According to statistics, around fifty percent of Americans are trying to lose weight. The abundance of opinions and information related to weight-loss strategies leaves readers confused and disempowered. There are many contributing factors when it comes to weight management, such as exercise, nutrition, genetics, general activity, sleep, and stress levels. Read our article to discover the best exercise to lose weight.
Although exercise has proven benefits for weight loss, it’s important to consider nutrition, activity levels, genetics, sleep, and stress to make effective and lasting changes.
Eating a balanced diet based on whole grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein ensures your body has energy and vitamins, whilst being able to repair itself.
A combination of different exercise types such as resistance training, aerobics, and HIIT workouts compliment each other to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle mass, and improve mood.
A well-functioning metabolism is key for weight management. Poor lifestyle choices, overexercising, or crash diets can put your metabolism out of whack.
Weight loss occurs when you expend more energy than you take in through your diet. When you're in a calorie deficit, your body uses up fat stores as energy. However, this does not necessarily equate to sustainable weight loss. Excessive weight loss in short periods of time can have detrimental effects long-term effects. Therefore, the combination of exercising and a nutritious diet proved to be the most effective combination for a healthy mind and body. Read on to discover the best exercises to lose weight, along with an overview of your wider lifestyle.
Benefits of regular exercising
First and foremost, the goal of exercising shouldn't be based solely on weight loss. Instead, try to make it a lifestyle! Here are some of the health benefits of regular exercising:
- Improved metabolism. One study in particular shows that increased muscle mass from exercise helps support metabolism.
- Stress reduction. Exercise releases endorphins, which can positively affect one's hormone regulation and mood. Excess stress-induced hormones such as leptin and ghrelin can increase hunger while decreasing the feeling of fullness.
- Increased energy levels. Regular physical activity has positive effects on energy levels.
- Fat-loss. Exercise such as interval training or resistance training can help the body utilize glucose stores in the body, reducing fat and improving body composition.
- Improved overall well-being. Exercise provides a mind-body connection, which can positively influence nutrition choices, enhance consistency, and boost motivation.
Resistance training, also known as strength or weight training, involves exercises using your own body weight as resistance. In addition, workout bands, weights, or machines can also be used to level up the workout. Resistance training exercises can help increase muscle mass, which positively influences metabolism and weight management. As your muscles contract against the resistance, tiny tears occur within muscle fibers, which change the shape of your muscles over time.
Lifting weights is a great form of resistance training. It can help improve body composition by burning fat while increasing muscle. Weight training can also enhance fat oxidation, helping your body use fat stores as energy after a workout. Bodyweight exercises such as Pilates, squats, press ups, or planks are all good forms of resistance training. As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, which is why resistance training should be a staple for everyone and crucial for longevity.
High intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT training pairs short bursts of maximum-intensity activity with periods of low-intensity activity or rest. HIIT can burn lots of calories in short periods of time without the need for excessive cardio, such as in the long run. This can help preserve muscle mass while still using up energy stores within the body. Intense bursts of activity encourage your body to quickly use glycogen stores within the body as energy. Once those are used up, your body then uses fat stores as energy.
HIIT is good for your cardiovascular health, improving heart health, and reducing the likelihood of heart-related diseases. Examples of HIIT include jumping jacks, push-ups, dynamic lunges, and sprint intervals. Remember to start gently, being mindful of the impact on your joints.
Aerobic training, such as running, cycling, swimming, or dancing, causes the heart rate to increase over an extended period of time. This helps burn energy stores within the body, reducing excess fat. Aerobic training challenges stamina and strength, helping to improve overall fitness levels along with heart health.
Aerobic training may help regulate appetite by reducing cravings for unhealthy, sugary foods, which over time can reduce calorie intake. Cardio may also help your body use insulin more effectively, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce energy crashes and food cravings. It’s important to note that doing resistance training alongside cardiovascular exercise is important to preserve muscle mass.
Cardio, such as running outside in nature, can be great for mental health, which can positively influence healthy habits such as nutritional choices.
No quick fix
Overall, it’s important to view weight management from a holistic perspective. Taking into account proper nutrition, supplementation, sleep, metabolism, and mental health can help provide sustainable long-term results. Following unhealthy trends, such as cutting out whole food groups or excessively exercising, can damage your metabolism long-term. This can result in a yo-yo effect where you bounce between losing and regaining weight.
Consistent exercise—a mix of resistance training, HIIT, and aerobic training — can improve your physical health and mental well-being, which in turn encourages healthy habits. When it comes to exercising, focus on sustainability, not a quick fix, and remember to work with your body, not against it!