16 Best Exercises For Weight Loss

best exercise to lose body fat

There’s no getting around the fact that in order to lose weight safely and permanently, you need to eat healthy food and get plenty of exercise.

Exercising burns calories and builds muscle, which is essential for increasing your metabolism so that you can burn even more calories and lose more weight.

So dust off those workout clothes and pick one of these nine best exercises for weight loss to get started today on your path to a slimmer, healthier you.

what are the best exercises for weight loss

1. Walking

Walking is an ideal exercise for weight loss: It doesn’t require any equipment, other than a decent pair of walking shoes, and you don’t need a gym membership to do it.

It’s a low-impact exercise, which means it won’t blow out your knees or cause other stress injuries that can leave you on the sidelines for weeks or even months.

For those with certain health issues, including obesity and heart disease, walking is an effective, low-intensity weight-loss activity that can lead to better overall health, as well as better mental wellbeing.
Depending on how much you weigh, walking at a pace of four miles per hour will burn between 5 and 8 calories every minute, or between 225 and 360 calories for a 45-minute walk.

At this pace, walking 45 minutes a day most days, you can lose up to a pound a week without changing any other habits.

So put on your walking shoes, turn on your iPod and go for a brisk stroll through the neighborhood. If you live close to where you work or shop, make walking your primary mode of transportation most days, and watch the pounds melt away. When the weather is bad, take to the local track or indoor mall, or hop on the treadmill.

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2. Kettlebells

Kettlebells are cast iron balls fitted with a single handle. Unlike traditional handheld weights, the weight of the kettlebell isn’t evenly distributed, which means that your body has to work to stabilize you and counterbalance the weight of the ball.
Kettlebells provide for a hard-core workout that not only burns up to 400 calories in a mere 20 minutes, but also strengthens your core, improves balance and posture and targets all of the major muscle groups, as well as the stabilizing muscles.

Because kettlebell exercises involve the whole body, a kettlebell workout will rev up your metabolism to help your body burn fat faster, and it’ll get your heart pumping so that you get an aerobic workout as well. In fact, 20-minute kettlebell workout is similar to a six-mile run in terms of cardiovascular benefits and calories burned.

However, working successfully with kettlebells requires proper form to avoid injury and get the most benefit out of your workout. If you’re new to kettlebells, taking a class at your local gym will provide you with initial instruction about proper form and the safety guidelines you should follow when exercising with these heavy weights.

swimming is best exercise to lose weight

3. Swimming

Vigorous swimming can burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories an hour. All types of swimming are effective for helping you shed pounds, from a front crawl to a breast stroke or even the dog paddle.
Swimming is a highly effective exercise for weight loss and toning. It’s one of the lowest-impact exercises out there, and it strengthens, tones and conditions your whole body.

It’s particularly ideal for women in their last trimester of pregnancy and individuals who battle with arthritis, obesity, and musculoskeletal conditions.

It’s also great for those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma, because the warm, moist air around the water helps keep the airways clear.

Many athletes use the pool as a cross-training tool, as well as to stay fit while rehabilitating an injury. When you’re neck-deep in water, your body is only bearing ten percent of its weight, and yet the water provides 12 times the resistance of air, making it ideal for strengthening and toning your muscles.

Swimming engages all of the major muscle groups, from your abdominals and back muscles to your arms, legs, hips and glutes. It effectively compliments other exercises, like running and walking, or it can be your sole form of fitness.

Don’t know how to swim? Not a problem. If you can propel yourself through the water from one end of the pool to the other, you can swim well enough to lose weight doing it.

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best exercises to lose weight

4. Cycling

Bicycling is another low-impact, high-rewards activity for losing weight.
Cycling can burn anywhere from 372 to over 1,100 calories per hour, depending on your weight, your speed and the terrain you’re biking across.

Unlike running, cycling is easy on the joints, and even the most out-of-shape beginner can hop on a bicycle and ride several miles without feeling like they’ve just been through the wringer.

Outdoor cycling is best, because the varied terrain enables you to get a well-rounded workout that includes strengthening your lower body and getting a good cardiovascular workout.

If you live within biking distance of your job, cycling to work can stimulate endorphins and boost your metabolism for the day, as well as save you money on gas. If outdoor cycling is difficult or dangerous in your area, consider spinning.

Offered at most gyms, this group cycling activity is one of the lowest-impact classes offered, and yet it’s one of the most effective for burning calories and revving up your metabolism.

