If you’re trying to lose weight, getting started with a consistent exercise routine is a no brainer.
What’s not so obvious, however, is that the choice of exercise and how you schedule your routine can have a major impact on how successful you are in meeting your fitness goals. Some exercise programs are designed to cut fat and shed pounds, while others will build muscle, which can actually lead to an increase in your total weight, especially in the near term.
How do you decide what’s right for you? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Top 5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss
- Walking. Often overlooked by many people trying to lose weight, walking is actually an extremely important part of the weight loss process. There’s two reasons for that. Firstly, it’s a great and (dare I say) easy way to get moving. If you’re overweight and the thought of going for a run sounds painful, you’re unlikely to make any progress. Walking, on the other hand, can be an easy way to get your foot “out” the door. Not only that, but walking is purely aerobic, which means it can be a great way to get your body prepared to increase blood flow and cut fat.
- Running. Of course, if you’re really serious about dropping a few pounds, walking in and of itself might not be enough to get you there. That’s where running comes in. If you incorporate short jogs into your exercise routine, or combine walking with running, you’ll gradually train your body to raise its metabolism, which can help you lose more weight more quickly. Just be careful not to push yourself too hard. Endurance running can actually train your body to store more fat, hence the common mantra that marathoners often gain weight while training for super long runs. Keep your runs under 10 miles, and this won’t be an issue.
- Swimming. Going for a swim is, hands down, one of the best full body aerobic workouts you can do. It’s a great way to strengthen back and upper body muscles in an active setting, which means you’ll be able to not only increase your strength, but also your breath, flexibility, and endurance. All-around a great option if you’re serious about losing weight!
- Cycling. Next up is cycling, which is another perfect sport for losing a few pounds. The trick with cycling is to make sure you find a pace that keeps your heart rate up, without over-straining your body with long endurance rides. Many cyclists find that they gain a small amount of weight when they first start training (and are building up leg muscles, for example) which then helps then shed the fat later.
- Cross-training. Finally, cross-training should be an essential ingredient to any well-rounded workout program. One problem many people face when trying to lose weight is that they focus only on one exercise area, such as running or cycling. This limits the muscle groups that benefit from the workout, so whatever your primary focus for your weight loss routine is, you should be sure to include at least one exercise a week of cross-training, which will help strengthen different muscle groups, and spread the benefits of your workout program throughout your entire body!
The core thing to notice with each of these exercises is that they all focus on aerobic workouts. Aerobic workouts increase your metabolism by burning fat, and are the best way to lose weight quickly.
Once you start losing weight, you may want to incorporate other types of workouts, such as weight training, which have an anaerobic process, and will help to improve the body’s metabolism over the long term.