The importance of exercise and regular physical activity is well-known. While busy lives and lack of time lead to many of us not being able to inculcate regular exercise in our daily lives. Workouts play an important role help relax and rejuvenate the body and it’s muscles. This is where weight loss exercises come in.
Humans were a nomadic race for generations, travelling long distances on foot, for food and shelter. Our bodies were designed to be active. For this reason, a sedentary lifestyle is more harmful to us than we can anticipate. It can lead to the development of many health ailments and lags as we begin to age.
Most people don’t have the time or a hefty amount to spend on a gym membership. In such a case, they can practice weight loss exercises at home and invest in their health. You can find plenty of exercise routines online.
If your goal is to lose weight, exercise plans tailored to your weight and body type will yield you the results you desire. Unlike fad diets, weight loss exercises are healthy for your body. If followed right, they can help maintain your body weight sustainably in the long term.
Table of Contents
Exercise and Weight Loss
A research paper published in 2019, states the efficacy of home-based weight loss exercises and programmes. The burning of calories plays a key role in weight loss. Exercise helps you burn these calories that, in turn, lead to weight loss.
However, care must be taken to plan your workout routine as per your own fitness goals. An individual looking to lose more weight would be required to burn more calories, and hence follow a more intense workout routine.
You could take the dietary route to achieve this, but just that will not be enough since restricting calorie intake could backfire.
Following a diet plan and no workout routine in a bid to lose weight could possibly lead to one losing muscle mass, which is not recommended. However, if you supplement this diet plan with relevant weight loss exercises, your goal will be easier to achieve.
Muscle is more metabolically active, so muscle loss is not recommended as part of your weight loss program. Once any amount of weight has been lost, your metabolic rate drops significantly. Losing weight becomes more difficult. Proactively preventing muscle loss can aid in neutralising this slide in your metabolic rate.
The importance of exercise lies in the fact that it not only helps lower body weight but improves your body composition, metabolic health and overall fitness.
At times, you may notice that weight loss exercise at home may not be contributing to reducing your body weight. However, there is no reason to worry. Even if it is not decreasing your body weight, it helps reduce your body fat and build muscle.
The waist size and body fat measurements can be used to tell the entire story, which scales may sometimes fail to depict. Furthermore, technologies like smart scales present a more exhaustive picture of one’s health status.
Smart scales or digital scales are the contemporary versions of traditional weighing scales. The HealthifyMe smart scale is carefully designed to give you correct data about your comprehensive health. This electronic device tracks details about body composition and weight including body fat percentage, bone mass, and muscle mass.
It uses bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) to calculate the required data. BIA sends a very weak, painless electric current through one of the legs of the person that travels back to the scale through the other leg, thus estimating the percentage of various body compositions.
HealthifyPro is a complete package that comes with a smart scale, CGM solution, metabolic panel and pro coach access to keep a tab on your progress. It also offers smart AI assistance at your fingertips and the added advantage of our pro coach experience.
The Best Weight Loss Exercises
It is a common complaint among the working public that there is not enough time for one to go to the gym and workout. However, exercise is a crucial part of anyone’s fitness journey, and should not be ignored.
Here are a few exercises that one can do at home to achieve their fitness goals.
1. Squats Exercises
Squats are great as it engages and strengthens the lower body and core muscles. It also aids weight loss with the increase in the production of anabolic hormones.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes facing straight ahead or angled slightly outward.
- Slowly bend your knees and squat, sending the hips back behind you, while keeping your torso straight and your abs pulled in tight.
- Keep your knees behind your toes. Make sure everything’s pointing in the same direction.
- Squat as low as you can, and push into your heels to stand up.
- Squat with one dumbbell
- Squat with dumbbells
- Barbell squat
- Wide leg squat
- Front squat
- Wall sit
- One-leg squat
2. Planks Exercises
The plank is one of the best exercises that help you strengthen your core, spine, arms, back and shoulders. In other words, it helps you engage all the body muscles between the shoulders to your toes. Helps in tightening our mid section.
- Lie face down on the mat with your elbows resting on the floor next to your chest.
- Push your body off the floor in a push-up position with your body resting on your elbows or hands.
- Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
- For beginners, do this move on your knees and gradually work your way up to balancing on your toes.
3. Lunges Exercises
Shaping and strengthening your lower body is needed to torch calories for weight loss.
- Stand in a split stance (one leg forward, one leg back).
- Bend your knees and lower your body into a lunge position, keeping the front knee and back knee at 90-degree angles.
- Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up (slowly!) to starting position.
- Never lock your knees at the top and don’t let your knee bend past your toes.
- Variations include front lunges, back lunges, and side lunges.
