The best exercise to lose weight is the one that you will enjoy doing, as it is important to stick to it so it becomes part of your daily routine, as losing weight is going to take time and dedication. There are a wide variety of exercises you can do but the key to losing weight through exercise is simple – you must burn more calories than you consume. If we use more calories than we are eating then the fat in our body is used to produce fuel. A healthy and realistic amount of weight to lose is 1-2 lbs a  week.

Exercise will help you lose weight but you will also need to look at what you are eating – you need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to ensure you get all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats to stay healthy and prevent illness.

Different types of exercises that will help you lose weight:

Cardiovascular exercises

This type of exercise consumes the most calories and the following are some suggestions to get you thinking about what type of exercises are going to suit you.

Treadmill/Cross trainer/cycling – all of these exercises are cardio based and will help you burn calories, you will need to do a minimum of 25 minutes per day for 5 days a week. Some people like to work out at a slow and steady speed and if this is what you prefer then you will need to spend a bit longer working out (approx 40mins) but there is a way of increasing the calories you burn while working out for a shorter amount of time and is called interval training. This is where your workout session has bursts of high intensity added in.

An example of interval training is as follows:

5min warm up 1min low/moderate intensity 1min high intensity 1min low/moderate intensity Continuing in this way for your desired length of workout (approx 20mins) 5-10min cool down

Depending on your level of fitness when you begin exercising you could start with walking and jogging intervals, you can  also change the ratio so you could do 2:1 (2 min low/moderate intensity, 1 min high intensity) if 1minute is too long to begin with then try 30 second intervals. If your level of fitness is higher you can do jogging and running, running and sprinting. You can also change the ratio around so a 1:2 ratio (1 min low/moderate intensity, 2 min high intensity).

By using the interval training method you will find your exercise session goes faster and with the varying speeds it makes it more interesting and most importantly you burn more calories faster which is a great motivator to keep you exercising again and again and again.

Cardio can be done anywhere – at the gym, at home or outside, it doesn’t have to be just running, walking, cycling, it can be swimming, rollerblading, skipping etc. There are many different types of exercises that are cardio based you just need to find the ones that you enjoy.

Classes

You could join a class at a gym or follow a workout dvd. Classes with the best exercises to lose weight are boxing, spinning, any aerobic type classes, ie. dance classes or one of my favourites is circuit training. Circuit training combines resistance training and high intensity aerobics so not only will you be losing weight but you will also be improving your ability to burn calories post work out. Circuit training works your whole body – each exercise is performed for a set amount of time then you move on to the next one. and due to the nature of moving from one exercise to the next it keeps the session varied and you will find time flying by.

Play a sport

Another great way to make losing weight and exercising fun and sociable.

Resistance Training

If you combine cardio and resistance training you can increase your weight loss. Resistance training may not burn more calories than cardio but muscles do burn fat, therefore if you increase your muscle mass your body will be burning more calories by itself as with more muscle mass your metabolism will have increased. You need to remember though that your actual body weight may not show as much change as you may expect as you will be gaining muscle and losing fat, you body shape will be changing though. So don’t expect the scales to be a judge of how well you are doing, you should be able to tell how well you are doing by the change in your body, your fat will be reducing, and by increasing muscle mass you will be getting more toned.

Exercising doesn’t have to be boring it can be fun, you just need to find what works for you. Make sure you include exercising in to your daily routine and once you start seeing those results you will be motivated to keep on going.  Take a photo of yourself at the beginning so you can see your progress as it is a great way of seeing how your body is changing from the effort you are putting in and helps you to stay motivated. The theory of weight loss is simple but it is not an easy quick process, it takes time and dedication but it is one of those things that if you put in the time and effort you will be rewarded. The hardest part is getting started and once you have don’t worry if you miss a session just get back to it and keep going.

Please remember to get advice from your doctor if you have not exercised for a long time or if you suffer from any heart conditions.

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