Losing weight is high on many people’s plan to improve their health. But shedding pounds and keeping them off isn’t easy. Or quick.
Dieting is a good approach (but we’ll tackle that in another story). The other path is exercise. Here are five great exercises to help you drop a few pounds and maintain your health.
So, which one is best? Well, it’s the exercise you don’t dread and are willing to commit to. It doesn’t always have to be a chore. Consistency is key. And mixing several of these into your exercise routine can break the monotony.
It’s convenient and great for beginners, can be done anywhere, doesn’t require any equipment and doesn’t put a lot of stress on your joints.
Try to walk for 30 minutes 3-4 times each week. You can gradually increase the frequency or duration of your walks as your body becomes more fit.
What’s the difference, you ask? Jogging is a pace between 4-6 mph, while running is anything faster than that. Whatever your pace, both have been found to burn visceral fat (commonly known as belly fat), which is linked to heart disease and diabetes.
To begin, aim to jog for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times per week.
If the cement or any hard surface is tough on your joints, try switching to running on grass. Treadmills with cushioning built in is another good option
Wait, won’t building muscles add weight? No, quite the opposite! Building your strength and muscle growth can raise your resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns when resting.
Other studies have shown that you’ll continue to burn calories many hours after a weight-training workout compared to aerobic exercise. Weight training also helps prevent osteoporosis.
You can cycle outdoors, or indoors as many gyms and fitness centers offer stationary bikes. It’s a solid exercise for beginners all the way up to dedicated athletes. Cycling isn’t weight-bearing, so your joints will thank you afterward, too.
Studies have revealed that people who cycle regularly have been linked to lower blood sugar, lower risk of cancer, heart disease and death compared to people who aren’t regular cyclists.
It’s a low-impact, total-body workout, meaning it’ll be easier on your joints. That makes it an attractive option if you’re recovering from an injury or if you’re dealing with joint pain.
What stroke you choose and how long you swim will determine how many calories you burn. But it can be a fun way to exercise and can improve your flexibility and reduce heart disease risk factors. Remember, swimming combines cardio with strength training, as the water adds an element of resistance and forces you to use muscles more efficiently.
How Many Calories Will I Actually Burn?
- In one hour of exercise, a 160-pound person burns approximately:
- Aerobics (low impact) – 365 calories
- Aerobics, water – 402 calories
- Bicycling, less than 10 mph – 292 calories
- Running, 5 mph pace – 606 calories
- Swimming, light to moderate – 403 calories
- Walking, 3.5 mph pace – 314 calories
Get moving. Rest. Repeat. You’ll be on your way to losing weight and improving your health.
The healthcare professionals at StarMed Healthcare are here to discuss any of your health needs. We’re open 365 days a year with walk-ins welcome. To find a location near you, visit starmed.care/locations/