Pilates vs Cardio: Which one is best for fat-burning and weight-loss?

If you're looking to lose weight before the warmer season starts, now is the time to get started, but what type of exercise is best?

We all know that summer bodies are made in winter, which means that this season is the optimal time to work out and get into shape before the warmer seasons creep in.

If you have not yet gotten into the lifestyle of working out frequently and consistently, then you might not know which exercises are best for you to get rid of the extra body fat, or how to stretch and build some muscle in the desired areas of your body.

Doing all basic workouts can be good to circulate your blood, stretch and strengthen your muscles and joints, and work towards making you fitter, but they do not all work the same for every single body type, and this is why it is important to know the difference between each exercise and the benefits that certain workouts can have for your specific body type.

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When you have made the choice to get into shape and embark on the journey of a healthier lifestyle, then cardio is definitely your best bet.

Cardio refers to the exercises and workouts designed to strengthen, stretch, and tighten your body to get your heart rate up, while focusing on your breathing.

Often times, people believe that cardio is only limited to the many exercises that can be done from inside the gym and with the fancy gym equipment, and this is why many people join the gym as they believe that it is the best place to get the best results.

Although joining the gym may be a brilliant way to become consistent with a healthier and active lifestyle, it is more than possible for you to achieve the same great results from the comfort of your home, as you could from the inside of the gym.

Cardio is not just limited to equipment based exercises, but also consists of other great workouts such as running, swimming, cycling, rowing, dancing, kickboxing and walking.

cardio workouts
Couple sprinting on a treadmill. Picture: iStock

Here are some low-intensity cardio workouts that can be done in the gym and at home:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Jumping jack
  • Jogging
  • Lunge
  • Elliptical
  • Lateral shuffle
  • Reverse lunge kick

Here are some high-intensity cardio workouts that can be done in the gym and at home:

  • Burpee
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jump squat
  • Plank jacks
  • Lunge jump
  • Sprint
  • Squat thrust
  • Butt kicks
  • Jump rope
  • Push-ups


Although not intensive, Pilates consist of many different exercises which are designed to focus on preventing injuries, boost your mood, increase energy, improve sleep, flexibility, strength, mobility, balance and body awareness.

Starting off your fitness journey with pilates is an excellent way to become more consistent with working out, but because Pilates is a low-impact exercise, it may not be as effective as cardio for burning fat.

Even as a fitness junkie, it may be beneficial for you to get into pilates to tone up your body, build some lean muscle, and improve your posture and form.

Studies have shown that Pilates can have a positive effect on your mental health, and it can also ease the body of muscle and joint pain.

Getting into the groove of Pilates can also be extremely beneficial for you and your romantic partner and spice up your sex life as it builds endurance, strength, mobility and flexibly.

Pilates workouts
A Pilates class in session. Picture: iStock

Here are some pilates exercises that can be done in the gym and at home:

  • Side leg raises
  • Single straight leg stretch
  • Double leg stretch
  • Plank
  • Toe tips
  • Spine twist
  • Pelvic curl
  • Rolling like a ball
  • One leg circle
  • Leg pull front

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