Being overweight can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, breathing difficulties and a shortened lifespan. If your goal is to lose weight, you have to get enough physical activity so your body can burn more calories than you consume. Running and biking are two of the best fat burning exercise you can do to zap excess fat and get in shape.

Cardiovascular exercises are effective at helping you lose weight because they require you to expend a lot of energy. When you combine cardio with a sensible eating plan, it helps create the kind of calorie deficit you need to burn off fat.

Running Can Help You Burn Fat

When you run, you can easily burn 300 to 500 calories per session. Of course, the number of calories you burn will depend on the intensity of your workout. Varying your speed, running on uneven terrain and using the incline on a treadmill can intensify your workout and help you burn more calories.

Running not only melts away fat, it strengthens the lungs, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of strokes, helps the arteries maintain elasticity, strengthens the bones and improves the health of your heart. This form of cardiovascular exercise also reduces stress, prevents depression and boosts your mood.

Tips to Prevent Injury While Running to Burn Fat

Running has its advantages, but if it is not done properly, it can cause knee, leg, ankle, calf, hip and feet injuries. Go to a specialty store and find shoes that are specifically made for running. You don't have to pay a fortune for your running shoes, but you do need to invest in a quality pair.

If you buy a pair of $5 running shoes from Alvin's Bargain Basement, you're practically asking for messed-up feet and ankles. If you are unsure about how to choose the right shoes, ask the clerk at the store for help.

Running is by far one of the best fat burning exercises you can do, but this doesn't mean you should kick open your front door and blast off. You have to warm up those muscles first. Start off by walking slowly and then pick up speed after a few minutes.

If you are new to running, you might be anxious to run as fast and as far as you can. Not so fast though. While pushing yourself is part of the process, don't get carried away. Start slow and add speed and mileage over a period of weeks.

Biking Can Help You Burn Fat

When you bike, you can burn up to 500 calories per 40-minute session. Of course, the number of calories you burn can vary depending on a number of variables. Biking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and tone your lower body. Unlike running, biking does not cause stress on the joints, so it's perfect for the elderly or people with joint problems.

Even if you ride short distances everyday, it can make a difference in the way you look. So if you work close by, drop those car keys and grab your bike. If you live in areas that are not bike-rider friendly, invest in a quality stationary bike. An ideal stationary bike will allow you to adjust the level of resistance so you can vary the intensity of your workouts.

If you're trying to slim down, there is no way around a hardcore cardiovascular workout. Biking and running are two of the best fat burning exercises you can do to lose weight and get the body you have always dreamed of having.