Even seasoned runners or bikers will likely find themselves challenged by the spinning instructor. An hour-long spinning class covers about 20 miles and challenges participants to reach speeds that they may find impossible when riding an actual bike.

best exercises to lose weight

5. Elliptical Trainer

The elliptical trainer at home or at the gym enables you to get a low-impact, full body workout.
Easier on the joints than a treadmill, the elliptical trainer also has movable handles that enable you to get a good upper-body workout in addition to working your lower body.

Elliptical machines let you choose the intensity level, and by raising and lowering the ramp and going backwards, you can target different muscle groups in your legs, both front and back.

The average person using an elliptical trainer can burn about 600 calories per hour. The elliptical trainer mimics the action of running while eliminating impact, saving knees and other joints from wear. For those who suffer from arthritis, musculoskeletal conditions and obesity, the elliptical trainer is a great way to exercise without risking impact injuries.

When you’re using the elliptical trainer, hold on to the movable handles rather than the static ones to increase the number of calories you burn and to help tone your arms.

Don’t rely on the calorie counters on elliptical machines to give you an accurate readout of calories burned. Instead, maximize your workout by striving to keep your heart rate at 85 percent and upping the resistance when it feels too easy.

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best exercises to lose weight

6. Running

If you’re one of the many people who love to run, you’re in luck.
Running burns about 600 calories per hour, helps build strong bones and connective tissue and gets your heart pumping at a healthy rate to help prevent heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

The only equipment running requires is a good pair of shoes to protect your joints and, if it helps you keep the pace and maintain motivation, an iPod with your favorite tunes.

Interval training can bump up the calories you burn on your daily run. Also called speed work, interval training involves short spurts, usually between 30 seconds and two minutes, of running at top speed.

Intervals burn a large number of calories in a short amount of time, improve your resting metabolism to help you burn more calories during the day, and increase your muscle mass.

Experts now recommend that you don’t stretch before you run. Instead, warm up by marching in place, bringing your knees up high, or walking for five minutes before beginning your run.

Because running is a high-impact exercise that can damage your joints, it’s always best to have a professional fit you with the right running shoes, based on your gait.

best exercises to lose weight

7. Tennis

A good game of tennis can burn up to 600 calories in an hour. If you’re the type who prefers to exercise with a partner, tennis is an ideal way to get active. It’s also perfect for those who don’t particularly like to exercise, but who love a good competition.

You don’t have to be a great tennis player to lose weight doing it. After all, running after the balls is still a form of exercise.

The nature of tennis makes it a great whole-body workout, and playing it can help you improve your flexibility, balance and posture, as well as let off some steam to reduce stress.

Throughout the game, especially every time you hit the ball, your arm, abdominal and leg muscles are engaged, building strength and burning calories. But that’s not all that’s engaged. Your brain gets a good workout every time you play tennis, from thinking quickly and creatively to planning ahead.

Games like tennis boost the brain’s function to improve memory and the ability to learn new things. It also helps increase your peak bone mass; in fact, the National Institute of Health lists tennis as one of the activities that promotes bone health.

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best exercises for weight loss

8. High Intensity Interval Training

This is one of the most effective weight loss exercise options available. You only need to engage in this form of exercise for about 20 minutes, three times a week, to get incredible benefits that include burning a large number of calories and ramping up your metabolism in the wake of the afterburn.

High intensity interval workouts can be done with many forms of exercise, and consist of short but intense bursts of activity followed by a lower-intensity period or a period of complete rest.

Those who are new to exercising shouldn’t perform interval training until they’ve been exercising regularly for a couple of months.

A standard interval workout for biking, swimming, running, lifting weights or even walking is 20 minutes long, but burns far more calories than 20 minutes of steady exercise.

Start out by warming up for five minutes. For the sixth minute, push yourself as hard and fast as you can. The seventh minute is all about catching your breath. Repeat the fast/slow cycle (minus the warm up) five times, and cool down for three minutes.

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, offers amazing benefits. Not only will you progress much faster to your desired fitness level, you will also improve your aerobic capacity. In fact, after only two weeks of HIIT, your aerobic capacity will be stronger than if you had completed eight weeks of steady-state endurance exercise, such as running.

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9. CrossFit

CrossFit, like high intensity training, is only suitable for individuals who have been exercising on a somewhat regular basis for a couple of months.
Originally designed to train first responders and Special Forces, CrossFit is a workout regimen that involves weight lifting, endurance exercises, plyometrics, strength and speed training and kettlebell exercise routines, among other activities.

One thing you won’t lose with CrossFit is interest. Unlike other routines that involve doing one exercise for a specified amount of time, CrossFit incorporates many activities into one intense, fat-burning workout.

