How To Lose Weight Exercise If you want to lose weight, exercise is a must. Exercise allows you to build lean muscle and shed fat so your body looks healthy and good. But it took me three years to realize that there’s more than one way to lose weight.
At first glance you have probably come to the conclusion that this article is going to be boring, this is due to the fact that it looks like any other “How To Lose Weight” article. I am here to bring a different perspective and hopefully make this your best weight loss exercise advice you have ever read.
How To Lose Weight Exercise
Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss — and for good reason.
It’s convenient and an easy way for beginners to start exercising without feeling overwhelmed or needing to purchase equipment. Also, it’s a lower-impact exercise, meaning it doesn’t stress your joints.
According to Harvard Health, it’s estimated that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace of 4 mph (6.4 km/h) (5).
A 12-week study in 20 women with obesity found that walking for 50–70 minutes 3 times per week reduced body fat and waist circumference by an average of 1.5% and 1.1 inches (2.8 cm), respectively
It’s easy to fit walking into your daily routine. To add more steps to your day, try walking during your lunch break, taking the stairs at work, or taking your dog for extra walks.
To get started, aim to walk for 30 minutes 3–4 times a week. You can gradually increase the duration or frequency of your walks as you become more fit.
Summary Walking is a great
exercise for beginners, as it can be done anywhere, doesn’t require equipment,
and puts minimal stress on your joints. Try to incorporate more walks into your
2. Jogging or running
Jogging and running are great exercises to help you lose weight.
Although they seem similar, the key difference is that a jogging pace is generally between 4–6 mph (6.4–9.7 km/h), while a running pace is faster than 6 mph (9.7 km/h).
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 298 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a 5-mph (8-km/h) pace, or 372 calories per 30 minutes of running at a 6-mph (9.7-km/h) pace (5).
What’s more, studies have found that jogging and running can help burn harmful visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat. This type of fat wraps around your internal organs and has been linked to various chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes
Both jogging and running are great exercises that can be done anywhere and are easy to incorporate into your weekly routine. To get started, aim to jog for 20–30 minutes 3–4 times per week.
If you find jogging or running outdoors to be hard on your joints, try running on softer surfaces like grass. Also, many treadmills have built-in cushioning, which may be easier on your joints.
Summary Jogging and running
are great exercises for weight loss that are easy to incorporate into your
weekly routine. They can also help burn belly fat, which is linked to many
Cycling is a popular exercise that improves your fitness and can help you lose weight.
Although cycling is traditionally done outdoors, many gyms and fitness centers have stationary bikes that allow you to cycle while staying indoors.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 260 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace, or 298 calories per 30 minutes on a bicycle at a moderate pace of 12–13.9 mph (19–22.4 km/h) (5).
Not only is cycling great for weight loss, but studies have found that people who cycle regularly have better overall fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death, compared with those who don’t cycle regularly
Cycling is great for people of all fitness levels, from beginners to athletes. Plus, it’s a non-weight-bearing and low-impact exercise, so it won’t place much stress on your joints.
Summary Cycling is great
for people of all fitness levels and can be done outdoors on a bicycle or
indoors on a stationary bike. It has been linked to various health benefits,
including increased insulin sensitivity and a reduced risk of certain chronic
4. Weight training
Weight training is a popular choice for people looking to lose weight.
According to Harvard Health, it’s estimated that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns roughly 112 calories per 30 minutes of weight training (5).
Also, weight training can help you build strength and promote muscle growth, which can raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR), or how many calories your body burns at rest
One 6-month study showed that simply doing 11 minutes of strength-based exercises 3 times per week resulted in a 7.4% increase in metabolic rate, on average. In this study, that increase was equivalent to burning an additional 125 calories per day
Another study found that 24 weeks of weight training led to a 9% increase in metabolic rate among men, which equated to burning approximately 140 more calories per day. Among women, the increase in metabolic rate was nearly 4%, or 50 more calories per day
In addition, numerous studies have shown that your body continues to burn calories many hours after a weight-training workout, compared with aerobic exercise
Summary Weight training can
help you lose weight by burning calories during and after your workout. It may
also help you build muscle mass, which raises your resting metabolic rate — the
number of calories your body burns at rest.
5. Interval training
Interval training, more commonly known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is a broad term that refers to short bursts of intense exercise that alternate with recovery periods.
Typically, a HIIT workout lasts 10–30 minutes and can burn a lot of calories.
One study in 9 active men found that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories per minute than other types of exercises, including weight training, cycling, and running on a treadmill
That means HIIT can help you burn more calories while spending less time exercising.
Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that HIIT is especially effective at burning belly fat, which is linked to many chronic diseases
HIIT is easy to incorporate into your exercise routine. All you need to do is choose a type of exercise, such as running, jumping, or biking, and your exercise and rest times.
