Finding a Weight Loss Exercise That Fits Your Needs
Calories are the fuel that makes our bodies function. When we err on the side of self-indulgence, extra calories can add up to some extra pounds. Seeing the numbers on a scale can be daunting. The good news is that there are ways to lose weight if you’re willing to put in the work and focus on your overall health.
Weight Loss Exercise: Is There an Exercise Specifically Made for Weight Loss?
It can be hard to find time throughout the busy week to get in a workout. If the goal is to burn off excess weight, you want to get results in a short amount of time. There are two ways to exercise that will help you hit your goals:
Have you heard of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)? The elevated intensity of these workouts involve moves that get your heart rate going. The focus of HIIT is using maximum effort in short periods of time with quick breaks.
As much as you hate burpees, fast-paced stair training, and jump squats, the high impact definitely maximizes results. HIIT helps you lose fat at a faster rate and burns off the pounds at the same time. Benefits of this type of training are improved endurance, faster speed, and weight loss.
Another type of HIIT training is called Tabata, and its most notable quality is the timing of how the circuit is broken up. It’s a four-minute workout made up of 8 rounds. Each round is 20 seconds of maximum effort followed by a 10-second rest. The intervals involve some of the workouts listed above and keep you on a fast schedule.
Tabata has been called the “4-minute fat-burning miracle workout.” It’s a tough four minutes, but the results speak for themselves. Doing a Tabata workout increases aerobic and anaerobic capacity, helps you burn fat, and also increases your resting metabolic rate.
Low-Impact Aerobics and Cardio
Unlike HIIT, the low-impact program involves rhythmic aerobics and strength training with resistance machines. Aerobic training elevates your heart rate to your target heart rate for at least 20 consecutive minutes.
The results here are more about boosting your metabolism by building muscle and the workouts burn fat and calories.
How Much Time Does It Take to Lose Weight?
Change takes time. It’s not a race to lose weight because you want to set yourself up for a successful transition. Keep your goals realistic, because as you start to chip away at your waistline, you’ll be more encouraged by your success.
Focus on losing one pound at a time, rather than the overall goal. These small wins boost you up and prompt you to go after losing the next pound. At first, change will be more dramatic because your body is recalibrating to the lifestyle adjustments.
The heavier you are at the starting line, the more weight you will lose initially because your body is used to spending a lot of energy just to function, so it’s burning more calories naturally.
The 7 Best Weight Loss Exercises According to Experts
If you’re looking to get started on your weight loss quickly and efficiently, here are some of the best exercises to help you lose weight:
This exercise is one we love to hate, and it targets your entire body: chest, core, legs, and arms.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower into a squat.
- Let your hands find the floor right in front of you and let them hold your weight so your feet can jump back into a plank position.
- Use your arms to lower down to the ground, but don’t lie down on your stomach.
- Push back up into a plank. Jump your feet forward again planting them outside of your hands.
- Explode upward with energy and leap from the ground into the air.
- When you land on the ground, go right back into your next burpee.
Do five minutes of burpees: go hard for thirty seconds and rest for thirty seconds. You’ll be feeling the burn.
2. Squats or Squat Jumps
There is a squat out there for everybody. When done the right way, you’ll feel the effects in your lower body and core.
- Standard squats start with your feet hip-distance apart with the weight in your heels. You should be able to lift your toes off the ground to make sure your weight is where it should be.
- Keep a good posture, ensuring that your knees are in line with your toes and bend your knees until your legs make a ninety-degree angle.
- To get a bit more value from this move, after you squat down, spring up and jump off the floor. When you land, go right back into your next squat.
- Do three sets of 15 reps.
Just like with squats, there are a variety of lunges out there to try. The standard lunge is great for weight loss and works all of your lower body. They can be done with your hands on your hips, or with hand weights.
- Get into that familiar position of feet hip-width apart and step one of your legs forward.
- With a straight back, lower your body down until your knee is hovering just above the ground then pause
- After the said pause, rise up and step back.
- Repeat the process with the other leg.
- Do three sets of 10-15 reps.
If you’re looking for an extra burn, don’t step your feet forward and back, switch legs as you jump.
4. Kettlebell Swings
These weights are great for a low-impact/high-intensity calorie burn. Kettlebells can be used in many ways to help increase muscle and enhance weight loss, with moves that can benefit the entire body.
