Ask anyone what the best weight loss exercises are and you’re sure to get a different answer every time. Some people swear by an intense cardio session 7x a week (unrealistic), while some say lifting heavy weights at the gym is the ultimate calorie burner. So who’s right? And what are the best exercises for weight loss? When it comes to losing weight, there are two main factors to take into consideration: diet and exercise. This article focuses on the exercise aspect, but we just wanted to mention that if your diet isn’t up to scratch, you’ll lose weight much slower (if at all).
Without further ado, here are 3 of the best weight loss exercises that will not only help you shed those excess kilos but likewise improve your overall health and fitness.
Cardio Vs Weights – Which is Better for Weight Loss?
Ah, the age-old cardio vs weights debate. Here’s the deal. When it comes to expending more calories in the moment, an aerobic workout trumps lifting weights. However, weighted workouts, or anaerobic workouts, keep our post-workout calories burn going for hours or days after the end of your session. You may be wondering why weight training has such a prolonged calorie burn effect. When it comes to exercising, the greater the intensity, the more oxygen your body needs post-workout to recover and repair your muscles. This is also known as EPOC or “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption”, which is a fancy way of saying how long your metabolism is elevated after exercise. The more elevated your metabolism, the more calories you burn. So, by opting for exercises that ramp up that afterburn effect, you’re going to reach your weight loss goals much quicker (and with less effort!) Let’s get into the types of training that are best for weight loss.
1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
To get the most bang for your buck, training intensity is key. That’s why HIIT is one of the types of exercises you can to do lose weight. HIIT involves short intervals of exercise at your near-maximum effort, followed by longer recovery periods. The secret to a successful HIIT session is how hard you work during your intense intervals. The harder you work, the more fat you’ll burn. High intensity exercises will keep the calories burning long after you end your session, so your 20-minute workout continues to burn calories throughout the day without any more effort on your part. HIIT makes your muscles work hard, burn more fuel and perform better. It’s the not-so-secret secret to effective, fast and healthy weight loss.
2. Strength Training (Anaerobic Exercises)
There are two forms of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Technically, these terms refer to the presence and absence of oxygen, respectively. Put simply, aerobic exercise is light activity you can maintain over a long period of time, such as jogging or walking. Anaerobic exercise is short bursts of high intensity activity such, such as HIIT. Both forms of exercises will burn calories, yet anaerobic will not only help you burn fat, but also help you gain lean muscle mass. Lifting weights or ‘strength training’ is an incredibly effective form of exercise for weight loss. The truth is, many people believe doing weights will make you big and bulky, however, this is not the case. Weight training actually helps you trim down and boosts your metabolism permanently. This is because the secret to weight loss is to build muscle. So don’t be afraid to hit the weights at the gym. Weighted squats, deadlifts, and dumbbell exercises that target your whole body are a great place to start.
Swimming is not just for Olympians. And, it’s one of the best weight loss exercises you can do. Swimming is both a form of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, so you get the benefit of both in one workout session. Swimming engages all of your major muscle groups, from your abs to your back muscles, arms, legs and glutes. It also keeps your heart rate up, takes some of the impact stress off your body, builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
At the end of the day, when it comes to losing weight, any exercise is better than no exercise at all, so don’t be afraid to get out there and try something new! Your body will thank you for it.