For example, pedal as hard as you can on a bike for 30 seconds followed by pedaling at a slow pace for 1–2 minutes. Repeat this pattern for 10–30 minutes.
Summary Interval training
is an effective weight loss strategy that can be applied to many types of
exercises, including running, jumping, biking, and more. Incorporating interval
training into your routine can help you burn more calories in less time.
Swimming is a fun way to lose weight and get in shape.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 233 calories per half hour of swimming.
How you swim appears to affect how many calories you burn. Per 30 minutes, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns 298 calories doing backstroke, 372 calories doing breaststroke, 409 calories doing butterfly, and 372 calories treading water (5).
One 12-week study in 24 middle-aged women found that swimming for 60 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced body fat, improved flexibility, and reduced several heart disease risk factors, including high total cholesterol and blood triglycerides
Another advantage of swimming is its low-impact nature, meaning that it’s easier on your joints. This makes it a great option for people who have injuries or joint pain.
Summary Swimming is a great
low-impact exercise for people looking to lose weight. Moreover, it may help
improve your flexibility and reduce risk factors for various diseases.
Yoga is a popular way to exercise and relieve stress.
While it’s not commonly thought of as a weight loss exercise, it burns a fair amount of calories and offers many additional health benefits that can promote weight loss.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 149 calories per 30 minutes of practicing yoga (5).
A 12-week study in 60 women with obesity found that those who participated in two 90-minute yoga sessions per week experienced greater reductions in waist circumference than those in the control group — by 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), on average
Additionally, the yoga group experienced improvements in mental and physical well-being
Aside from burning calories, studies have shown that yoga can teach mindfulness, which can help you resist unhealthy foods, control overeating, and better understand your body’s hunger signals
Most gyms offer yoga classes, but you can practice yoga anywhere. This includes from the comfort of your own home, as there are plenty of guided tutorials online.
Summary Yoga is a great
weight loss exercise that can be done nearly anywhere. It not only burns
calories but also teaches you mindfulness to help you resist food
Pilates is a great beginner-friendly exercise that may help you lose weight.
According to a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, a person weighing around 140 pounds (64 kg) would burn 108 calories at a 30-minute beginner’s Pilates class, or 168 calories at an advanced class of the same duration (26).
Although Pilates may not burn as many calories as aerobic exercises like running, many people find it enjoyable, which makes it easier to stick to over time
An 8-week study in 37 middle-aged women found that performing Pilates exercises for 90 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced waist, stomach, and hip circumference, compared with a control group that did no exercise over the same period
Other than weight loss, Pilates has been shown to reduce lower back pain and improve your strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and overall fitness level
If you’d like to give Pilates a go, try incorporating it into your weekly routine. You can do Pilates at home or one of the many gyms that offer Pilates classes.
To further boost weight loss with Pilates, combine it with a healthy diet or other forms of exercise, such as weight training or cardio.
Summary Pilates is a great
beginner-friendly exercise that can help you lose weight while improving other
areas of your physical fitness, such as strength, balance, flexibility, and
How much weight can you realistically expect to lose?
How much weight you can expect to lose from exercise depends on many factors.
Starting weight. People who weigh more tend to shed more pounds than those who weigh
less. Still, the percentage of body weight lost is similar
Age. Older people tend to carry more fat mass and less muscle mass,
which reduces your RMR, or how many calories your body burns at rest. A
lower RMR can make it more difficult to lose weight
Gender. Women tend to have a greater fat to muscle ratio than men, which
can affect their RMR. As a result, men tend to lose weight quicker than
women, even if they consume a similar number of calories
Diet. Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume.
Thus, a calorie deficit is essential to losing
Sleep. Studies have found that a lack of sleep may slow the rate at which
you lose weight and even increase your cravings for unhealthy foods
Medical conditions. People with medical conditions like depression and hypothyroidism may lose weight at a
Genetics. Studies have shown that weight loss has a genetic component, which
may affect certain people with obesity
Although most people want to lose weight quickly, experts often recommend losing 1–3 pounds (0.5–1.36 kg), or approximately 1% of your body weight, per week
Losing weight too fast can have negative health consequences. For example, it can result in muscle loss and increase your risk of conditions like gallstones, dehydration, fatigue, malnutrition, headaches, irritability, constipation, hair loss, and irregular periods
What’s more, people who lose weight too fast are more prone to regaining it
It’s important to keep in mind that weight loss is not a linear process, and it’s common to find yourself losing weight more quickly when you first get started.
The 10 Best Exercises for Weight Loss
Yes, exercise is essential for overall health, but when you’re trying to lose weight it becomes even more important. If you’re aiming to lose weight without the gym, you can rely on the best exercises to do at home to lose weight.
