Guide to Weight Loss Through Exercise
What You Need to Know
- Getting enough exercise is just as important as sticking to a healthy diet if you are to lose weight.
- Medical experts advise that adults get at least 150 minutes of gentle exercise per week. You will need to do more than this in order to lose weight.
- Short sessions of high-intensity exercises can be more useful than longer sessions of gentler activity when it comes to losing weight. Skipping, sprinting and spinning are all great ways of losing weight fast.
- Weight training should be part of your regular exercise routine.
- Setting yourself realistic yet challenging goals should keep you sufficiently motivate in your battle against the bulge.
Why Lose Weight?
Losing weight can not only help you look and feel better, it can also reduce the risk of developing a number of serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, which can, in turn, make you eligible for discounted health insurance premiums.
Furthermore, scientists have also show that being in good shape can also guard you against mental health conditions such as depression, stress and, as you age, Alzheimer’s Disease.
Along with a healthy diet, exercise is a crucial part of any weight-loss regime, helping you to shift the pounds and also tone yourself up.
This is because, the harder you work your body, the more calories, and therefore the more body fat, you will burn.
Experts generally say that a deficit of 3,500 calories a week, will burn one pound of fat.
Rather than achieving this by cutting back on your food intake, it’s best achieved through both reducing calorie intake and boosting calorie consumption through high-intensity exercise, with this approach also having the advantage of increasing your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn fat even when sedentary.
Minimum Physical Activity Recommendations
NHS Choices advises that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week just to stay in shape.
In order to lose weight, you should aim to do more than this while also cutting back on your calorie and fat consumption at the same time.
Furthermore, you should look to move beyond ‘moderate’ aerobic activity and engage in shorter bursts of high-intensity aerobics, as well as in regular sessions of resistance training.
Recommended Exercises for Weight Loss
The best exercises for losing weight are those that include working multiple muscle groups and get both your heart and lungs working overtime.
Furthermore, many fitness experts recommend short sessions of high intensity exercise rather than longer sessions of low intensity exercises in order to get the best results.
So, consider one or more of the following if you’re keen to drop some weight:
Rather than jogging for an hour at a time, try doing short sprints instead. You could, for example, sprint between trees at your local park, giving yourself a minute to recover between each one.
Experts advise that sprinting rather than jogging is a good way of increasing your heart rate, burning fat and boosting your metabolism, meaning your body will be burning fat long after you’ve stopped your exercises for the day.
One of the cheapest, easiest and most effective exercises for losing weight, skipping can help you burn through hundreds of calories in just a 15 minute session.
It’s also good for improving your coordination levels. Try doing several high-intensity sessions a week.
As with skipping and sprinting, spinning classes offer short, sharps bursts of intensive exercise, helping boost your heart rate and metabolism and so helping you shed excess weight.
Sign up to special spinning classes, where an instructor will vary speeds and resistance levels, to see the best results.
- Strength Training
Even if you don’t want to build big muscles, strength training should nevertheless be part of your weekly exercise routine.
Not only will a half-hour weights session help burn 200 calories, it will also get your muscles working overtime, with this boosting your metabolism and making your weight-loss efforts more effective.
All Women’s Talk fitness guru Kati Blake advises that you do two 35-minute weight training sessions per week in order to properly-complement your aerobic exercises and diet.
Watch Your Diet
You should, of course, watch your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. However, if you’re exercising properly, there’s no need to starve yourself!
Rather, stick to sensible-sized portions, keep sugary or fatty treats to a bare minimum and try to stick to all the usual weight-loss tips such as getting the day off to a good start with a nutritious breakfast and snacking on fruit and nuts rather than chocolate.
You should also make sure that your daily diet gives you the energy you need to exercise. As a rule, a 200-calorie snack one hour before a workout or run will give you the energy boost you need to get the most out of your session.
Make Exercise Fun
Though everyone knows exercise is good for them, for many people it’s still a chore and therefore something they lose interest in after just a couple of weeks. If you do have a problem staying motivated, try injecting a bit of fun into your exercise regime.
Ditch the gym for the local park so the scenery and some people-watching can keep your mind occupied. Alternatively, consider taking dance classes, working out to special fitness DVDs or video games, or joining a sports team.
- Read the Mayo Clinic’s guide to fitness basics here.
- Pushed for time? NHS Choices has a number of ‘ten-minute’ workouts to help get you in better shape.
- Ask whether you need to lose weight before embarking on a diet.
- Make sure that you lose weight in a healthy way by reading our trusty guide.