3 Essential Workouts to Lose Weight

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What are the best workouts to lose weight? There isn’t one workout or one kind of exercise that is best for weight loss. There are actually three: cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility or stretching. To lose weight more effectively, you'll incorporate all of these types of activity into a complete program. When you create a balanced workout schedule, you're likely to see faster results on the scale.

Aerobic Workouts to Lose Weight

Many workouts to lose weight are aerobic. Aerobic exercise can be called cardiovascular training, cardio or simply aerobics. Cardiovascular exercise includes any rhythmic activity that makes your heart beat more quickly and causes your breathing rate to increase.

Running is a cardiovascular activity, so is swimming, riding a bike and brisk walking. Though weight-lifting makes your heart rate increase and causes you to breathe harder than normal, it is considered considered a muscle-strengthening, not cardiovascular, activity.

Aerobic activity is the core of most balanced workout routines when weight loss is the goal. Why? Because aerobics burns fat and calories.

When you participate in cardio training, you rev up your calorie-burning engine. And if you exercise hard enough, you burn fat and calories both during and after exercise.​

Cardiovascular activity also improves the function of your heart and lungs. While this may not directly contribute to weight loss, it will help your body to perform better throughout the day, which may help you to remain more active even when you are not exercising. For example, if your heart is healthy, you may be more likely to take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk to the grocery store instead of drive. These non-exercise physical activities help you burn more calories all day long.

Try one of these beginner aerobic workouts to lose weight:

Strength Workouts to Lose Weight

Strength training is a kind of exercise that builds healthy muscle tissue. Strong muscles help you to move your body more efficiently. Some people refer to strength training as “lifting weights” but there are simple bodyweight exercises that qualify as strength training even though they don't involve lifting a dumbbell or a weight plate on a machine.

Sometimes, people who are trying to lose weight will skip weight-lifting because the purpose of this type of activity is to add weight to your frame. After all, why would you do weight building exercises to lose weight? But in the long run, adding muscle helps you to lose fat. 

When you build muscle, you increase the amount of lean tissue on your body. A body with more lean muscle mass burns more calories—even when it is at rest. For this reason, experts recommend strength training exercises to lose weight more effectively.

Strength training also becomes particularly important as we age. For many reasons, our metabolism slows as we get older. Many women find that after menopause, weight gain is almost inevitable and weight loss is impossible. But exercisers who continue to build and maintain muscle are less likely to suffer from a slow metabolism and excessive weight gain.

If you're ready to do strength exercises to lose weight, start by doing a simple weight training program at home. Or target your arms, legs, and abs with an easy strength training routine that takes just 15 to 20 minutes, three times per week.

Try one of these strength training workouts:

Flexibility Exercises to Lose Weight

Flexibility training is stretching. An effective stretching program takes only a small amount of time and can be done in just about any space. Even so, flexibility training is often the most neglected part of a workout. This is particularly unfortunate because people who stretch enjoy specific benefits that may help them lose weight.

Stretching helps us to maintain a good range of motion in our joints and helps our muscles to remain loose and healthy. All of this helps us to move more efficiently during the day and experience less pain from tight muscles or from muscle imbalances. A healthy body is likely to move more and burn more calories.

Stretching helps relieves stress. People who are trying to lose weight often cite emotional eating as a key reason that they struggle to lose weight. Finding a healthier way to relieve stress can prevent binge eating or unhealthy choices when emotions get in the way.

Plus, if you include meditation in your stretching program, it may help you to sleep better at night. Studies have shown that people who are well-rested are more likely to make better food choices than people who are tired.

Combine Workouts to Lose Weight

Now that you know why each kind of training matters, be sure that you include each type of training into your complete weekly plan. It doesn’t require a huge time investment.

If you currently participate in some aerobic activity on most days of the week, add 15 to 30 minutes of strength training on two of those days and just 10 minutes of stretching at the end of each session. This small time investment may help you to enjoy big rewards when it’s time to step on the scale.

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Article Sources

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