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January 25, 2024

The most effective way to lose weight safely is combining physical activity with a nutritious diet that allows for a calorie deficit. It’s very difficult to lose weight through diet alone without exercise. For healthy weight loss, you should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Adding strength exercises that work all major muscle groups is also great to do two to three times each week. If you want to burn calories and tone your body, try these best exercises for weight loss that will help you reach your goals.

1. Running

People tend to either love or hate running. Whatever your feelings about it, running is known to be one of the best exercises for weight loss. You can lace up your sneakers and hit the road, or hop on a treadmill for an indoor running workout. Running burns a lot of calories, especially when you run in intervals. Speed up and slow down your pace to add variety and engage different muscles during your workout.

2. Jumping Rope

close up of man's feet jumping rope

One of the best exercises for weight loss that adds a little more fun to your workout is jumping rope. This is a great aerobic exercise that burns calories while also improving cardiovascular health, coordination, and muscle tone. This is an inexpensive workout, too, because all you need is one piece of equipment: a jump rope. The rate of calories burned per minute of jumping rope is comparable to running at a pace of an 8.5-minute mile. The faster and longer you jump rope, the more calories you burn.

3. Walking

Walking is another one of the best exercises for weight loss. This exercise is lower impact than running or jumping rope, making it easier for more people to do and continue doing. Walking briskly for at least 30 minutes each day can help you lose weight as well as improve your cardiovascular health, balance, coordination, mood and energy, and stress levels. You can increase the number of calories you burn while walking by increasing your speed, duration, and intensity such as by walking uphill or wearing ankle weights.

4. Strength Training

man doing push ups in living room

Strength training helps you build lean muscle and boosts your metabolism, which is why it is considered one of the best exercises for weight loss. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate, which means more calories are burned and more fat is lost. Not only does strength training help you lose weight, but the muscle you build will help you keep the weight off. Strength training can include lifting dumbbells, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and resistance band exercises.

5. Cycling or Spinning

Whether it’s on an actual bicycle outdoors or inside on a stationary bike, cycling or spinning is one of the best exercises for weight loss because it burns a lot of calories and builds endurance. This type of exercise is relatively low impact, which means it’s easier on the body. It also targets the largest, strongest muscles in your body. Similar to strength training, this builds muscle which in turn helps burn more body fat. For the most effective weight loss workout, pedal in intervals, alternating between short bursts of intense pedaling followed by an easier pace.

6. Stair Climbing

close up of female wearing sneakers walking up stairs

Stair climbing is another one of the best exercises for weight loss because it requires a lot of work. Each step engages your muscles, including your quads, calves, glutes, and hamstrings. Strengthening these muscles raises your metabolic rate and helps tone your body. If you have a set of stairs at home or at work, try climbing them a few times each day. Or, try out the stair climbing machine at the gym for a great weight loss workout.

7. Rowing

One of the best pieces of cardio and strength equipment is a rowing machine. Rowing is a full-body workout that works your core, arms, back, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. This is one of the best exercises for weight loss because it incorporates both cardio and strength, helping you to burn calories and fat while improving your muscle tone, coordination, and even posture. Rowing opens up your hips, shoulders, and spine to correct the bad posture that comes from sitting at a desk all day.

8. Swimming

swimming laps in a pool

Swimming is one of the best exercises for weight loss that combines both cardio and strength training in a low-impact workout. The water adds resistance, which forces you to use more muscles to move efficiently and utilize oxygen wisely. Swimming engages all your major muscle groups, including your core, arms, and legs, giving you a full-body workout that builds strength and endurance. Additionally, just being in cool water helps your body burn more calories and fat as it works to keep itself warm.

9. Yoga

Yoga is another low-impact exercise for weight loss. This workout helps decrease stress, which can reduce high cortisol levels that lead to weight gain. Yoga increases your body’s strength, flexibility, and coordination, and consistent yoga workouts can help you lose some weight. In addition, yoga can help you practice mindfulness. This can lead to more mindful eating as you listen to your body’s hungry and full signals to combat overeating. If you want to burn extra calories through yoga, try taking a power yoga class in a hot studio to burn more calories and help you get more toned.

Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals

These are some of the best exercises for weight loss that can effectively help you lose weight when combined with a nutritious diet. Have you made these types of lifestyle changes and still aren’t reaching your weight loss goals? There could be a simple explanation. Take a look at these reasons why you may be struggling to lose weight so you can start making progress toward your goals!

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