- Start by standing with your feet a bit wider than your hips.
- Hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
- Bend your knees slightly. Push your hips forward while you stand and swing the kettlebell upward, trying to lift it with straight arms to about the height of your face.
- Make sure you’re not letting your back do the work with this move, you want to feel the muscles in your butt push your hips forward.
- Lower the kettlebell back down as you go back to a slight squat.
- Three sets of 15 reps are a good place to start.
Why do our stomachs growl? As it turns out, most of the time the growling is actually occurring in the intestines, not in the stomach at all!
If you’re finding the move too easy, trade up to the next size kettlebell.
5. Indoor Rowing
If you have access to a rowing machine, prepare to burn some calories with an intense workout. You can burn hundreds of calories in a half hour window if you are prepared to put in the sweat. Using proper form and muscles all over your body (legs, arms, and back), you’re getting a whole-body workout.
- Keep your back straight and core tight as you use all your muscles to create the movement.
- Don’t let your torso do all the work, make sure your legs are engaged in the rowing motion.
- Do three sets of 15 reps.
6. Mountain Climbers
You’ll burn many calories with mountain climbers as well as tone your butt, hamstrings, and obliques.
- Get into a plank position.
- Alternate bringing your left then right knee up toward your chest.
- Do thirty mountain climbers for each side and then rest.
Once you’ve mastered regular mountain climbers, use a resistance band to challenge yourself and feel a deeper burn.
7. Jump Rope
Jumping rope isn’t just for the playground or a movie montage in a boxing gym; it’s a total-body workout that will get your blood pumping. Jumping rope is a great way to lose weight because it’s high intensity and makes an impact in a short period of time.
Remember to check the length of your rope to make sure that it’s not too long or short.
- Keep your elbows in by your ribs and swing the rope over your head.
- Jump over the rope with both feet at the same time.
It’s harder than you remember. Keep at it; even just five minutes of jumping will help you lose weight.
Tips for Working Out at Home
Sometimes you are limited to a quick workout while your child naps, your spouse makes dinner, or before you leave for work in the morning. These little windows of time are long enough for you to get into the calorie-burning mode.
Many of the most effective workouts listed above are able to be done at home. Here are some more workouts you can do without equipment and if you only have a short amount of time:
Perhaps you like the idea of going for a run around your neighborhood.
To ramp up your jog, add some intervals to intensify the workout, which will result in ongoing calorie burn and increased metabolic rate. Add 30-45 second bursts of energy every few minutes: speed up to a sprint, jump up a set of neighborhood stairs, or stop and do 10 burpees every five minutes. You can add these bursts of intensity to any cardio exercise.
Some of us don’t keep gym equipment at home, but that just enables us the opportunity to be a little creative when it comes to our workouts.
You don’t necessarily need traditional weights to do some muscle toning: grab some books, use some wine bottles, or find something else. Anything with some heft to it will enhance your workout.
With your “weights” you can do bicep curls, standing rows, reverse flys, and arm raises.
You remember these from gym class. Turn up your music and go hard for a minute. Jump your feet wide and extend your arms up and jump your feet together and bring your arms down. This cardio booster is a great addition to a circuit workout.
Other Changes You Can Make to Lose Weight
- Cutting calories is helpful if you consume more calories than recommended for your body type. Make sure you eat a healthy amount of calories each day. Calorie calculators are available online to give you an idea of how many calories you should be consuming.
- Drink more water. Sometimes we just eat because we think we’re hungry, but we’re actually thirsty. Water helps flush toxins from the body, keeps you hydrated, and has zero calories.
- Get a healthy amount of sleep. If you’re lacking in this department, your body is more likely to hold on to body fat. Poor sleep, or insufficient sleep, also increases cravings for higher calorie foods.
- Reduce your stress. Stress hormones cause inflammation all over your body. When we’re stressed, some of us are also inclined to stress eat. Make sure to address any stress in your life to assist in overall health.
- Be more conscious of the food you put on your plate. Practice healthy eating choices like large servings of vegetables and fruits as well as lean proteins. Do not cut out fat entirely but switch to healthier fats like avocado and nuts.
By using the weight loss exercise tips and options above, you're on your way to start seeing the results you want. Working out is usually more fun and effective with a workout buddy (or a few). Get a pal and the two of you can push each other to your limit. The more effort you spend during your workouts, the faster the payoff with weight loss.