How many times have you made weight loss your ‘New Year Resolution’ and scraped it off the list because you could not stick to it? Multiple times, perhaps. In our hectic schedules, it often gets challenging to find time to look after ourselves. You probably spend hours on end at your desk job with little or no time to move around or even eat proper meals.
Other times of the day, when you are not working, you probably try to compensate for your hunger pangs by consuming high-calorie foods that instantly lift your mood. Although this may seem temporarily satisfying, remember that this kind of lifestyle is extremely unhealthy and is the main reason for putting on weight. Over time, excess weight and body fat can put you at risk of a host of medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders. So what do you do to shed those extra kilos?
We all know exercise is crucial to your overall health – of course, it reduces the risk of developing certain diseases as mentioned above – but it becomes all the more important when you are trying to lose weight. Want to know which is the best exercise to lose weight? There are quite a few.
Here are the most effective weight loss exercises that are known to burn extra calories, boost metabolism, and build muscles –
Squats are a huge hit among bodybuilders and athletes. It is one of the best exercises for weight loss for people, who are a bit bottom-heavy and would really like to burn some fat around the hips, glutes, and thighs. If done the right way, squats target the core muscles and the entire lower body, thus helping you get in shape in no time.
How To Do Squats –
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold your arms straight (you can also hold weights to make it more intense)
- Keeping your back straight and weight on the heels, lower your legs to come to a half-seated position until your thighs are parallel to the floor
- Make sure that you keep your knees in line with the toes the whole time
- Maintain an even pace and rise back to your standing position
- Repeat 3 sets of 15 reps
Lunges works on multiple muscles, including hamstrings, glutes, and quads at once to burn maximum calories, which makes it the best exercise to lose weight.
How To Do Lunges –
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on the waist (or hold weights if you want to take the difficulty level a notch up) as you put your left leg forward
- Keeping your spine straight, lower your body until the front leg (left, in this case) and the back leg (right leg) make a 90-degree angle
- Hold on to the position for a few seconds and bring your left leg to its previous position
- Do the same bringing your right leg forward
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg
A variation of lunges, the explosive or jumping lunges is a high-intensity weight loss exercise that will get you sweating and burn excess calories. It targets both your inner thigh and outer thigh muscles, along with glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
How To Do Explosive/Jumping Lunges –
- Stand on your feet, step forward on your left leg
- Lower your body until your left leg makes a 90-degree angle
- Jump to switch legs in midair and land with your right leg forward
- Repeat the lunges switching sides for a minute
- Do 3 sets
This particular weight loss exercise focuses on your lower body, core muscles, and abdomen. As you feel the burn, you will know that you are building lots of lean muscles.
How To Do Burpees –
- Stand on your feet placed shoulder-width apart and arms on the sides. Jump on your toes with hands stretched up in the air and as you land softly, push your hips to the back bending the knees, and lower into a squat.
- Place your hands directly on the floor and put your weight on them. Gently jump back to land on your feet in a plank position
- Jump your feet forward so they would be placed right outside of your hands. Bring your hands up and take a high jump in the air.
- Do 3 sets of burpees with 8-12 reps
Take the traditional squats up a notch by incorporating the double jump exercise – it is a combination of lunge and jump. This particular movement increases your heart rate and helps to burn lots of calories. Double jump targets the hip muscles, lower body, and the abs.
How To Do Double Jump –
- Lower into a deep squat position and rise up as if you were taking a jump
- Land on your right leg in the lunge position with your left leg stretched at the back
- From this position, jump back to your previous squat position
- Continue this for about 45-60 seconds
- Do 2 sets of double jump
Mountain climbers are an excellent choice for those looking for the best exercise to lose weight. The exercise targets the hamstrings, oblique, and hips. You can perform mountain climbers with or without resistance bands.
How To Do Mountain Climbers –
- Start in a plank position with hands placed on the floor
- Alternately, bring your left and right knees to the chest making sure that the toes do not touch the ground
- Do 3 reps of one minute each. In between the sets, rest for 30 seconds.
Jump rope or skipping is a complete body toner for those who want to lose weight. The exercise uses your lower body muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads. It also gets your core, arms, and shoulder muscles.
How To Do Jump Rope –
- Stand with your feet placed close together and hold the ends of the skipping rope
- Swing the rope and hop over with your feet together. Make sure you jump with each swing of the rope.
- Continue this for a minute as you complete 3 sets
Kettlebells are incredibly useful when it comes to weight loss exercise, as they engage your whole body. Moreover, they are high-intensity, low-impact workout – perfect for burning calories. You can do several variations with kettlebells.
How To Do Kettlebell Swings –
- Stand on your feet somewhat wider than hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebell with both hands right in front of you.
- Now, engage your core muscles and squat slightly
- As you rise up, squeeze your hips forward and swing the kettlebell upward
- Lower your arms and return to your squat position for a rep
- Do 3 sets of 15 swings
These exercises are easy to perform – whether at the gym or at home. Apart from these, there are various other forms of aerobic or cardiovascular exercises, which are great for weight loss and beneficial for your overall health. Want to find out how else you could get yourself back in shape? Here, we have it for you –
- Walking – For beginners, walking is the best exercise to lose weight. You can do it anytime, anywhere – early in the morning, late in the evening, or even on your way back home from work. Whichever way you choose, be sure to incorporate at least half an hour of walking to your daily activities.
- Running or jogging – Did you know 30 minutes of jogging could help you burn 298 calories in a day? It may come as a surprise but running and jogging helps you get rid of the harmful visceral fat. So if your main target is to lose belly fat, then nothing works better than this. Also, read the health benefits of running daily.
- Cycling – Cycling is yet another effective weight loss exercise for everyone.
- Swimming – Swimming makes for an excellent low-impact exercise for those looking to lose weight. Studies suggest that an hour of swimming thrice a week significantly reduces body fat and improves flexibility. Read more on the health benefits of swimming.
- Zumba – Zumba is an intense aerobic workout, which helps you lose weight and increase muscle tone at once. An hour-long session includes a combination of strengthening and training movements, like lunges and squats, to burn maximum fat and calorie, and improve your overall body tone.
The decision to lose weight is a huge feat in itself. Between home and work, there is rarely any time or energy left to chalk out a weight loss plan. However, if you make up your mind and work hard towards achieving your weight loss goal, you may be able to live a healthier life.
Should you find it difficult or boring to put in 1-2 hours in the gym every day, try to implement other ways of exercising in your daily routine such as walking to your destination instead of opting for a transport. Opt for the stairs instead of taking the escalator. If you have a desk job, then go on a short 10-15minute walk every hour.
Also Read: The Best Time To Exercise
Most importantly, choose a weight loss exercise that seems enjoyable to you. This only ensures that you will stick to it and witness positive results in the long-term.
Must Read: Health Benefits of Regular Exercise