- Exercise to Lose Weight
- The Best Exercises for Weight Loss – 7 Best Exercises to Lose Weight
- 3 Types of Exercise Are Needed to Build a Healthy Body
- 10 Best Exercises For Weight Loss Ranked By Calorie Burn
- 1. Jumping rope
- 2. Running Up Hill/Stair Sprints
- 3. Kickboxing
- 4. Cycling intervals
- 5. Running
- 6. Kettlebell circuit
- 7. Stationary bike
- 8. Rowing machine
- 9. Loaded kettlebell carries
- 10. Stairs
- 10 of the Best Workouts for Weight Loss
- 2. Weight Training
- 3. Boot Camp
- 4. Boxing
Exercise to Lose Weight
From the WebMD Archives
If someone told you right now what the absolute best exercise to lose weight was, would you do it? You might when you read this. Drum roll, please!
The best exercise to lose weight is: “the exercise you'll do,” says Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD, a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Other experts interviewed by WebMD said much the same thing about weight loss workouts.
“The two things that stop people from losing weight with exercise are either boredom or injury,” says physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist Ben Quist, PhD, NSCA.
The truth is that weight loss is about creating a calorie deficit — in other words, burning more calories than you take in. So, they say, while running at an 8-minute-mile pace might be a great calorie burner, if you're not going to do it, it's not going to help you. Instead, start with something you can do, walking or working out on an elliptical machine or exercise bike.
In all cases, however, you'll burn more calories with cardio (aerobic) exercise than with strength or resistance training.
“Strength training itself will not lead to an appreciable amount of weight loss because it just doesn't burn enough calories,” says Glenn Gaesser, PhD, FACSM, kinesiology professor and department head at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
But what about all that talk that more muscle mass equates to more calories burned, even when you're at rest?
“It's a myth. It's not going to happen,” says Gaesser.
The only successful studies to show a significant calorie burn following a weight-lifting workout (afterburn) were done with serious lifters, working out for 60 to 90 minutes at a time and lifting as much as they could on every set.
In fact, Gaesser says, at best, gaining one pound of muscle will help you burn 5 to 10 extra calories a day. You could do that chewing gum.
That's not to say that strength training isn't important for the overall health of the body. But when it comes to burning the most calories, go for cardiovascular exercise. And vary the intensity, says Quist.
“Do aerobic base-building workouts,” he says, where you alternate between moderate and higher intensity, either within the same workout or on alternate days.
Quist also recommends cross-training — that is, doing a range of different activities during your workouts. Not only does this help you keep from getting bored, it's better for your body. Doing different activities recruits different muscle groups. You're also less ly to develop an injury, says Quist, since doing the same thing day after day creates wear patterns on your joints.
Get creative, says Gaesser, whose graduate students teach an entire class on novel ways to burn calories. For example, he says, if you're a golfer, ditch the cart and walk with your clubs. You'll do what you love — and burn more calories.
Keep in mind that exercise is just one portion of a successful weight loss program, say experts.
“Eating and exercise are not separate issues,” says Church. “They're intimately connected. Too many people think these large doses of exercise are an excuse to eat whatever you want.”
Unfortunately, today food is everywhere. There are candy bars at Home Depot and cheesecakes at Barnes & Noble. Gaesser says his kids can't believe a gas station used to be just a place to get gas. And portions are control, says Church — just look at the size of the plates at restaurants.
“It's so much easier not to eat calories than to burn them off,” says Quist.
And keep in mind that the definition of successful weight loss is keeping the weight off.
“It's not hard to lose weight,” says Church. “Anyone can lose weight. What's hard is keeping it off. Those that combine both diet and exercise keep it off.”
But what about metabolism? Many people who have struggled to lose weight believe they have unusually slow metabolisms.
Chances are, “you don't have a slow metabolism,” says Church. “It is so rare that of all the metabolisms we've checked (and he does this daily), I can't remember one being legitimately slow.”
The truth is, he says, “bigger people have a higher metabolism because they're bigger. Metabolism is how much mass you have. The more mass you have, the more energy you burn just sitting around.”
Do the math: You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound. So if you're burning 300 calories in one workout, it will take you nearly 12 workouts to lose one pound. If you cut your calorie intake by 300 calories in addition to burning 300, it will take you half as long to lose a pound.
If you want to lose weight, shoot for at least 200 minutes (more than three hours) a week of moderate intensity exercise with everything else consistent, says Church. If you cut calories and exercise, he says, you can get away with a minimum dose of 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) a week.
If you're a beginner, says Gaesser, start with 50 minutes of exercise a week and work up to 200.
