There is no magic formula to help you lose weight, but consistent exercise and a commitment to healthy nutrition go hand in hand if you want to achieve your weight loss goals. Sweating away hours at the gym won’t get you to your goals if you aren’t eating for weight loss, but for now, we’ll focus on tips to help you lose weight with exercise.
So, which exercise is best for weight loss?
The simple answer: the exercise you will do. This is tip No. 1 when it comes to exercising and weight loss. Find an exercise you enjoy, one you can commit to, and get after it!
For optimum health and weight management, a fitness routine should include elements of both cardio training and strength training.
Cardio exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, increase heart rate, maximizing the amount of oxygen in your blood. Aerobic exercise trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently. For this reason, over time, you will build endurance and should gradually increase exercise duration and intensity to challenge your body even more.
Any form of exercise that increases your heart rate classifies as cardio training. During a cardio workout, you’ll use large muscle groups in your body. Common examples of cardio training include walking, jogging, biking, rowing, swimming, hiking, dancing and water aerobics.
Intensity in your workout is key to burning fat. Amping up intensity means you’ll burn more calories while maintaining (or even gaining) muscle mass.
Strength training can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Incorporating resistance and strength training activities into your weight loss exercise plan two or three days a week is essential to help you build muscle. In turn, muscle helps your body burn more calories, even when you are done with your workout.
Lifting free weights, using assisted weight lift equipment at the gym, or doing bodyweight exercises like pushups, squats and burpees all qualify as strength training and will help you build muscle mass. If you’re not sure where to start, schedule an appointment with a certified professional trainer who can show you the right exercises and proper form to help you reach you weight loss goals.
Here are six workouts to incorporate into your weight loss exercise plan:
High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, can help you burn between 500 to 1500 calories per hour, depending on the intensity level of your exercise. By definition, HIIT is short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by a quick rest period, repeated for a set amount of time.
Bodyweight exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, lunges, jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups, high knees and squats are all simple yet effective exercises to incorporate into a HIIT workout.
It may seem simple, but even walking can help boost weight loss, especially if you are new to exercise. Walking is something you can do just about anywhere, and at anytime. Make a habit of getting up and walking frequently throughout your day. Take the stairs when you can, and park at the back of the parking lot to get in extra steps on your way into work or the grocery store.
Start by walking a few minutes each day, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your walking workout. The key is to walk at a pace quick enough that your heart rate remains elevated. As you begin to lose weight, it will become easier to walk longer distances.
Running sprints can help you burn more calories in a short amount of time. If you enjoy jogging, incorporate short 20-30 second sprints every minute or two during your workout to take the intensity up a notch and increase fat burn.
It should be noted that jogging and sprinting are high impact exercises that can be painful on your joints, especially if you are overweight. If you have a lot of weight to lose, start with low-impact exercise such as those listed below.
Rowing is a full body, low impact workout to help you lose weight. If you’re new to rowing, ask a fitness trainer to demonstrate proper form on the rowing machine. It is a common misconception that rowing is an arm workout. The secret is to use the strength of your legs to initiate motion, following the movement with your back/torso and ending the stroke with your arms.
Maintaining a moderate, steady state pace on the rowing machine can burn as many as 800 calories per hour (just remember to row at a pace that keeps your heart rate elevated). By increasing intensity with short bursts, or sprints, you can burn even more calories.
If you experience painful joints, exercising in water is an excellent option for a weight loss workout. Like rowing, swimming helps to melt away fat while giving you a full body workout.
Begin your workout by simply treading water. Then swim a few laps. Follow with a water-treading interval and repeat. If you’re a strong swimmer, increase speed to increase intensity.
A vigorous indoor or outdoor cycling workout can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories per hour. Riding intervals on a stationary bike allows you to maximize calorie burn in a short amount of time. Similar to sprinting or HIIT intervals, maintain a high level of intensity for a couple of minutes, followed by a minute of recovery. Repeat these intervals as many times as you can for the duration of your cycling workout.
While no one workout will help you lose weight overnight, with consistent exercise and a commitment to a healthy diet, you will begin to see the extra pounds come off, revealing a new, healthier you.
Are you ready to lose weight for good? Contact your First Baptist Medical Center today to schedule an appointment with a Dallas weight loss doctor.