If you want to burn calories, then cardio definitely does that!
Science tells us you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. So if you burn more calories than you eat in a day, then science tells us, you will lose weight.
30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill usually burns 300 calories (depending what speed and incline you go) whereas a 30 minute of weight strength training you may only burn 100 calories.
Yes cardio does burn more calories than weight training in a certain amount of time, however you shouldn't neglect the weights area at the gym. Remember weights have additional benefits for your overall lean body mass, when you weight train you may burn far less calories during, but with weight training you achieve the after burn meaning you will be burning calories for the next 24-48 hours.
However, we're not here to compare Weight Training vs Cardio.
So what type of Cardio should you be doing?
There's so many we suggest, it's completely dependent on you and what you enjoy. I personally have been enjoying the step machine, I do 30 minutes on level 10 and vary from one step to two steps at a time, I am dead after the 30 minutes.
Walking, jogging, running or cycling are great types of cardio. You'd be surprised that walking actually burns more fat per calorie in comparison to running. Your body requires oxygen for fat to be broken down for energy, with the lower intensity exercise you have more oxygen available for our body to use to break down the fat. Whereas when you're doing a high intensity cardio workout, you have less oxygen which means your body will burn carbohydrates and protein for energy first, before fat.
So How much Cardio should I do each week?
It depends, the important thing here is in order to see weight loss you need to be at a calorie deficit. Are you currently tracking macros? If not, you should be calorie tracking to start to understand portion sizes and how many calories certain foods have. You could be eating super healthy, but it could be adding up to 2500 calories, but to see weight loss you may only need 1600 calories. So even though calorie tracking isn't fun, it can be essential to get you going.
1 pound of fat = 3500 calories if we divide this by 7 (days in a week) this means we need to burn 500 calories per day to burn 1 pound of fat. This could be by eating 200 calories less than normal and by burning 300 calories through exercise.
If you burn 500 calories through exercise it means you don't have to cut down your calories from your food & diet as long as you don't eat extra in the day, that is.
Play it by ear and decide yourself how much cardio you want to fit in, but as long as you know and understand that in order to see weight loss you need to be at a calorie deficit. Start off with at least three 20 minute sessions per week and build it up to around 2 45 minute cardio sessions.