It is estimated that half of all Indian adults attempt to lose weight every year(1)
Besides dieting, exercising is one of the most common strategies employed by those trying to shed extra pounds. It burns calories, and this plays a key role in weight loss. You can do these exercises while not going to the gym
Besides helping you lose weight, exercise has been linked to many other benefits, including improved mood, stronger bones. It also helps in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases
Here are the 5 best exercises for weight loss
Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss and good reason?
It’s convenient and an easy way for beginners to start exercising without feeling overwhelmed or any need of equipment purchasing. Also, it’s a lower-impact exercise, meaning it doesn’t stress your joints.
According to Harvard Health, it’s estimated that a 155-pound person burns 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking (2).
A study of 20 women with obesity found that walking for 50–70 minutes 3 times a week reduces body fat and waist circumference by an average of 1.5% and 1.1 inches (2.8 cm), respectively (3).
It’s easy to fit walking into your daily routine. Try walking during your lunch break, taking the stairs at work, or taking your dog for extra walks. To get started, aim to walk for 30 minutes 3–4 times a week. You can gradually increase the duration or frequency of your walks as you become more fit.
Jogging and running are great exercises to help you lose weight.
Although they seem similar, the key difference is that a jogging pace is generally between 4–6 mph (6.4–9.7 km/h), while a running pace is faster than 6 mph (9.7 km/h).
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 298 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a 5-mph (8-km/h) pace, or 372 calories per 30 minutes of running at a 6-mph (9.7-km/h) pace (2).
What’s more, studies have found that jogging and running can help burn harmful visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat. This type of fat around your internal organs and has been linked to various chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Jogging and running are great exercises that can be done anywhere and are easy to incorporate into your weekly routine. To get started, aim to jog for 20–30 minutes 3–4 times per week.
Cycling is a popular exercise that improves your fitness and can help you lose weight.
Although cycling is traditionally done outdoors, many gyms have stationary bikes that allow you to cycle while staying indoors.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 260 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace, or 298 calories per 30 minutes on a bicycle at a moderate pace of 12–13.9 mph (19–22.4 km/h) (2). Not only is cycling great for weight loss, but studies have found that people who cycle regularly have better overall fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death, compared with those who don’t cycle regularly (4).
To lose fat you need to work as many muscles as possible. The burpee does just that. The explosive exercise – which entails going from a pushup position to a jump and back to a pushup position – hits every muscle from head to toe.
A study from the American College of Sports Medicine found that 10 fast-paced reps are just as effective at revving your metabolism as a 30-second all-out sprint, so you can burn your belly fat faster than ever before(5). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your palms rest on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
Pilates is a great beginner-friendly exercise that may help you lose weight.
According to a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, a person weighing around 140 pounds (64 kg) would burn 108 calories at a 30-minute beginner’s Pilates class, or 168 calories at an advanced class of the same duration (5).
Although Pilates may not burn as many calories as aerobic exercises like running, many people find it enjoyable, which makes it easier to stick to overtime(6).
An 8-week study in 37 middle-aged women found that performing Pilates exercises for 90 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced waist, stomach, and hip circumference, compared with a control group that did no exercise over the same period (7).
Other than weight loss, It also reduces lower back pain and improve strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and overall fitness level.
If you’d like to give Pilates a go, try incorporating it into your weekly routine. You can do Pilates at home or one of the many gyms that offer Pilates classes. To further boost weight loss with Pilates, combine it with a healthy diet or other forms of exercise, such as weight training or cardio.