It’s designed to target all of the major components of physical fitness, including endurance, flexibility, speed, power and cardiorespiratory fitness.

No two days are alike when you’re doing CrossFit. An example of a CrossFit routine is five repetitions of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups and 50 squats, all performed one after the other, with a three-minute rest between repetitions.

While definitely not for the faint-of-heart, CrossFit routines are highly effective at burning calories and fat, improving physical stamina and endurance, and increasing metabolism.

To get the most benefit out of CrossFit, you should perform a different routine at least three days a week, but ideally five days a week. The good news is that the routines are short, lasting only 15 to 20 minutes when done properly.

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best outdoor activitiy for weight loss

10. Cross Country Skiing

If you enjoy nature, like the cold and love a good snow, cross country skiing might just become your favorite exercise.
Cross country skiing is a tough workout that works every major muscle group in your body as you glide along, providing both pushing and pulling movements for your muscles. It’s great for improving balance and coordination.

Cross country skiing is a combination of resistance training and cardio activity that’ll burn between 500 and 650 calories per hour, depending on how much you weight and the intensity of the workout.

While you’re skiing, your muscles are working hard. However, since they’re all working together and you’re getting moments of rest on the glide, the lack of muscle exhaustion enables you to sustain the activity for long periods of time. Likewise, your heart rate will be elevated throughout the workout, but won’t be so high that you have to stop to rest.

Make sure you have the right gear for safety and comfort during your workout. You don’t need to spend a bundle, but you’ll need warm clothes that are designed to insulate and breathe. Make sure your ski boots are comfortable and warm.

The right form is critical when cross country skiing. Beginners should start slowly, propelling forward with long, slow strokes until rhythm and form become natural. The moves should feel coordinated and be executed with smooth, fluid motions.

Once you’ve got the form and rhythm down, let the skis take you on a tour of the winter wonderland around you. Allow your mind to wander while your body does the work so that you’re relaxed and renewed by the end of the workout.

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exercise to lose weight

11. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is a favorite activity on playgrounds across the country, but it’s hardly child’s play when it comes to losing weight.
Just ten minutes of rope jumping is worth an eight-minute mile when it comes to cardio benefits and calorie burning.

An hour of jumping rope burns over 800 calories and works the arms, legs, and core, as well as strengthens bones and joints.

It’s also an excellent activity for improving coordination, agility and endurance. Jumping rope is a high-intensity activity, and as such, you don’t need to do it for a full hour to reap the benefits.

However, to avoid injury, you do need to use proper form. Your knees should be slightly bent as you hold the rope at hip height with your palms facing your body. Push off on the balls of your feet, keeping your knees soft and your upper body perpendicular to the floor. Don’t bounce between jumps, or you’ll risk injury.

A great 13-minute rope-jumping workout involves one minute of intense activity followed by one minute of rest. Start with the basic jump, during which both feet push off and land at the same time.

Next, alternate your feet. Follow that with a combination jump during which you do the basic jump for ten turns of the rope followed by alternating your feet for ten turns.

Finally, perform the high step: Alternate your feet, but bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle with each jump. End the workout with an endurance round during which you jump rope in your favorite way for at least five minutes.

best exercise to lose weight

12. Step Aerobics

Developed and made popular in the late eighties by workout guru Gin Miller, step aerobics is a low-impact workout with excellent cardio and calorie burning benefits.

A 45-minute step aerobics workout will burn about 550 calories while targeting the muscles in the legs, hips, and bum, as well as work out the core muscles and improve coordination.

Step aerobics involves cardio routines that utilize an elevated platform. One foot is always either on the platform or the ground, which is what makes step aerobics a low-impact exercise.

An hour of step aerobics provides you with the same fat burning and cardio benefits as a seven-mile run. You can either enroll in a step aerobics class at the gym or invest in your own step and conduct the workout at home with the aid of a DVD. If you choose the at-home workout, it’s essential to buy a step that’s the right height to avoid injury.

A step that is too high puts more force on the knees, which can lead to soreness and injury. Choose a step that puts your knee at a 90 degree angle when your foot is resting on it. Your whole foot should land on the step during the workout; the heel should never extend over the edge of the step, which can cause Achilles tendonitis. Bouncing will also leave you at a higher risk for injury, including shin splints and stress fractures.

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best exercise to lose weight

13. Treadmill

The treadmill is a great tool for getting in a good calorie-burning workout.

Unfortunately, walking or running on a treadmill is generally very boring, and it may be hard to get motivated to work out or stay with the workout for as long as you should. And that’s where treadmill rounds come in.

