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10 Best Exercises to Lose Weight
Losing weight is often a long and monotonous process that isn't reflected right away. And results will vary from person-to-person depending on their weight, gender, health and sometimes genetics. The average person who's trying to lose weight should only drop 1-2 pounds a week; anything more than this is considered dangerous. Taking this fact into account, it's no wonder why fad diets, starving yourself, and only eating once a day isn't healthy.
Furthermore, it's important to mix a variety of exercises in with the better eating habits. Of course, when someone hears the word "exercise," the gym is always the first thing that comes to mind; however, most of the best exercises for losing weight don’t involve spending money on a gym membership.
Instead, it's more about sticking with a routine, which is the toughest thing to do. Getting workouts in on a daily basis can be challenging to those with unpredictable work schedules or children, but it isn't impossible. It only takes 20 minutes of daily cardio, and a well-balanced diet to start losing weight. You can expect to see results within 1-2 weeks, assuming you are eating well and getting 20 minutes of exercise a day. This being said, here is a list of the best exercises you can do to lose weight (in no special order).
Top 10 Workouts
Cycling is one of the best ways to lose weight because it allows you to move without causing a lot of stress on your joints. If you have a stationary bike, you'll be able to continue cycling when the cold weather comes. Of course, most people prefer outdoor bicycling because you're moving towards a destination, which makes exercising more fun.
When biking, you'll have to force yourself to keep a medium/fast pace to get the most out of this exercise. Try to keep your pace above 13 mph, and maintain it for 30 minutes or longer; this combination gives you the opportunity to lose 300 or more calories. If you're not able to maintain this speed for 30 minutes, cycling at a leisurely pace will also give you a boost of calorie burning cardio.
Running is still one of the best exercises a person can do to lose weight because it requires your entire body to move. Walking is also a great way to burn calories, as long as you keep up a pace that isn't too leisurely; you can intensify your run or walk by finding a hill. By walking or running uphill, you'll be working your glutes, as well as your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. Keep up a decent pace for 30 minutes and you'll burn 300 calories or more. It isn’t easy walking or running on an incline, and it may prove to be challenging finding a hill worth climbing. So if you are fortunate enough to own a treadmill, you can set the incline to a comfortable setting at home. If you’re going to be running up and down the same hill, it’s important to be cautious while going back down to avoid injury.
- Interval Training
Interval training boosts your level of fitness, which enables you to lose weight more efficiently. No matter what your current fitness level is, changing up the pace during cardio workouts will allow your body to burn more calories. If you're walking, then pick up the pace for one or two minutes, then increase the speed once more for 1-2 minutes; then slow your pace back down to the beginning speed. Repeat for 30 minutes, and you have the potential to burn over 500 calories!
- Push-Ups and Plank
Planking exercises offer positive results for weight loss, and work multiple muscle groups all at one time. Push-ups will strengthen your chest, triceps, and shoulders when they are performed properly. If you are not able to keep your body straight and push yourself up, try holding yourself up in a plank position for 60 seconds. Hold yourself up by using your feet and elbows; keep your body straight while holding your abs in tight.
To challenge yourself, try lifting one leg up at a time. If this seems too easy for you, continue with a normal push-up, then lift one arm off of the ground; turn your body so that you're facing a wall, and then point the hand not on the ground up towards the sky. Repeat this with the other arm, and do these exercises in reps of 15-20 for 2 sets.
Work your quads, hamstrings, and glutes by exaggerating the way you walk. While keeping your spine aligned and straight, take a large step forward, and bend your knee in front of you to a 90-degree angle. Keep your weight on the foot behind you while bending your knee towards the floor. Now move your foot back, and repeat using the opposite foot to step forward with. The lower you get in your lunge, the better success you'll have.
It can take a few months of practice to get really low, so don't force an injury. Once you’ve reached a very low stance, grab a couple of 5-15 lb. dumbbells, gallons of water, or whatever you have handy, and do the lunges as usual, but while holding weights in your hands.
- Stadium Stairs
Not everyone will have access to a stadium, stairway or a step machine, but this shouldn't stop you from getting a high intensity calorie-burning workout. Step aerobics are great for increasing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure, which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease. If you are unable to find a stairway to use, you can purchase an aerobic step from nearly any department or fitness store.
When the weather permits it, swimming is an excellent form of exercise that requires only water and a swimsuit. Moving in the water is also good if you have any pain in your joints, as it relieves pressure on joints. Stay active in the water for an hour, and you'll be able to burn 300 calories or more, depending on your skill level.
The best sports to play for burning calories and losing weight are tennis, basketball and volleyball. You'll be able to play with others, which makes working out seem like less of a chore. If you don't have anyone to play with, you’ll need to encourage yourself to run after the balls while playing sports like basketball. Try to keep the volleyball up over your head by hitting it with your finger tips. Once you drop the ball, do a few jumping jacks before retrieving the ball.
The same concept can be used for basketball; if you miss a shot, do a few jumping jacks before retrieving the ball. Also, instead of playing tennis alone, play racquetball. If you play for 30 or more minutes, you have the potential to burn over 600 calories – depending entirely on how hard you are working.
Jumping doesn't always have to involve a rope – although jumping rope is an excellent way to lose weight! Plyometrics are exercises that involve jumping, and other fast powerful movements that increase stamina and physical abilities.
To do plyometrics, roll up a towel as if it were a line between your feet. Now place both feet on one side of the towel, and jump from one side to the other for 60 seconds. Then move the towel out of the way so that you have room to move. Imagine you have 8 tires in front of you, which are placed in two rows of 4. Then jump from one foot to the other, jumping from one tire to the next, and then jump backwards in the tires. Do this for another 60 seconds before moving on to another exercise.
These may be the most dreaded exercises ever thought of, but sit-ups and crunches can be modified to suit each skill level. Begin by lying on the floor with your knees bent as if you were going to do sit-ups; now lift one leg up and extend it toward the ceiling. Place your arms at your sides, then raise your butt up, and pulse your lower body up 10 times. Then switch legs and repeat; this whole exercise works your lower abdomen.
To work your upper abdomen, remain on the floor, and place your hands behind the ears. Keep your eyes on the ceiling, and raise your upper body toward the knees. The point isn't to touch your elbows to your knees; it's to engage your core in order to tone your muscles.
Assuming you do the aforementioned top 10 exercises to lose weight on a consistent basis, it will go a long way to making you fit and healthy. Just remember not to do everything in one day and check negative calorie foods and foods to avoid to lose weight as it's one of the best ways to burn fat.