If you’re trying to create your own weight loss workout but don’t know where to start, take a cue from these 10 best exercises for weight loss, demonstrated by Karolina Duncan, a New York City-based certified personal trainer and health coach. These good home exercises to lose weight doubgle as strength moves that’ll get your heart rate up and work on functional movement skills. Meaning, they’ll protect you from injury and help you perform tasks more efficiently in your everyday life — while burning calories and building lean muscle. (More here: You Don’t Need Cardio to Lose Weight, But There’s a Catch)
String these moves together for the indicated sets and reps to create a circuit workout, or add them individually to routines you already love.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
1. Forward Lunge
A. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Place hands on hips or hold weights by sides to start.
B. Take a controlled step forward with the right leg. Keeping spine tall, lower body until the front and back leg form a 90-degree angle.
C. Pause, then step right leg back to start. Step left leg forward to repeat on the other side.
Reps: 10 per side
Mistakes and Tips: There are many variations to the lunge, but the classic forward lunge is still very effective for weight loss, as it works multiple muscles at once (think: glutes, quads, and hamstrings).
A. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend knees, and reach palms to the ground to lower into a crouch.
Immediately lower back into a squat for the next rep. Repeat 8 to 12 times. Complete 3 sets.
B. With hands shoulder-width on the floor directly in front of feet, and shift your weight to them to jump back and land softly in plank position.
C. Jump feet forward so they land just outside of hands. Jump explosively into the air, reaching hands overhead or leaving by sides.
Reps: 8 to 12
Mistakes and Tips: This exercise effectively targets your core, chest, and legs simultaneously. Feel the burn and know you’re building lots of lean muscle.
3. Explosive Lunge
A. Start with feet together, hands on your hips. Step forward with the right leg and lower into a lunge so right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
B. Jump up, switching legs midair.
C. Land softly with the left leg forward, immediately lowering into a lunge.
Reps: Repeat for 1 minute
A. Start with feet hip-width apart, arms either at sides holding weights or clasped in front of chest.
B. Keeping weight in heels and back straight, sit hips back and bend knees to lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to the floor. Remember to keep knees in line with toes the entire time. Maintain an even pace and rise back to start.
Mistakes and Tips: Squats are one of the best exercises for weight loss and for building overall strength. When you do them correctly, you engage your core and entire lower body.
5. Double Jump
A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and lower into a deep squat.
B. Rise up as if you’re jumping, but land in a lunge position with your right leg back.
C. Use momentum to jump from this lunge position back to a squat. Then repeat, landing in a lunge on the opposite side.
Reps: Repeat for 45 seconds
Mistakes and Tips: Take your traditional squats up a notch by incorporating a jump and lunge. The movement will increase your heart rate and you’ll feel the burn in your abs, butt, and legs.
6. Mountain Climbers
A. Start in a plank position on the floor. Drive the right knee in toward chest without raising hips or allowing right foot to touch the floor.
B. Place right foot back in plank and repeat on the other side, driving the left knee in toward chest. Repeat, alternating legs.
Reps: Repeat for 1 minute
Mistakes and Tips: Mountain climbers are an excellent way to burn calories. The quick leg motion targets obliques, butt, and hamstrings.
7. Jump Rope
A. Start with feet together, hands holding ends of the jump rope, elbows in toward ribs. Swing the jump rope and step or hop both feet over. Don’t jump in between, just jump with each swing of the rope.
Reps: Repeat for 1 minute
Mistakes and Tips: Jumping rope is a great total-body tool made for weight loss. Challenge yourself to complete a full minute of jumping—it’s harder than you think.
Check the length of the jump rope by holding it in each hands and ensuring the handles line up with shoulders.
8. Bodyweight Balance
A. Start standing with feet together and the right leg lifted so right toes just tap the floor.
B. Bend and touch your left knee with your right hand. Squeeze glute and keep core engaged to stand and return to start.
Reps: 10 per side
9. Kettlebell Swing
A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a kettlebell slightly in front of feet. Grasp kettlebell handle with both hands. Keeping back straight, hinge at the hips to hike the kettlebell backward between legs.
B. Press hips forward to stand and swing the kettlebell overhead, keeping core engaged. Allow the kettlebell to fall forward and between legs to begin the next swing.
Mistakes and Tips: Kettlebells are very effective when used for weight loss because they engage the entire body. Plus, they’re low impact yet high intensity—ideal for calorie burn. If you’re not ready for an overhead swing, stop the bell at shoulder height and let it swing back down between legs.
10. Tabata Drill
A. Begin with a light dumbbell in each hand, racked at your shoulders, standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
B. Jump feet out wide and jack dumbbells straight up overhead until arms are fully extended. Continue with all-out effort for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
C. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells at chest. Begin jabbing the dumbbells across the body, alternating sides.
D. Continue with all-out effort for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat both exercises for 8 rounds total.
Sets: 8 rounds
Reps: Repeat for 20 seconds; rest for 10 seconds