“You didn't put on that 20 pounds in the last six months; you're not going to take it off in six months,” says Church.
“People don't want to hear about the patience aspect,” he says. “They want instant gratification. But the cold, hard reality is if you want to lose weight and keep it off, it's work. No one loses weight and keeps it off without trying.”
Here are eight tips to help you adhere to a weight loss workout and meet your goals.
- Have an exercise buddy or partner. This is a must, according to the experts who spoke with WebMD. Having accountability to someone else, even if it's your Labrador, keeps you honest. “It's much easier to say no to yourself than to someone else,” says Gaesser, who goes for bike rides regularly with friends.
- Schedule your workouts. Keep a calendar that lists specific times for your workouts, says Gaesser. Make an appointment with exercise ahead of time, and you won't have the excuse of running time.
- Weigh yourself daily. This is one of the best tools to see if you're slipping up, Church says. Weighing yourself daily can keep you on track so that you don't let 300 extra calories a day or one missed workout set you back.
- Don't do too much, too fast. Don't get over-motivated, warns Quist. Lifting weights that are too heavy or starting out with six days a week of aerobic exercise is a mistake, says Quist. “People end up hurting themselves in the first week and then they give up,” he says.
- Log your steps. Logging the time that you work out will help you achieve your weekly goal, even if you get off track one day, Church says. It will also inspire you at the end of the week, when you can look back and see what you've accomplished.
- Cook more often. Portions, and calories, are control when you eat out, says Church. You'll almost always consume fewer calories in a meal cooked and eaten at home. Save restaurants for special occasions, and get together with friends for a walk instead of a meal.
- Don't turn water into wine. Not only does a glass of wine or beer add a couple hundred extra calories, after a few glasses, you're not as conscious of consuming more calories in your meal. You don't have to give up drinking, says Church, but do cut back.
- Beware the one-way valve. You walk past the hors d'oeuvres at a party, grab some cheese and crackers, and quickly consume 300 calories before dinner even starts. “We have no problem randomly over-consuming extreme amounts of calories,” says Church, “but we never randomly, sporadically have extreme bouts of caloric expenditure.”
SOURCES: Timothy Church, MD, PhD, MPH, professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La. Ben Quist, PhD, NSCA, physical therapist; owner, Form and Fitness, Milwaukee, Wis.
Glenn A. Gaesser, PhD, FACSM, professor and director of kinesiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Best Exercises for Weight Loss – 7 Best Exercises to Lose Weight
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If you’ve clicked on this article, it probably means that you want to know about the best exercises for weight loss. The first thing to know is that in order to lose weight, you need to actually get up and move. You simply can’t go to the gym, sit on a leg-extension machine, and expect to drop 10 pounds, Tilita Lutterloh, performance coach and certified nutritionist, tells Woman’s Day.
Another thing to know is that exercise must be accompanied by a healthy diet and a positive mind set. The first step on this weight loss journey is to ask yourself why you want to lose weight.
Do you want to burn fat? If so, why? Do you want to simply lead a healthier lifestyle, or do you want to be stronger?And don't forget — consistency is key.
“In order to efficiently lose fat, you must be active for at least 5 hours a week while also making sure you give your body enough time to recover,” Lutterloh says. With all of these things in mind, here are the best exercises to lose weight and burn fat, according to Lutterloh.
“Animal movements utilize your body weight to move you through space,” Lutterloh says.
Bear crawls, crab walks, and frog jumps work your back, shoulders, core, arms, and glute muscles. For someone who has knee issues, an ape animal movement is a good modification for the frog jump.
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Pull-ups utilize all the muscles in the body, especially in the core, back, and arms. And by utilizing the entire body, you'll burn more fat. Don't be discouraged if you can't do a pull-up in the beginning — even assisted ones can help burn calories.
What you'll need: Pure Fitness Multi-Purpose Doorway Pull-Up Bar ($20, Walmart)
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Turkish Get Ups
This particular exercise not only helps burn fat, but it also helps improve mobility, stability, and strength. It requires a kettlebell but you can start with regular weights until you nail the proper form.
What you'll need: CAP Barbell Tone Fitness Vinyl Kettlebell ($6, Walmart)
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Running is probably one of the best exercises for weight loss if you have healthy hips, knees, and back. Lutterloh suggests running outside rather than on a treadmill, because you'll use more muscles to push yourself forward. You also want to be running — or walking — for at least 20 minutes every day.
For an extra challenge, try running uphill. This helps you develop stronger legs, and engages your abdominals more than if you ran on a flat surface.