- Do this exercise two to three times per week for 12 to 16 reps.
4. Push-Ups (Inclined) for Beginners Exercises
Working on your chest and core can be beneficial for weight loss and inclined push-ups can at least burn 7 calories per minute.
- If you’re a beginner or don’t have as much upper body strength, this is a good move to start with.
- Start on all fours with hands a bit wider than the shoulders.
- Walk the knees back a bit in order to lean your weight on the hands and flatten the back from the head down to the back of the knees.
- Pull the abs in and, keeping your back straight, bend the elbows and lower body toward the floor until elbows are at 90-degree angles.
- Push back up and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps.
Other Weight Loss Exercises
Walking is an effective low-impact cardiovascular physical activity that increases the heart rate and improves blood flow in the body.
It doesn’t require costly equipment or special training and is simply an accessible way to stay active. Taking up walking challenges and hitting a certain number of steps has made walking a perfect way of staying active.
Read more: Walking for Weight Loss – Tips and Benefits
2. Jogging or Running
While jogging is most commonly associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, there are many other benefits to be gained from lacing up and setting out on a jog.
This article will provide an overview on jogging, explain why it can serve as an excellent training tool, provide training recommendations and highlight nine benefits of jogging.
Read more: Top 9 Health Benefits of Jogging
If you want to lose weight, start running towards it now! That’s not just a joke, you can run your way to weight loss. The fact is running is the most accessible exercise to everyone.
You don’t need special gym equipment or specific shoes, although they help. You can even practice barefoot running on a smooth surface. Running is easy because you can do it anywhere, on the road, in the park, or even inside your house on a treadmill.
Red more: Is Running Good for Weight Loss?
When it comes to weight loss, we’ve all pondered a question: how can we burn more calories? A great activity to choose from is cycling. Around one hour of cycling can help you burn up to 500 calories.
Read more: Is Cycling Good for Weight Loss?
4. Strength Training
If you’ve been considering introducing strength training and powerlifting into your workout program, understanding the exercises and the right ways of doing them is absolutely important to get the right result.
When used as a part of an overall fitness plan, strength training can help tone muscles, increase metabolism, and build lean muscle. In addition, strength training may significantly impact your health, whether done in a full-circuit gym or at home.
Read more: Strength Training: The Facts You Need To Know
5. Intense Exercises
If you want to quickly shed weight, HIIT cardio workouts can help you. High-Intensity Interval Training, also popularly known as HIIT, is a cardiovascular exercise that is performed at high intensity for a short duration.
These are intense exercises to be done before a small break. These cardio workouts are the best way to burn fat in a short period.
Read more: 10 Best HIIT Cardio Workout for Weight Loss
Swimming is a fun way to lose weight and get in shape.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 216 calories per half-hour of swimming.
Read more: 5 ways swimming can help you lose weight
The development of yoga has benefited many people in losing weight in a healthy way. Yoga for weight loss is a debatable topic. Many people believe that Yoga alone does not promote weight loss.
Read more: Is Yoga Poses Good for Weight Loss?
6 Benefits of Weight Loss Exercises
Exercise benefits both our body and mind. Some of the ways in which regular exercise is beneficial to us are:
1. Improves Sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Maybe, your body isn’t tired enough. Exercising can help you sleep better, deeper and for longer. Research indicates that physical exercise is an effective intervention for those who do not experience adequate sleep quantity or quality. However, Be careful not to exercise very close to your bedtime; the adrenaline released while challenging physical activity could keep you from falling asleep.
Moderate exercising 1-2 hr hours prior to bedtime can lift your mood and help you relax and thus encourage quality sleep.
Getting proper sleep is a precondition for your mental, physical and social well-being. Read this article on the relationship between mental health and sleep to lead a happy and content life ahead, both in terms of physical and mental well-being.
2. Increases our Energy Levels
Research states that exercise improves our endurance and muscle strength. It is equally effective in improving lung and cardiovascular function. It improves the body’s ability to circulate oxygen and blood into the body which not only supports the mitochondria’s energy production but also allows your body to function better and use its energy more efficiently. Plus, your body gets a boost from an exercise-induced increase in hormone levels that makes you feel more energized.
Better lung and heart functioning directly translate to more energy to follow through with our daily chores. Regular exercise increases the production of essential hormones like catecholamines (an organic compound that helps the body cope with stress), testosterone, etc. in the body that increases metabolism and provides energy.
3. Improves Muscle health
When you lead an active lifestyle, with an adequate amount of physical activity thrown in, your muscles strengthen and your tendons, ligaments and joints allow for easier movement and lesser chances of injury. Your coordination and balance improve. Also, the correct joint alignment affected by strong muscles and ligaments protects against the joint and lower backache.