Treadmill rounds utilize the treadmill to get the heart rate up, followed by floor exercises that include plenty of resistance training to strengthen muscle and increase metabolism to help you burn more fat throughout the day.

In addition to combating boredom, treadmill rounds are brief but intense, meaning you can work out for shorter periods of time while giving your whole body a workout that includes cardio benefits.

Each of the three rounds is performed three times in succession before moving on to the next round. Before you begin, adjust your treadmill to a 10 percent incline for the duration of the workout.

Round One: Set your treadmill’s speed to 10.5 miles per hour. Run on the treadmill for 30 seconds, then hop off and do 10 pushups, followed by 10 lunges. Repeat two more times.

Round Two: Set the treadmill’s speed to 11 miles per hour. Run on the treadmill for 30 seconds, and then do 10 curls with a weight in each hand, followed by 10 crunches. Repeat two more times.

Round Three: Set the treadmill’s speed to 11.5 miles per hour. Run on the treadmill for 30 seconds, and then perform 10 pushups and 10 squats.

If you’re a beginner, start with just one repetition of each round and work your way up to three reps.

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best exercise for fat loss

14. Pushups

A set of fifty pushups will burn about 100 calories, but the real weight loss magic happens because of the muscle you build.
Pushups are highly effective for building muscle in your core, abs, chest, shoulders, triceps, lower back and glutes.

Strong muscles ramp up your fat burn even when you’re not working out, and they give your body a fit, toned appearance.

The great thing about pushups is that no equipment is required, and you can do them nearly anywhere. Good form is essential for avoiding injury when performing pushups, and to get the most benefit from your workout.

Your pushups should be slow and deliberate so that you maintain full control of your movements and really work the muscles. If you do them too quickly, your muscles won’t benefit as much and you’ll leave yourself at risk for injury.

Lie facedown with your hands a little wider than shoulder width, positioned an inch or two in front of your shoulders, with your whole body supported on your hands and toes. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels. Keep your back straight and your head in a neutral position as you slowly lower your body to two inches above the floor by bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle.

If classic pushups cause pain in the wrist area, ball your hands into fists and support your weight on your knuckles. If you’re a beginner you may want to start with modified pushups by resting on your knees with your ankles crossed, which reduces the weight load by about half.

what are the best exercises to lose weight

15. Yard Work

If you’re one of the many people who think exercise is about as pleasant as a hot poker in the eye, keep in mind that you don’t have to do traditional exercises to build muscle and burn fat.

There are a number of activities that burn calories at a high rate, and yard work is one of them.

Raking, sacking yard waste, and planting burn about 300 calories per hour, while mowing with a power mower burns about 330.

An hour of mowing with a manual mower burns about 400 calories per hour, and pulling weeds for an hour burns about 350.

In addition to burning calories, yard work is effective for building muscle and improving flexibility, and it’s also a great way to work on your tan. You can bump up the calorie burn and work your muscles even harder by naturally incorporating simple exercises into your yard work routine.

For example, instead of kneeling on the ground while you weed, start from a standing position, lower yourself slowly into a squat, pull as many weeds as you can, then raise yourself back up using your leg muscles. As you water the lawn and garden, rotate your upper body as a single unit at the waist, reaching as far right as you can and moving back to the left to work your core muscles.

By making all of your movements slow and deliberate, you will burn more calories and build more muscle as you enjoy tending to the yard. This same principle applies to housework, such as picking up, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and doing laundry.

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16. Workout During TV Commericals

The TV commercial workout is ideal for couch potatoes who dread lacing up the running shoes or hitting the gym.

Instead of getting up for another bowl of ice cream during commercials, get up off the couch and do some simple exercises to burn calories, improve strength and rev up your metabolism.

An hour-long TV show contains about 18 minutes of commercials. If you watch just two shows a day, this workout can give you 36 minutes’ worth of exercise to help you lose weight and improve muscle tone.

During just one hour long TV show, you can burn 92 calories by doing jumping jacks or crunches during the commercials, or you can burn 205 calories by jumping rope during the ads. You can also perform pushups, crunches or squats, or use hand weights to perform standard weight training exercises.

If you want to get a full-body workout in during your two hours’ worth (or more) of TV, alternate exercises during each commercial break. For example, during the first break, do crunches. During the second break, jump rope. During the third break, perform squats, and so on. By the end of the evening, you will have worked all of your major muscle groups, gotten in some cardio and burned a number of calories.

 

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 what is the best exercise to lose weight

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