Cardio won't directly target belly fat, but it can definitely help. To figure out the best type of cardio that will help you lose belly fat, Machowsky said to take into account any conditions you may have. For example, if you have orthopedic issues like arthritis in your knees, you should probably avoid high-impact cardio like running.
As a general rule of thumb, when choosing a cardio workout "things that gas you within 10 to 15 minutes are a good option," he said. For example, he recommends rowing because you can do it at a moderate to intense pace and because it simultaneously works your upper and lower body.
It's important to note that you shouldn't feel 100-percent exhausted once you've finished a HIIT workout because you will have only trained for 10 minutes. Instead, find a happy medium that will challenge you and that you can sustain for 20 to 30 minutes each session, he said.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends doing up to 60 minutes of cardiovascular activity a day to promote weight loss, so you have a lot of flexibility, but 20 to 30 minutes should be your baseline, according to Machowsky. If you don't have a lot of time, doing HIIT for 20 minutes is a better option than a moderate jog, he said. "If you can put in more work in the same amount of time, you're going to burn more calories," he explained.
If you aren't in a time crunch, Machowsky recommends using the elliptical, cycling, jogging, or doing a combination of all three. For example, you can do 20 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the bike, and finish off with a 20-minute jog. According to Machowsky, the most effective cardio to lose belly fat is, "A: what doesn't hurt their joints, B: something they can do for a reasonable amount of time, and C: something they enjoy so they keep doing it."