What you'll need: Ravenna 9 Running Shoe ($80, Nordstrom)
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Swimming is a non-weight barring exercise, which is perfect for people who suffer from painful joints. It's also good resistance-training because you are pushing against the water in order to move. The more you push, the more weight you lose.
What you'll need: Nike Solid Silicone Swim Cap ($10, Macy's)
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A push-up is another exercise that really engages your core and legs. Luckily, there are modifications for those who may not be able to do them from the get-go. Modified push-ups can be done from your knees or from your feet as you push off a wall or table. As you get stronger, you can use objects that are closer to the ground until you can push yourself off the floor.
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3 Types of Exercise Are Needed to Build a Healthy Body
What are the best workouts to lose weight? There isn’t one workout or one kind of exercise that is best for weight loss.
There are actually three: cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility or stretching. To lose weight more effectively, you'll incorporate all of these types of activity into a complete program.
When you create a balanced workout schedule, you're ly to see faster results on the scale.
Many workouts to lose weight are aerobic. Aerobic exercise can be called cardiovascular training, cardio or simply aerobics. Cardiovascular exercise includes any rhythmic activity that makes your heart beat more quickly and causes your breathing rate to increase.
Running is a cardiovascular activity, so is swimming, riding a bike and brisk walking. Though weight-lifting makes your heart rate increase and causes you to breathe harder than normal, it is considered considered a muscle-strengthening, not cardiovascular, activity.
Aerobic activity is the core of most balanced workout routines when weight loss is the goal. Why? Because aerobics burns fat and calories.
When you participate in cardio training, you rev up your calorie-burning engine. And if you exercise hard enough, you burn fat and calories both during and after exercise.
Cardiovascular activity also improves the function of your heart and lungs.
While this may not directly contribute to weight loss, it will help your body to perform better throughout the day, which may help you to remain more active even when you are not exercising.
For example, if your heart is healthy, you may be more ly to take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk to the grocery store instead of drive. These non-exercise physical activities help you burn more calories all day long.
Try one of these beginner aerobic workouts to lose weight:
Strength training is a kind of exercise that builds healthy muscle tissue. Strong muscles help you to move your body more efficiently. Some people refer to strength training as “lifting weights” but there are simple bodyweight exercises that qualify as strength training even though they don't involve lifting a dumbbell or a weight plate on a machine.
Sometimes, people who are trying to lose weight will skip weight-lifting because the purpose of this type of activity is to add weight to your frame. After all, why would you do weight building exercises to lose weight? But in the long run, adding muscle helps you to lose fat.
When you build muscle, you increase the amount of lean tissue on your body. A body with more lean muscle mass burns more calories—even when it is at rest. For this reason, experts recommend strength training exercises to lose weight more effectively.
Strength training also becomes particularly important as we age. For many reasons, our metabolism slows as we get older. Many women find that after menopause, weight gain is almost inevitable and weight loss is impossible. But exercisers who continue to build and maintain muscle are less ly to suffer from a slow metabolism and excessive weight gain.
If you're ready to do strength exercises to lose weight, start by doing a simple weight training program at home. Or target your arms, legs, and abs with an easy strength training routine that takes just 15 to 20 minutes, three times per week.
Try one of these strength training workouts:
Flexibility training is stretching. An effective stretching program takes only a small amount of time and can be done in just about any space. Even so, flexibility training is often the most neglected part of a workout. This is particularly unfortunate because people who stretch enjoy specific benefits that may help them lose weight.
Stretching helps us to maintain a good range of motion in our joints and helps our muscles to remain loose and healthy. All of this helps us to move more efficiently during the day and experience less pain from tight muscles or from muscle imbalances. A healthy body is ly to move more and burn more calories.
Stretching helps relieves stress. People who are trying to lose weight often cite emotional eating as a key reason that they struggle to lose weight. Finding a healthier way to relieve stress can prevent binge eating or unhealthy choices when emotions get in the way.
Plus, if you include meditation in your stretching program, it may help you to sleep better at night. Studies have shown that people who are well-rested are more ly to make better food choices than people who are tired.
Now that you know why each kind of training matters, be sure that you include each type of training into your complete weekly plan. It doesn’t require a huge time investment.
If you currently participate in some aerobic activity on most days of the week, add 15 to 30 minutes of strength training on two of those days and just 10 minutes of stretching at the end of each session. This small time investment may help you to enjoy big rewards when it’s time to step on the scale.
