It may interest you to know the best exercises to lose weight. But first, let us look at exercises as the only body energy consumption mechanism which we can voluntarily control compared to other body energy consumption mechanisms.
Our body needs and uses energy in order for us to live and perform different activities every time. We get the energy from the food we eat especially from the carbohydrates.
When we have excess energy in our body, the body converts it to fats for storage which is deposited in different sites of the body such as on the abdomen resulting in weight gain and obesity.,
Our bodies consume the energy by the following order: it starts with readily available glucose and glycogen in blood and liver after exhausting it thus when it starts burning fats to keep up with the energy demand.
Thus, why we need a considerable amount of time for doing exercises in order to effectively burn body fats.
In addition to exercise, several factors need to be taken into consideration to effectively burn fats and lose weight. These factors were discussed in my previous post on how is obesity caused
How much exercise is needed for weight loss
Exercises will help you burn those extra calories but a combination with other strategies (dietary choice) proves to be more effective for weight loss.
For someone to lose a pound, he/she needs to burn 3,500 calories, while you can easily eat foods which contain and get 3,500 calories. Hence, it’s so much easy to eat calories than to burn them.
Let’s say in a single exercise workout you are able to burn 350 calories, and it will take 10 days for you to lose one pound. But, if you combine your exercises with diet choice such as cutting 350 of your calorie intake, the number of days to lose pound weight will be halved.
That is why combining exercises with a good dietary choice become very effective for weight loss.
Schedule your exercises per week and you need 3 hours (200 minutes) or more for moderate-intensity exercises, but if combined with calories cutting then you will need 2 ½ hours (150 minutes).
Weigh yourself daily as it can help to keep track of your workout and not to let extra calories in taking.
Starting too much with exercises is a mistake, you may end up hurting yourself and giving up. Start exercises slowly and gradually increase as your body is adapting to the exercises.
- Make sure to warm up before the exercises
- Make sure to hydrate yourself before, during and after the workout
- Start your exercises at a slower pace and gradually increase
- A beginner should aim for 150 minutes of exercises per week and gradually increase to 300 minutes.
- Resting can start from 90 seconds and can go down to 45 seconds as you progress
- During the exercise focus on your technique and posture throughout the workout
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is the way of doing your cardio and strength workouts to boost and maximize the results from your exercises.
As the name suggests (high-intensity interval training) is done by having a period of hard work paired with brief periods of recovery or rest. HIIT has also been shown to burn more calories in a very short time hence help to save your time.
How to do HIIT
- Warm-up for three minutes
- Exercise as fast and hard you can for 30 seconds
- Recover for 90 seconds
- Repeat the process several times
Use heart rate monitor to make sure your intensity is on right track: for high-intensity exercises, you should exceed your calculated maximum heart rate (220 subtracting your age) by five or 10 heartbeats
Another simple way to gauge the intensity of your exercise is to use the Talk Test
- Low Intensity: you can talk and sing while doing exercises
- Moderate Intensity: you can talk but not sing
- High Intensity: You can’t say a few words without gasping to take a breath.
There is mount information on the best exercises to lose weight. Let us look at these exercises in relation to HIIT that proves to be more effective for fat burning and weight loss and how you can perform them
Commonly performed by many people, aerobics exercises are also known as cardiovascular exercises or cardio workouts.
Aerobics exercises work large muscle groups of your lower or upper body part which increases the heart rate and requires respiration or controlled breathing to keep you in the aerobic zone.
Like anything else, do not overdo the exercises as it has detrimental effects on your health. Recommended maximum time should be one hour for aerobics exercises include walking, jogging, swimming, rope jumping and bicycle riding.
The table show Calories burned during different aerobic exercises
|Exercise||15 minutes||30 minutes||45 minutes||60 minutes|
|Walking||20-minutes mile flat||60||120||180||240|
|15-minutes mile flat||102||206||279||280|
|Swimming 35 yds/min||124||248||371||497|
|Rope jumping 60-80 skips/min||143||286||429||572|
Walking exercise is considered to be one of the least effective forms of aerobic exercise ideal for beginners and those with injuries but not the best form of exercise for losing weight.
Walking will burn fewer calories as compared to the rest of the aerobic exercises. For instance, a 30 minutes walk will burn approximately 150 calories per day.
Start your exercise with a warm-up by walking at an easy pace and gradually increase it to a moderate pace (100 steps per minute) for 5 minutes.
After the warm-up, pick up your pace and lengthen your stride for 30 seconds before you return to your moderate pace for 2 minutes and 30 seconds which is one interval and you can do multiple intervals until you finish your 30 to 60 minutes walk.
Running is one of the aerobic exercises considered to be very effective for fat burning.
The number of calories that you burn will depend on the speed and duration of time, the duration been more important than intensity.
Make sure to go for a check-up with your doctor first, before starting running workouts
- Start with a warm-up for 3 minutes
- Run at a steady pace for 10 minutes
- Then run as fast as you could for 20 to 30 seconds followed by recover period of 90 seconds while still doing your slower pace (that is one interval)
- Repeat this interval for eight repetitions or as many times as you can until you complete your workouts.
This is one of the great exercises to lose weight. Duration you spend doing the exercise matters most which the distance traveled, while a high-intensity ride will burn more fats than a lower intensity ride.
