It’s important to include exercise in any weight loss program you undertake. Staying physically active will burn more calories and provide higher energy levels that boost your metabolism. Dieting can be the most important aspect of losing weight, but dieting without regular exercise just creates more problems in the long run.
What Exercise Should I Do for Weight Loss?
The best weight loss exercises, if done right, can help you get the results you desire faster. You can do these exercises at home or in the gym. If you haven’t been active for some time now, it is wise to consult your doctor first.
Below are several good exercises to lose weight. You can choose which activities will meet your particular weight loss goal. Regardless of which one you choose for your weight loss exercise program, you can rest assured that you are on your way to losing weight and at the same time toning your body for that fit and healthy feeling and look:
- Bicycling – this is an enjoyable way to burn calories and very simple and easy to do. If you are on a restricted time and cannot do bicycling outside, buying a stationary bike with moving handle bars can also give you the advantage of upper-body exercise.
- Bouncing on the trampoline – a fun way to lose weight and get your heart pumping.
- Cleaning the house – aside from burning calories, your house gets clean and tidy too. You can even listen to your favorite music and dance while doing some household chores.
- Dancing – another enjoyable exercise that can improve the circulation in the entire body and increase your heart rate. Use large movements with your arms and legs and choose a more upbeat and lively music.
- Elliptical machine – helps build and strengthen muscles and works great in toning the abdomen.
- Exercise DVDs – find an exercise DVD with a high energy music and do it once everyday to help you lose weight and tone your body.
- Gardening – will help you burn about 250 calories just by tending to the plants, pulling out weeds, raking leaves, etc. Keep yourself hydrated and protected from the sun.
- Hiking – not to be confused with gentle walking. It allows you to burn about 350 calories while spending time enjoying the scenery and nature.
- Horse Riding – this is not easy to arrange but it is one of the best ways to stay fit and enjoy nature while riding. It helps tone your abs, thigh, and butt.
- Jogging – helps you get a lot of thinking done while also burning a lot of calories. You can also put on some headphones and listen to your favorite music.
- Jumping rope – excellent way to work your heart and burn calories.
- Kickboxing – an intense workout and helps you lose weight effectively.
- Power walking – you can do this great cardio exercise anywhere and it fits in your everyday routine. It helps tone your legs, hips, and stomach.
- Racquetball – a great cardio exercise that involves side to side running and tones the legs and thighs.
- Rowing – a great and fun workout that burns calories and helps develop and tone your arm muscles.
- Shadow boxing – helps you in managing your stress while providing the benefits of a great cardio exercise.
- Soccer – a great sport that involves a lot of running which helps burn calories and aid in weight loss.
- Step aerobics – helps in weight loss and tones your legs, hips, and buttocks.
- Swimming – helps burn a lot of calories and tones the entire body. It’s also an excellent option for people that are very heavy as it greatly reduces stress on the joints.
- Weight training – should be part of any weight loss workout plan.
- Workout steps/stairs – walking up and down the stairs provides better circulation and builds a healthy heart.
- Yoga – mostly involves stretching and a relaxing way to lose weight. It improves the body’s flexibility and tone.
- Zumba – helps you burn more calories in a matter of one hour. You can bring a friend or two to your zumba class to make it more fun and enjoyable.
How Long Should I Exercise For Weight Loss?
30 minutes or more of daily exercise can provide considerable health benefits. If you have been inactive for quite some time, you can begin at a slower pace with less strenuous exercises (like walking or swimming) to prevent putting a strain on your body. Over time you can gradually move to more vigorous workouts and longer sessions.
It’s important to know and be aware of the fact that when you eat more calories than you use up with exercise, you gain weight.
Calories vs Energy
Calories can be equated to energy and the food you eat contains calories. The calories that you didn’t convert to energy is stored as fat cells in your body. If you use more energy for exercise than you eat, your body uses fat cells for energy.
That’s when you experience weight loss.
So, how long you should exercise for weight loss depends on your calorie intake and energy used during your workouts. Use calorie charts you find online to know how many calories you are consuming.
Then use charts like this one to determine how many calories you use during your workouts. Generally speaking, the longer you exercise, the more calories you burn. The more you cut your calorie consumption, the less time needed for exercise.
Your daily calorie intake minus the amount of calories burned will determine your body weight. All the foods you consume contain calories and every physical activity you engage in burns calories.
Exercise and Metabolism
So any extra physical activity that you do like exercising regularly boost metabolism and helps burn the extra calories in your body that would otherwise be stored as fat.
