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The 8 Best Exercises for Weight Loss

Every year, it is believed that half of all American adults try to lose weight.

Aside from dieting, one of the most prevalent tactics used by persons attempting to lose weight is exercise. It burns calories, which is important for weight loss.

Exercise has been linked to a variety of other benefits, including increased mood, stronger bones, and a lower risk of numerous chronic diseases, in addition to weight loss.

1. Walking

Walking is one of the most effective weight-loss workouts, and for good reason.

It's a practical and simple approach for novices to begin exercising without feeling overwhelmed or having to buy equipment. It's also a low-impact workout, which means it's gentle on your joints.

According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 167 calories per 30 minutes of moderate walking at a speed of 4 mph (6.4 km/h).

Walking for 50–70 minutes three times per week reduced body fat and waist circumference by an average of 1.5 percent and 1.1 inches (2.8 cm), respectively, in a 12-week trial of 20 obese women.

Walking is simple to incorporate into your everyday schedule. Try walking during your lunch break, climbing the stairs at work, or bringing your dog for extra walks to add more steps to your day.

To begin, strive to walk for 30 minutes three to four times per week. As you gain fitness, you can gradually increase the length or frequency of your walks.

2. Jogging or running

Jogging and running are excellent weight-loss exercises.

Although they appear to be the same, the main distinction is that a jogging speed is often between 4–6 mph (6.4–9.7 km/h), and a running pace is greater than 6 mph (9.7 km/h).

A 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 298 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a 5-mph (8-km/h) pace, or 372 calories per 30 minutes of running at a 6-mph (9.7-km/h) pace, according to Harvard Health.

Furthermore, research has shown that jogging and running can help burn dangerous visceral fat, sometimes known as belly fat. This sort of fat surrounds your internal organs and has been related to a variety of chronic ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.

Running and jogging are both excellent activities that can be done anywhere and are simple to add into your weekly regimen. Begin by jogging for 20–30 minutes three–four times a week.

If jogging or running outside hurts your joints, try running on softer terrain like grass. In addition, many treadmills include built-in cushioning, which may be easier on your joints.

3. Cycling

Cycling is a popular workout that increases fitness and can aid in weight loss.

Although cycling is typically done outside, many gyms and fitness facilities have stationary bikes that allow you to cycle while remaining indoors.

A 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 260 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace, or 298 calories per 30 minutes of cycling at a moderate pace of 12–13.9 mph (19–22.4 km/h) on a bicycle.

Cycling is not only good for weight loss, but studies have shown that those who cycle frequently have greater general fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death than those who do not ride consistently.

Cycling is beneficial to people of all fitness levels, from novices to elite athletes. It's also a non-weight-bearing, low-impact workout, so it won't put too much strain on your joints.

4. Weight training

Weight training is a common option for people who want to lose weight.

According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 112 calories per 30 minutes of weight training.

Weight training can also help you gain strength and encourage muscular growth, which can increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), or the number of calories your body burns at rest.

One 6-month study found that conducting 11 minutes of strength-based activities three times per week resulted in an average 7.4 percent improvement in metabolic rate. This increase was comparable to burning an additional 125 calories per day in this study.

Another study discovered that 24 weeks of weight training resulted in a 9% increase in metabolic rate among men, which equaled around 140 extra calories burned each day. The increase in metabolic rate among women was roughly 4%, or 50 extra calories per day.

Furthermore, multiple studies have shown that, as compared to aerobic exercise, your body continues to burn calories for many hours after a weight-training activity.

5. Interval training

Interval training, often known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is a general phrase that refers to brief bursts of intense activity followed by rest intervals.

A HIIT workout typically lasts 10–30 minutes and can burn a significant amount of calories.

One research of 9 active males discovered that HIIT burns 25–30% more calories per minute than other types of activities such as weight training, cycling, and treadmill jogging.

That is, HIIT can help you burn more calories while exercising in less time.

Furthermore, multiple studies have shown that HIIT is particularly effective at burning belly fat, which has been related to a variety of chronic conditions.

HIIT is simple to include into your workout regimen. All you have to do is select a sort of exercise, such as running, jumping, or biking, as well as your workout and rest times.

For example, on a bike, pedal as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then slowly for 1–2 minutes. This rhythm should be repeated for 10–30 minutes.

6. Swimming

Swimming is a great method to get in shape and reduce weight.

According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns roughly 233 calories per half-hour of swimming.

The amount of calories you burn appears to be affected by how you swim. A 155-pound (70-kg) person consumes 298 calories every 30 minutes of backstroke, 372 calories of breaststroke, 409 calories of butterfly, and 372 calories of treading water.

Swimming for 60 minutes three times per week for 12 weeks dramatically reduced body fat, improved flexibility, and reduced numerous heart disease risk factors, including high total cholesterol and blood triglycerides, according to one 12-week research of 24 middle-aged women.

Swimming also has the advantage of being low-impact, which means it is gentler on your joints. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone suffering from injuries or joint pain.

7. Yoga

Yoga is a popular form of exercise and stress relief.

While swimming is not typically viewed as a weight reduction exercise, it does burn a significant amount of calories and provides numerous extra health advantages that can help with weight loss.

According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 149 calories per 30 minutes of yoga practice.

A 12-week study of 60 obese women revealed that those who engaged in two 90-minute yoga sessions per week had higher waist circumference reductions than those in the control group — by 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) on average.

Furthermore, the yoga group reported benefits in both mental and physical well-being.

Yoga, in addition to burning calories, has been shown in studies to teach mindfulness, which can help you avoid harmful meals, regulate overeating, and better understand your body's hunger signals.

Yoga classes are available at most gyms, but you can practice yoga anywhere. This includes working from the convenience of your own home, as there are numerous guided courses available online.

8. Pilates

Pilates is an excellent beginner-friendly activity that may assist you in losing weight.

An individual weighing roughly 140 pounds (64 kg) would burn 108 calories in a 30-minute beginner's Pilates session, or 168 calories in a 30-minute advanced class, according to a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise.

Although Pilates does not burn as many calories as cardiovascular workouts such as running, many individuals love it, making it easier to continue over time.

An 8-week study of 37 middle-aged women revealed that doing Pilates movements for 90 minutes three times a week significantly reduced waist, stomach, and hip circumference when compared to a control group that did no exercise during the same time period.

Pilates has been proven to increase your strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and general fitness level in addition to weight loss.

If you want to attempt Pilates, try incorporating it into your weekly schedule. Pilates can be done at home or at one of the many gyms that provide Pilates lessons.

Combine Pilates with a healthy diet or other forms of exercise, such as weight training or cardio, to accelerate weight loss even more.

The Bottomline

Many exercises might assist you in losing weight. Walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, weight training, interval training, yoga, and Pilates are all excellent ways to burn calories.

Having said that, several other exercises can also help you lose weight. It is critical to select an activity that you love doing. This increases the likelihood that you will continue with it long term and experience benefits.