b00c9c059b5659Red pepper bisque (60 calories per serving)


  • 1 cup yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 24-oz vegetable stock
  • 3 cups red bell peppers
  • 1.4 cup chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


In a pot, saute sliced onions and chopped garlic until soft. Add vegetable stock and roasted bell peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Season soup with salt and pepper. Fill a blender half full, and blend until smooth. Repeat blending until all soup is blended. Reheat soup and serve hot.

Crock-Pot-Minestrone-SoupMinestrone soup (190 calories per serving)


  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed
  • 32 oz vegetable broth for vegetarians
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 medium 8 oz zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cups cooked small wild pasta such as ditalini or elbows


Puree beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, basil and parsley, cover and cook on low 40 minutes. Add the zucchini and spinach, cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprig and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into 8 bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each.

altons-lentil-soupLentil soup (373 calories per serving)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise


Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

R140330Chunky beef stew (240 calories per serving)


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 pound boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 package (9 ounces) frozen cut green beans (2 cups)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 14 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce


  1. Over medium-high heat, lightly coat a 4-quart pot with cooking spray; add beef. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove beef from pot using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add green beans, carrots, onion, broth, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add tomato sauce to pot. Return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add beef; heat thoroughly and serve.

soupPepper soup (141 calories per serving)


  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 2. 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 10.5 of chicken broth
  • ½ large white onion, chopped
  • 3 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans of condensed tomato soup
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked integral rice


Combine everything except the rice in a large pot, and simmer for 4 to 6 hours. Add a little rice to the bottom of a soup bowl or mug, then add a cup of the soup over it.

recipe-image-legacy-id--491507_11Spicy roasted parsnip soup (233 caloriers per serving)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, plus extra to garnish
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 675g parsnips, diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1.2l vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. In a bowl, mix together the oil and spices. Add the vegetables and mix well. Spread over a heavy baking sheet, then roast for 30 mins until tender.
  2. Spoon into a food processor or liquidiser with half the stock and process until smooth. Pour into a pan with the remaining stock, season, then heat until barely simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Garnish with cumin seeds.