Studies show that the main reason for losing muscle mass is muscle atrophy, and exercising can help synthesise muscle protein in regulating the functions of muscle fibres. According to research, resistance training increases strength in individuals with a session of thirteen minutes per day.
Muscle mass strength also depends on the growth and maintenance of bone density. Bone density gives the idea of the number of minerals like calcium and phosphorus in the bone. Regularly exercising can improve bone density by maintaining bone strength as we age. As per a study, weight-bearing and aerobic exercises help increase bone mass density. Additionally, these exercises help improve balance and reduce disease risk.
Here’s a comprehensive article on muscle mass for your better understanding.
4. Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease
The lack of regular physical activity is known to be a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity, body composition, and cardiovascular fitness while decreasing blood pressure and blood fat levels.
A lack of regular activity can lead to a significant increase in belly fat. This, in turn, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is, therefore, recommended that one remain physically active and exercise regularly in order to avoid these diseases. An average adult can perform 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week to keep one healthy.
5. Pain Reduction
Exercise can also help reduce chronic pain. While it was recommended to get rest whenever in pain, studies have now found that exercise can benefit chronic pain.
Exercise also helps control pain associated with various health conditions. This includes chronic lower back pain, and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, among others. In addition to that, physical activity also helps raise tolerance to pain.
Aerobic exercises like stretching, yoga, functional training and balance training and strength-training are associated with reducing Fibromyalgia Pain (a condition that causes chronic pain in the body).
6. Improves Skin Health
The amount of oxidative stress in the body can affect your skin. This occurs when the body’s antioxidant defences are unable to completely repair the damage caused by free radicals to cells. This damages their structure and deteriorates the skin.
While intense physical activity contributes to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise increases the body’s natural antioxidant production, thus helping protect cells. Similarly, exercise can also stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptation. This helps delay the appearance of skin ageing. Studies even suggest that exercise improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture and may prevent future skin problems.
Exercise is an essential part of weight loss. One must focus on following a workout routine planned as per your goals and requirements.
Ideally, consult a certified fitness trainer to plan out your workout routine. That said, one’s weight loss goals is dependant on the right kind of eating habits as well.
It takes a combination of a good workout routine and a proper diet plan to ensure weight loss. Thus, get started on your fitness journey with a healthy meal plan, and a workout routine that includes the exercises mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What type of exercise is best for weight loss?
A: Any individual looking to lose weight must turn to a combination of strength training (about 70%) and cardiovascular exercises (about 30%). This, combined with the right diet will help one achieve their weight loss goals.
Q. Can you lose weight by exercising 30 minutes a day?
A: Yes, you can. However, care must be taken to ensure that you follow the correct posture, intensity and frequency. Ideally, get in touch with a certified fitness trainer to understand what exercises you need to do, and how exactly to do them.
Q. Can you lose weight with just exercise?
A: No, you can not lose weight through exercise alone. Weight loss is a result of a combination of a proper diet and the right workout plan. It is important to ensure that you follow both in order to achieve the desired results. How do I lose belly fat?
Q. How do I lose belly fat?
A: In order to lose belly fat, you need a combination of a well-balanced diet, an active lifestyle, and a proper workout plan. That said, spot reduction is not a practice that is recommended by HealthifyMe. Make sure to follow a plan that will help you lose weight across the body.
Q. What type of exercise is best for weight loss?
A: Squats, Planks, Lunges and inclined push-ups are some of the exercises that are best for weight loss.
Q. Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?
A: Ideally you need to burn around 3500 kcal to lose 1 pound of weight per week. Investing 30 minutes of your time in working out will surely keep you healthy and shed weight.
Q. How much weight loss per month is healthy?
A. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 4 to 8 pounds (1.814 kg to 3.628 kg) of weight loss per month is considered healthy.
Q. What home exercises burn the most fat?
A. If you wish to work out from your home and burn fat, include regular squats, lunges, inclined push-ups and planks. You can also try skipping for kids and yoga for the elderly. You can also include callisthenics exercises which can be done at any place in a safe form.
The interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review (2017) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385214/
Does exercise really boost energy levels? (2021) – https://bit.ly/3I2q0HT
Physical Exercise for Muscle Atrophy (2018) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30390268/
Resistance Training Volume Enhances Muscle Hypertrophy but Not Strength in Trained Men (2019) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303131/
The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients (2018) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323511/
Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: an overview of Cochrane Reviews (2017) – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28087891/
Understanding Fibromyalgia: Lessons from the Broader Pain Research Community (2010) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2741022/
The association between activity levels and skin moisturising function in adults (2021) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8018252/