5 Best Weight Loss Exercises

Running is one of the best choices for maximum calorie burning and weight loss.  Whether you choose to run on your favorite trails or on a treadmill, you will get a tremendous workout and burn A LOT of calories. You need to burn 3,500 extra calories per week to lose one pound of body fat, so if you run for one hour at 5 mph at least four to five times per week, you could burn between 600 – 800 calories, according to Mayoclinic.com. That means you can burn between 2,400 and 4,000 calories per week, which makes running a great way to start slimming down and toning up.  If you have bad knees, then the elliptical machine is the ideal low-impact alternative to running.  What’s most important, however, is choosing a cardiovascular activity that you will really enjoy to keep you enthusiastic and motivated to exercise on a regular basis.  Swimming, step aerobics, cycling, hiking, spinning, power walking and circuit training are all additional ways to help you lose weight and get in the best shape of your life.

Whatever physical activity you choose to do, the key to reaching your weight loss goals is to never allow your body to adapt to your fitness routine. Once your body adapts to your routine, you will plateau and stop seeing results. That is why it’s important to vary your routine roughly every three to four weeks. You can change the intensity or duration of your workout. Try exercising at a different time of day or change the location of your workouts, and don’t be afraid to try a new activity. Cross-training helps prevent injury and boredom, as well as keeps your body from adapting to your routine. Throw in an aerobics class or a swim class to shake things up a bit. Just remember to keep it fun, interesting and challenging. Keep pushing yourself to move to the next level and improve your fitness.

Here’s a list of some of the best weight loss exercises. You can calculate how many calories you will burn based on exercise duration and body weight using an exercise calculator, which you can find on many fitness websites, such as webmd.com or acefitness.org.
1.       Running
Running outdoors or on a treadmill is one of the best weight loss exercises you can do.  You can burn approximately 100 calories for every mile you run. You can do this activity virtually anywhere, and all you need is a good pair of running shoes. If you stay consistent and focused on your weight loss goals, you will see positive results.
2.       Elliptical Machine
If the high-impact nature of running is too much for you, then the elliptical machine will be the next best alternative. Training on the elliptical machine is easy on the joints and simulates the cardio of running with added resistance. You can also burn up to 500 calories in one hour, almost equivalent to running.
3.       Step Aerobics
You will get an intense cardio and strength workout when you do step aerobics. You will work your glutes, hips, legs and upper body. Alter step height and speed to burn more calories in less time.
4.       Swimming
Swimming works practically every muscle in your body. You will also develop endurance, strength and cardiovascular fitness. Add swimming as a cross-training option to your regular exercise routine for more variety, and to prevent injury and lessen the impact on your joints. Water therapy is also ideal for those with injuries.
5.       Bicycling
Cycling improves strength, muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. You can ride a bike almost anywhere, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Or, you can work out on a stationary bicycle at home, at work or at a gym. If you cycle on a regular basis, you will tone and strengthen your leg muscles and improve the mobility of your knee and hip joints. Continually challenge yourself and burn more calories by changing the speed and/or resistance.

Cool Down & Get In Shape With Water Aerobics

Photo Credit: Jorge Royan CC-BY-SA-3.0

Many people enjoy a refreshing swim or just splashing around in a pool on hot summer days. Swimming or just playing in a pool is a good aerobic workout. Water aerobic exercises are a safe alternative to regular aerobic exercise for some people. Those who have joint problems, such as arthritis, are overweight, pregnant and most older people, can benefit from water aerobics. Water aerobic exercises are extremely low impact. The water provides resistance, so just walking back and forth across a swimming pool is a good workout. Gyms and community centers often provide water aerobics classes complete with weights, floats and other exercise equipment, as well as trained fitness experts to help you get the greatest, safest benefit from your workout. 
Some of the benefits of water aerobics include improved endurance. The water resistance forces you to work your muscles without the danger of injury associated with weight bearing or high-impact exercises. Simply walking in the pool or swimming will improve your core strength as you engage your abdominal muscles to move against the resistance of the water. The water supports the weight of your body, which makes water aerobics a good exercise for pregnant women. You will stay cool during your workout, too.
Even though water aerobics is generally safe for most everyone, be sure to take some common sense precautions before beginning a water aerobics fitness program. Be sure to see your doctor for a complete physical checkup and tell your doctor that you want to start water aerobics. Make sure that there is a trained and certified lifeguard on duty at the pool where you will be exercising. Remember to drink plenty of water before and after your workout. Stretch your muscles before entering the pool to prepare for exercise. Be very careful walking around in bare feet on the wet area around the pool. Don’t forget the sunblock if you exercise in an outdoor pool.