Weight loss occurs when your body burns more calories than you consume. Exercise is actually completely optional for losing weight. But regular workouts can help you lose weight faster and easier.
When you exercise, your body converts stored fat into energy. Even just one hour of high-impact exercise can burn 500 or more calories.
The secret to success is to choose an exercise you enjoy. If working out is fun, you’re more likely to stick with a program for a steady period of time. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of exercises available. Here are seven great workouts for weight loss:
Swimming is a full-body, low-impact exercise. The water provides a cushion to help protect your joints. Regular time in the pool tones and tightens your muscles while also shedding pounds. (Source)
You can vary up your stroke to burn even more calories. The breaststroke burns about 60 calories every 10 minutes. The backstroke burns 80; freestyle burns 100. The butterfly burns a whopping 150 calories every 10 minutes.
If swimming sounds like a workout you’d enjoy, you might want to check out a pool or health club near you. An indoor pool is probably the best option so you can work out regardless of the weather.
2. Interval Training
Cardio is a great way to lose weight. You can take your cardio efforts to the next level by adding Intervals. Intervals are simply brief periods of intensity during your regular workout. For instance, if you normally walk for a half-hour, add a short 30 second period of jogging every five minutes. If you normally swim laps, swim at full speed every seventh lap. Whatever you normally do, step up the intensity briefly.
The benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training last for up to 24 hours. Your metabolism works at a higher rate for hours after you’ve finished your workout. Over time, you’ll want to step up the length of the intense part. You’re doing it right if the intense portion of the workout leaves you breathing pretty hard.
3. Bike Riding
Biking is a fun aerobic exercise with a lot of health benefits. Unlike running, biking doesn’t put much strain on your legs or joints. Plus, biking burns more calories than walking. (Source)
Riding a bike has plenty of practical applications, too. You’re not limited to wilderness bike trails. You can easily bike around town, too. If you live near your work, riding your bike to the office not only has health benefits but can also save you a lot of money, too.
Do you live in an area with a lot of natural beauty? Explore the outdoors with a hike. Hiking trails vary in difficulty. So even if you’re not in great shape right now, you can start with gentle hiking trails and slowly work your way up to more advanced hiking adventures.
If you’re new to hiking, there are a few basics to keep in mind. First, every time you go hiking, tell someone where you plan to go and when you plan to return. Also, be sure and pack the essentials. They include a map, plenty of water, a light jacket, a first aid kit and more. Even a short, easy hike has a certain amount of risk you need to be prepared for. (Source)
Are you the competitive type? Sports are a great way to have fun while losing weight. Basketball, softball, tennis and more are a great way to stay active. Look into joining a gym or other local league.
Play an active game for at least 60 minutes each day. If you have kids, get them to join in on the fun. When youngsters develop active habits early in life, they’re far more likely to stay physically fit as adults.
You don’t need fancy equipment to have a great workout. Simple, old-fashioned pushups can easily help you lose weight. Basically, one minute of pushups will burn between six and 10 calories. To really burn weight, you’ll want to do push-ups for 30 minutes to an hour. (Source)
Obviously, that’s a bit much for a beginner. But if you stick with it, you’ll get better over time. Make 30 minutes a goal to strive for. Push-up can be done at home and require no special tools or exercise devices. If you’re not quite strong enough right now for a full push-up, use your knees for additional support.
Along with push-ups, you can also do sit-ups, pull-ups and other simple exercises. If you’re just starting to work out, and are a bit embarrassed to visit the gym, home exercises can be an effective solution.
7. Cross-Country Skiing
Do you live in a snowy climate? Cross-country skiing is a great way to work out your entire body. Cross-country skiing is individually paced, meaning it’s a suitable activity for every fitness level. Cross-country skiing tones your legs and arms, improves your lung capacity and can burn up to 500 calories an hour. (Source)
Groomed cross-country ski trails can be found at downhill ski resorts, national parks, nature centers and more. If you’re new to the sport, you might want to start with a lesson or bring along an experienced friend.
Aside from the equipment, cross-country skiing is relatively inexpensive. Most trails are free. Plus, cross-country skiing can be a very social activity which is perfect for groups.
If you’re just starting your weight-loss journey, exercise can feel a bit intimidating. The secret is to find a fun activity you enjoy doing. If you want to work out alone, try pushups in your house or swimming laps at your local gym. If you’re looking for something a bit more social, try cross-country skiing or playing sports.
The most effective workout is the one you’ll keep coming back to. Don’t be afraid to explore a few different options until you find the perfect exercise routine for you!
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.