Even though the question “what exercise should I do for weight loss?” isn’t easy to answer, the fact that any exercise will boost your metabolism is important.
Metabolism and your metabolic rate is important because it plays a major part in your body burning calories, even at rest. Even though you are doing no physical exercise, your body requires a certain amount of energy to remain functioning as normal.
The circulation of your blood, the processes of your central nervous system, the chemical reactions in your liver, your digestive process, the very act of breathing – all of these use up energy.
Energy can be equated with calories. A calorie is a measurement of heat which can be equated with energy. The energy generated by your body, therefore, depends on the calories you consume in your diet. The components of your diet that are responsible for energy production in your body are carbohydrates: cereals, starches, fats, oils, sugars and the carbohydrate portion of proteins that are formed from carbohydrates and amino acids.
Ultimately, the carbohydrates in your diet are digested down into glucose, which along with oxygen is used by your body cells to generate energy. So the more carbohydrates you eat the more energy your body generates. Some of this energy is used by the essential components of your metabolism, as above. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate.
Exercise Keeps You Healthy While You Lose Weight
Exercise does more than just help with weight loss. Regular exercise boosts your metabolism, lowers insulin levels, improves your health and helps prevent a number of diseases like:
- Anxiety and Depression – doing exercises regularly helps make you feel better about yourself and allows you to manage stress much better.
- Back Pain – exercising regularly improves posture and flexibility, and increases muscle strength and stamina.
- Diabetes – regular physical activity helps reduce fat and also controls and prevents type 2 diabetes.
- Heart Disease and Stroke – daily exercise strengthens the heart muscle, lowers bad cholesterol, improves blood circulation, and boosts the proper functioning of the heart.
- High Blood Pressure – exercising regularly can help reduce the blood pressure level of people with hypertension.
- Osteoporosis – bone development results from weight training exercises and might prevent bone related problems that are connected with aging.
For the majority of adults, aerobic activities (walking running, swimming, dancing) and strength training (lifting weights, rock climbing, and extreme physical activities) are highly recommended for a healthy weight loss and weight maintenance program.
Doing 30 minutes a day of moderate to intense aerobic exercises each week and strength training at least three times a week will give the most effective weight loss results and overall health in general.
But before starting on any exercise program, talk to your doctor first to know which program will work best for you and your health needs.
Here are several tips that you can follow to help you get motivated and stick to your workouts to lose weight until your goal is reached:
- Avoid parties where you might randomly consume too many calories. If you decide to go anyway, make allowances for it by curbing your calorie intake for a few days beforehand. That way you’ll have a bit of leeway. Still, be careful not to overindulge.
- Cook your meals as often as you can to be able to monitor the portions you eat and your calorie consumption. This way you will be likely to consume less calories with your home-cooked meals than when you are eating out.
- Don’t do any exercises too much and too fast or you will end up with an injury which will make you give up soon.
- Keep a calendar where you can schedule your exercises at specified times so you won’t have an excuse of not doing them.
- Record the amount of time you spent working out to keep track of your progress.
- Stay on the right track by weighing yourself every week at the same time time on the same day.
- Cut back on alcohol if you can’t give up on drinking. Alcohol is extremely high in calories!
- Invite a family member or a friend to exercise with you to help keep you motivated. Note: This can sometimes backfire if the other person starts to stray away. Do not allow others to be an obstacle in the way of reaching your goals!
It is important to remember that weight loss exercises are just a part of an effective weight loss program. Dieting and exercise are closely connected and you should not think that doing a lot of exercises means you can eat whatever you want.
You should keep in mind that it is much easier to lose weight by both reducing your calorie intake and burning the excess fat in the body with exercise.
It is also important to bear in mind that keeping the weight off is what clearly defines a successful weight loss program.
Keeping a balance with your calorie intake and the amount of calories burned during workouts will effectively help you achieve your weight loss goal. Engaging in daily physical activities and exercises can greatly improve your overall health and can also lead to a successful weight loss result.
The amount of calories burned will vary depending on the individual’s condition, on the type of exercise done, and the level of intensity of the workouts.
What exercise you should do for weight loss depends on your goals, your exercise equipment, your fitness level, and what you enjoy.
If you intend to keep the weight off after you lose it, the best way to lose weight is slowly. About 2-3 pounds a week is a healthy goal to shoot for as you change your diet and exercise. Even if you need to lose weight faster for some occasion, it’s better to exercise more than use crash dieting.