Of course, your best-bicycling exercises for losing weight are those you will manage to do on a regular basis. It is better to try several bike workouts such as road biking mountain biking, electric biking and recumbent biking then choose what best fit you.
Once you get used to an exercise routine, challenge yourself with speed or adding miles.
Make sure to put on protective wear such as a helmet and glasses. Follow road safety rules and regulations; never listen to music while biking unless you are indoor.
The exercise is one of the most effective exercises to burn calories while having fun dancing to music.
Start with warming up for 3 to 5 minutes to increase and get your blood pumping
There are many styles of doing aerobic exercises, but I will explain on standing bicycle crunch
- In a standing position start the exercise by placing your hands behind your head
- Then place your feet in shoulder-width apart
- Lift your left knee and at the same time crunch your upper body forward and tap your left knee with your right elbow
- Do this on the opposite side
Swimming is an excellent form of aerobic exercises as it challenges your body without putting pressure on your joints while still effective for weight loss
People may think of swimming as too easy for weight loss but it can be challenging and effective for weight loss depending on your workouts.
How to do your swimming workouts
- Swim to the end of the pool and back (one lap)
- Swim another lap using a kickboard
- Swim another lap placing a pull buoy between your legs
- This will work both your upper and lower body (repeat for 15 -20 minutes)
An alternative workout will be
- Swimming for 5 minutes and take a break of 15-30 seconds at the end of the pool
- Then swim with a kickboard for another 5 minutes. Repeat for 15 – 20 minutes. It will work out your full body and improves your cardiovascular.
Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration. Make sure you are practicing in a pool that is supervised by a lifeguard or swim with a friend who knows how to swim if there are no pool supervisors.
This is one of the cheap and portable exercises which can be used anywhere. It’s good as it can remind you of those childhood days.
How to do it
- Warm-up for 3 minutes
- Do 100 traditional jumps with both feet leaving the floor together
- Do 100 rope jump sprints immediately after those traditional jumps
- Repeat step 2 and 3 until you finish your workout
- You can start slow and raise the number of jumps to advance your workout.
The human body has 29 core muscles (important muscles) located in the abdomen, back and pelvis. Core muscles are the foundation for entire body movement, hence strengthen them will lead to great reward to your whole body.
Some people think of strength training as lifting heavyweights but strength training can be done even with your own body weight.
Strength training exercises are done to build healthy muscles. When you build muscles you increase your lean tissues and improves your overall movements which helps your body to burn more fats even when at rest.
Strength training becomes more important with age due to muscle loss in inactive people. The following paragraphs explain some of these exercises.
Strength exercises that you can do with your own body weight
This exercise works your core muscles
Start by placing yourself in plank position: place your forearms on the floor with elbow aligned below shoulders and arms parallel to the body.
Keep your torso straight line from ears to toes with no bending and sagging. While your head should be relaxed and facing on the floor
Hold in this position for 15 seconds and then gradually increase to 30, 45 60 seconds as you are adapting until you can eventually reach 90 or 120 seconds.
Push up are good for building up and strengthening your upper part.
Set in a plank position with your toes to the ground; keep your body in a straight line from the ears to the toes. Make sure your hip does not sink or bend to the ground.
Bend your elbow and continue descending your body until your elbows form a 90-degree angle (desired depth) and start pushing up yourself away from the ground.
Make sure to maintain the alignment of your body alignment. Basically, for effective results repeat 12 times for three rounds.
The exercise is best for working on your major muscles of the lower body such as those in your thigh and buttocks resulting in firm thigh and buttocks.
Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart or wider and bend your knees as if you are sitting on the chair. A beginner can put a chair behind to gauge the bottom of the squat, those on the intermediate level will know it when their heels begin to lift while those who are advanced will gauge it when their thighs are parallel to the ground
As you lower your body remember to keep a good posture of your spine long and core engaged to avoid the curve or arching of your back
Strength exercises you can do with weight lifting
When your body fully adapts to the above strength training exercises, its now time to advance your strength exercises with weight lifting. Start with lifting small weights then gradually increase as your body is adapting to them
You can do different exercises with weight lifting including a number of aerobics exercises such as squats and lunges or just lifting them with those exercises you are comfortable with including bench press, deadlift and many more
They are also known as flexibility exercises and many people who want to lose weight neglect them.
These exercises are good to maintain a good range of motion for your joint and helps your body to move more efficient and burn fat
The exercises also help to relieve stress, which is good for those people who are struggling with weight loss due to emotional problems and helps them to eliminate bad behaviors such as binge eating.
Several exercises fall under this category including Yoga, Calf stretch (forward lunge), alternative back slaps (dynamic stretch), Lateral shuffle (Dynamics stretch).
Make sure to combine your exercises to work different muscles, burn more calories and improve your overall health. Below is an example of what your weekly workout plan may be like.
Most of these exercises will put a high challenge on your heart, joints, and muscles, so make sure to go for a check-up with your doctor before starting them.
Start your exercises slowly and gradually increase when you adapted to them. Otherwise, an injury may stop your exercises before achieving your goal.
In order to be more effective in burning your calories combine exercises with your good dietary choice.
I personally prefer and recommend doing your cardio and strength training with the HIIT approach which proven to be the most effective for fat burning methods and boost metabolism longer than a steady workout of equal or greater length.