For many, weight gain is a part of weekends, holidays, vacation, aging, stress and hormones.

If you’re wanting to burn them and get back in shape, award winning bariatric medicine physician Dr. Jan McBarron recommends cardio-focused exercise because it boosts your heart rate, induces sweating, and burns calories quickly. 

If you’re wanting to shed those pounds once and for all, these cardio-centric exercise routines can help. 

Elliptical Workout

The beauty of ellipticals is that they’re not just a wonderful form of cardio exercise, they’re also designed to be extremely low impact. While other exercise forms such as running wear on the hips, knees, and ankles, elliptical workouts are gentle. This makes them an incredibly approachable cardio-focused exercise, especially for those who may be aging or struggling with joint pain 

While exact burn rates depend on workout intensity, overall incline, and your weight, the average person can burn around 500-600 calories per hour on an elliptical machine. To get the most out of your workout session and maximize your fat-burning potential, try activating a higher incline or increasing the resistance. 

Stair Climbing

One of the reasons Jan McBarron loves the stair climber for burning calories is because it doesn’t just melt fat, it also strengthens your legs in a functional way. For most, it’s also a high-intensity workout, which means you can burn calories more quickly than many other exercise methods. 

To take it up even a notch further, you can incorporate medium-weight kettlebells or dumbbells, which will work to strengthen your upper body and core to add muscle and definition as you torch those extra pounds. 

Jumping Rope

It might be popular in the schoolyard at recess, but jumping rope is also a great way to burn calories and drop weight. That’s why it’s a mainstay in training for boxers. Plus, it requires no expensive equipment, no prior knowledge, and no gym membership. 

Jan McBarron highlights that a moderate to intense session of jumping rope for just 30 minutes can burn 500 calories or more, depending on your pacing and weight. Even if you can’t manage 30 minutes straight, jumping for one minute with 30 second rest periods will achieve similar results.


Unlike most cardio-centered exercises, swimming is a total-body workout because it engages several different muscle groups, while other activities are likely to engage only a few. Outside of helping you lose weight; it also serves to tone muscle and improve overall health. 

When swimming to lose weight, Jan McBarron recommends keeping an upbeat, competitive pace. For optimum results, you’ll also want to use a stroke that maximizes the number of calories burnt per hour. Strokes which are more intense, such as butterfly and freestyle, will burn more calories more quickly than slower strokes like the breaststroke and backstroke.

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