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Piercy KL, Troiano RP, Ballard RM, et al. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. JAMA. 2018;320(19):2020-2028. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14854
Ho SS, Dhaliwal SS, Hills AP, Pal S. The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:704. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-704
Butryn ML, Thomas JG, Lowe MR. Reductions in internal disinhibition during weight loss predict better weight loss maintenance. Obesity . 2009;17(5):1101-1103. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.646
Black DS, O’Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR. Mindfulness meditation and improvement in sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(4):494-501. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081
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10 Best Exercises For Weight Loss Ranked By Calorie Burn
If you're dedicating valuable time in your day to a sweat sesh, chances are you want to know it's actually worth your time, right? Okay, now raise your hand if you've heard different fitness philosophies about the most-effective way to rev your heart rate. Specifically, some people say cardio is the ultimate calorie-burner, while other swear by strength training. Well, it's time to set the record straight.
It’s true that people tend to expend more calories in the moment while doing cardio exercise running when compared to lifting weights, says Laura Miranda, CSCS, a doctor of physical therapy, fitness nutrition specialist, and certified personal trainer. “But weights, or anaerobic workouts, keep our excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or post-workout calorie burn, going from hours to days.” So you shouldn't count them out entirely when you're creating a cardio training plan.
EPOC = Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (post-workout calorie burn)
The reason weight training has such a prolonged calorie-burn effect is because the greater the intensity, the more oxygen your body will need post-workout to recover and repair muscles, explains Miranda.
By choosing exercises that ramp up that afterburn effect, “you get more bang for your buck in the long term,” she says.
“Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue, so the more of it we have, the more effective we are at burning calories all day long.”
But yeah, which exercises burn the most calories exactly? Unsurprisingly, on a list of the best burners below—ranked in order of effectiveness—aerobic exercise tends to win in terms of immediate results.
(FYI: Calorie burn is estimated for a 125-pound person and a 185-pound person, according to guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine.
The more you weigh, the more calories you tend to burn on any particular task—but a lot of other factors come in to play, too, so this isn't an exact science.) But there a quite a few top contenders from the weight category too.
No matter which type of workouts you choose, opt for the “bonus burn”—tips from Miranda and New York City-based trainer Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner of TS Fitness—to torch even more total calories.
1. Jumping rope
The burn: 667–990 calories/hour if you're jumping at 120 skips per minute
The bonus burn: Try using a weighted jump rope to engage your arms and shoulders even more.
For a full-body workout challenge, give this calorie-torching jump rope workout from Carrie Underwood's trainer a try. BTW: It helped her score those iconic legs.
2. Running Up Hill/Stair Sprints
The burn: 639–946 calories/hour
The bonus burn: “You want to sprint at a pace that you can only maintain for about 20 seconds, and follow that with a recovery run at half of the intensity of the sprint and double the time,” says Miranda.
The burn: 582–864 calories/hour
The bonus burn: Make sure you keep the rest periods between rounds of jabs and kicks super short. Aim for 30 seconds of rest for every 90 seconds of sparring.
Try this boxing workout for the ultimate burn.
4. Cycling intervals
The burn: 568–841 calories/hour
The bonus burn: Adding high intensity intervals throughout a steady state or low-intensity ride will increase the afterburn even more.
The burn: 566–839 calories/hour at a 10-minute mile pace
The bonus burn: Run at a steady state pace (i.e. a 7 10 in terms of effort), and you’ll continue to burn extra calories over the rest of the day.
To torch more during and after your workout, add short bursts of sprints or faster running into your jog, says Tamir. He recommends keeping a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio to get the most afterburn. For example, if you run for 60 seconds, walk 30 seconds.
6. Kettlebell circuit
The burn: 554–822 calories/hour
The bonus burn: Tamir says that a HIIT circuit using kettlebells can keep the afterburn going for 36 hours after you leave the gym. To get the best results, make sure you’re not stopping to rest between each move.
Tamir recommends switching between upper- and lower-body movements so you can keep exercising for a longer period of time. Try doing a set of kettlebell swings, kettlebell squats, and kettlebell push presses. Then, rest for 15 to 20 seconds after completing the three moves. You could also pick and choose some other moves from the best kettlebell exercises.
Or, try these seven kettlebell moves for awesome abs from the video below.
7. Stationary bike
The burn: 498–738 calories/hour (at a vigorous pace)
The bonus burn: To get the most afterburn, Tamir says to start with 10 seconds of intense pedaling (100 RPMs or more) and 50 seconds of rest. Then, move to 15 seconds of sprints and 45 seconds of rest, and do 20 seconds of sprints 40 seconds of rest after that. Don't forget to turn up the resistance as you progress!
Or, try this metabolism-blasting cycling workout.
