People with an endomorph body type tend to have a slower metabolism, which makes it easier to gain weight and more challenging to lose weight. Exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, is an important part in helping endomorphs burn more calories, increase metabolism, and lose weight. This means cardio is a key part of the endomorph workout plan.
So it’s important that you do a cardio workout you love and have fun doing. Cardio not only helps you to achieve the health, fitness, and body goals you want, but also to maintain it.
Below are tips for choosing an exercise activity that you’ll find comfortable and will enjoy, but is sufficiently intense to stimulate fat burning and weight loss.
Another factor to consider is how much impact an exercise has:
- Joint problems, previous injury, muscle imbalances and higher body weight increase the pressure on joints and bones during high-impact exercise, increasing the risk of injury.
- The more you weigh; the more force your body has to absorb.
- Body fat, bone and muscle mass all contribute to overall weight.
High-impact exercise is absolutely fine for endomorphs, but will be challenging if you have been sedentary or overweight. High-impact exercise (e.g. running) requires greater levels of fitness and strength to lift yourself off the ground, withstand the bigger impact and avoid injury. The more you weigh or the more out of shape you are, the tougher it gets. That means it’s harder to exercise long enough (i.e. more than 20 minutes) to burn a significant amount of calories and that your risk of injury is greater.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t run, jump-rope or do any other high-impact workout. But just that if you’re a beginner, you need to ease into it. Remember. Do what you love!
And whatever you do, don’t throw yourself into a high-intensity, hard-core workout on day 1, only to swear off ever exercising again! You want to love exercising. And to understand that if something didn’t work out, why it didn’t, what to do next, and that it doesn’t mean you can’t try again later when you’re stronger, more fit and a lot more fierce!
Best Exercises for Endomorphs.
Ideally endomorphs, particularly if overweight or just starting exercise, should begin with a workout plan that is low-impact in nature.
Unfortunately low-impact exercise has a bad rap. Low-impact is often confused with low-intensity. However, the two are not the same – far from it. Impact is how hard you hit the floor when doing a particular activity. Intensity is how difficult a workout is – how hard your heart is beating, how much you’re sweating, how out of breath you are, and how many calories you’re burning.
It’s true that doing high-impact exercise tends to lead to a high-intensity workout. But the reverse isn’t necessarily true. Low impact exercise doesn’t have to result in a low-intensity workout. Low impact exercise can be very intense and burn a ton of calories – if you want it to.
The advantage of low-impact exercise is that it feels easier, even if it burns a lot of calories. For example, exercising on the elliptical trainer can burn as many calories as running on the treadmill. But despite burning a similar amount of calories, exercising on the elliptical feels easier than running. And if you find it easier, it means you can exercise for longer and burn more calories!
There’s a vast array of exercises that allow you to work out at a high level, but are low impact. The bulk of your workout plan should consist of one or more of these core activities listed below. These activities will allow you to exercise long enough and hard enough to burn a lot of calories and lose weight, if that’s your goal.
Moderate to High-intensity,
These activities are low-impact, but can be moderate or high-intensity (depending on your pace or setting on the gym equipment), which means they can burn a lot of calories. Try to incorporate at least one into your regular workout routine.
- Cycling/ Spinning/ mountain biking
- Brisk walking/ Race walking
- Nordic walking
- Elliptical machine
- Ski machine
- Stepper/ Stair-climber
- Stair climbing
- Low-impact, high-intensity aerobics (some Zumba classes for example – speak to an instructor)
In terms of intensity, beginners should start at a moderate level of intensity. In other words, if you’re cycling for example, don’t start out by cycling as fast as you can. Instead, adopt a more measured intensity, which will also allow you to exercise for longer. At moderate intensity you are breathing through your mouth, but still just about able to carry on a normal conversation. As you become more fit, you can increase the difficulty.
You can also supplement the above core exercises with extra activities, which offer variety, fun and team interaction, but are less effective calorie-burners.
Low-intensity. Stretching classes, Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and other related activities aren’t cardio workouts. And while they possess immense benefits, they won’t help you lose fat. You can include them in your exercise routine, but don’t substitute your cardio for it.
If you are already fit, in good health and do not suffer with joint problems, by all means start with higher impact exercise. But still ease in to it. If you’re interested in running for example, start with a run-walk plan, that alternates high-impact running with periods of low-impact walking.
High-impact. High-impact workouts that are great for weight loss include:
- Jump rope
- HIIT programs such as CrossFit, PX90, and other HIIT based DVD workouts such as Jillian Michaels, which are very tough but effective.
Ultimately, remember this. The best exercise is the one you enjoy most. If you like it, you’ll do it. But, if the thought of having to get out of bed in the morning fills you with dread because your cardio workout looms, you’ll find a thousand and one reasons to get out of it. So, pick something you enjoy doing.
Try as many different activities as you can and, if you have access to a gym, various exercise machinery to determine what type of cardio you most love.
When you’re done with your workout you should feel on a high, even if you feel shattered because you gave it your all. It doesn’t matter if you just ran 5K, killed it on the cross-trainer, or did a crazy awesome Zumba class and unleashed your inner Beyoncé.
- Brown GA, Cook CM, Krueger RD, Heelan KA. Comparison of energy expenditure on a treadmill vs. an elliptical device at a self-selected exercise intensity. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(6):1643-9. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cb2854. PMID: 20453685.
- Egaña M, Donne B. Physiological changes following a 12 week gym based stair-climbing, elliptical trainer and treadmill running program in females. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2004;44(2):141-6. PMID: 15470311.