What Exercises Will Help You Lose Weight?
There are many exercises that are effective in weight loss. In a perfect world, it would be a matter of burning calories by any means necessary. But in reality, some exercises burn more calories than others and some yield benefits beyond fat loss.
For this reason, it is recommended to combine cardio with strength exercises for more holistic, balanced progress. Here’s a breakdown of which exercises are best when looking for how to lose weight.
Cardio: Running and HIIT
Besides making changes to your diet, there’s no faster way to burn calories than through cardio exercises. These are the types of exercises that get your heart pumping and lungs gasping for breath.
Jogging is a hugely popular cardio exercise to lose weight, and for good reason. It’s proven to help burn visceral fat as well as strengthen our hearts and lungs. But, it’s also popular because it’s accessible and requires no equipment.
A more intense and arguably more efficient form of cardio is interval training, commonly known as HIIT. Studies show that HIIT can burn around 30% more calories per minute than running on a treadmill. Whilst some people prefer exercises with less intensity, like jogging, HIIT can help increase your metabolism in the hours after exercising. It also helps with gaining strength and improving blood pressure.
If sprints or jogging feels tough on the joints, or you feel that you need to lose some weight before starting these exercises to avoid injury, then cycling and swimming are great low-impact alternatives. But, getting creative with a variety of exercises, like with circuit training, can be more motivating. Deciding which exercise to do is far less important than proper nutrition and simply doing something to get your body moving.
Strength: Weight training
Strength training is often overlooked among those looking to lose weight. Improving our strength has a multitude of benefits, from aesthetics and confidence to lowering our risk of injury during cardio.
But, its most overlooked benefit is its effectiveness to shed fat in and of itself. Strength training can lose between 200 and 400 calories during a one-hour session as well as increase your resting metabolic rate.
And, if you think about it, having more muscle mass requires more calories to function. Therefore, putting on a few pounds of muscle can mean burning more fat per minute during your cardio sessions. Plus, muscle in certain places (i.e. pecs) can harness the appearance of weight loss, which is also important to some people.
When it comes to choosing which exact strength training exercises, the goal is to ensure you start slow, avoid injuries by making technique a priority, and ensure you hit all muscle groups evenly (around twice per week).
Barbell exercises are hugely effective in improving functional strength and hitting many different muscles at once compared to isolation dumbbell exercises. Plus, hitting large muscle groups like our back and legs will burn more calories than completing sets on a pec-deck machine.
How to lose weight by walking
There's no substitute for intense exercise, but it doesn't mean we should be inactive outside of our workout sessions.
If you weigh 11 stone, you will burn around 175 calories per half an hour of walking. You burn more if you weigh more. This is almost a passive exercise because we hardly have to think about it. In fact, you only burn twice as many calories when you run. So, it’s great value when looking at calories burned relative to the effort put in.
Simply walking 30 minutes to work instead of driving, for example, could mean burning an extra 2,000 calories per week very easily - that’s two whole roast dinners worth!
Here at Gokay Fitness, we offer Body Transformation and Body Sculpture Programmes that will help you lose weight, get fit, and stay healthy. Click here to book a FREE discovery call with me to find out more about how we can help you to reach your goals.