8. Rowing machine
The burn: 481–713 calories/hour at 150 watts, which you can check on the machine
The bonus burn: To get maximum torching power, row in super-fast, one-minute intervals (150 watts), and take 30- to 60-second active rest periods by alternating between squats, pushups, and planks.
Another option is this high-intensity rowing workout, which will get your heart racing.
9. Loaded kettlebell carries
The burn: 476–705 calories/hour
The bonus burn: Walking with weighted kettlebells forces you to practice strong posture and core control. “My fav method is the three-in-one,” says Miranda. “Start walking with two kettlebells overhead, walk as far as you can until you need to stop.
Then, drop the bells to the front racked position and continue walking until you need to stop again. Finally, drop them down to the farmer’s carry position (at your sides), and continue walking as long as you can.” This is one cycle, rest two minutes, then repeat.
Try some of these other great kettlebell exercises if you're looking for more ways to work with the weight.
The burn: 452–670 calories/hour when going 77 steps per minute
The bonus burn: To up the ante, hold a one- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand to get your upper body fired up, too.
Bottom line: Whether you’re working the Stair Master or running steps around town, à la Rocky, stair climbing provides a good mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
10 of the Best Workouts for Weight Loss
The number one training method the experts turn to again and again for weight loss: interval training. What's that? “Any form of exercise where your heart rate spikes and then comes down repeatedly,” says Rilinger.
This generally means going hard for a set interval of time (hence the name), followed by active rest, then going hard again. That active recovery portion is key.
You need to take it down a notch—OK, several notches—before ramping back up to a higher intensity interval.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is one of the many styles you can do. Another popular one is indoor cycling, though this workout leans heavily toward cardio over strength training, Rilinger explains.
She also notes that cycling requires you to use various muscles in your body—quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, for starters—which once again translates to weight loss.
“The more muscles you have to incorporate, the more calories you're going to burn because those muscles all require energy in order to work,” she says. “And the more energy you use, the higher those calorie-burning numbers climb. It's all a cycle.”
Try it: Here are 4 fat-burning stationary bike workouts that you might . If you're more of a treadmill person, this 20-minute treadmill interval workout will kick your butt in the best way. And if you want to skip the equipment altogether, this 10-minute lower body bodyweight interval workout is a good place to start.
2. Weight Training
Consider weight training “the mother of all weight-loss techniques, the highest in the workout food chain, the top of the totem pole,” says Rilinger.
Resistance training, whether it's with your bodyweight alone or with added weights, is an effective method to help build muscle and burn fat.
Lifting weights has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate, which means your body burns more calories even when you're not working out. The effect isn't enormous, but building muscle means more muscle mass to churn through calories as you go about your day.
Plus, more muscle means you can go harder next time, increasing your weight, and getting even more each workout. Plus, if you're lifting at a high intensity, you get the added bonus of the “afterburn effect,” which is when you've put down the weights but your body is still using up extra energy.
Rilinger suggests adding weight training to your routine at least three times a week. And since your body adjusts to workouts after being exposed to the same moves at the same intensity, becoming less effective over time, she says to mix it up about every three weeks to keep your body guessing.
Try it: First, if you've never done it before, be sure to read these strength training tips for beginners before you get started. And check out this primer on how to choose the right weights for your workout.
Now here's a quick 10-minute total-body dumbbell workout and another 10-minute living room dumbbell workout to get you started. Here's a 20-minute strength workout for when you have a bit more time.
Here's some info about how to superset at the gym. And if you're going to use kettlebells and barbells in your strength workout routine, be sure to work with a personal trainer to make sure you're using proper form.
You've got this!
3. Boot Camp
For a workout that's going to keep your metabolism elevated, turn to boot camp, as these classes (think Barry's Bootcamp) combine two of the most effective styles of training: interval and resistance.
“You'll perform exercises, some more cardio-focused and others strength-focused, full-out for short bursts of time, coupled with short periods of rest,” says Adam Rosante, certified personal trainer and author of The 30-Second Body. But if it's your first time going to a boot camp class, speak up.
He says a good instructor will help you determine when you need to crank up the weight or intensity (tip: if you can cruise through 10 reps without any trouble, it's too easy), keep your form on par, and can always provide a modification for any move that might be too tough or irritates an injury.
If you can't make it to a studio, though, you can virtually sweat it out with Rosante in his 20-minute C9 Challenge, or try this bodyweight-only 16-minute routine.
“At its essence, boxing is really another form of interval training,” explains Rosante. But it also makes you feel freaking badass.
Here's the trick to remember: It's a common mistake for beginners to punch using only their arm strength, but the majority of your power is going to come from your core and you'll use muscles that are typically ignored in other workouts (hey there, obliques).