Starting a new exercise regimen can be daunting and scary. Becoming physically active after a long period of being sedentary can make exercise difficult, and sometimes demoralizing. Unfortunately exercise is a tried and true way to help you burn calories for weight loss.
Figuring out what kinds of weight loss exercises you should be doing boils down to 2 factors;
- How many calories are you burning, and;
- Whether or not you enjoy the exercise.
Keep reading to find out the 6 weight loss exercises that can help you lose weight.
Running – Calories burned in 1 hour: 745
Whether you do it outside in the park or on a treadmill at the gym, the calorie burning strength of running cannot be understated. If you ran for 1 hour just 5 days a week, at approximately 5 miles per hour, you would burn 3,725 calories which is just over 1 pound lost per week!
In addition to burning a significant amount of calories, running is a weight loss exercise you should be doing because of the many health benefits associated with running. According to an article published by Vanderbilt University Psychology Department, running can lower blood pressure, expand lung capacity and improve heart health to prevent heart attacks and heart disease.
Keep in mind however that as effective as running is as a weight loss exercise, it may take some time for you to burn the full 745 calories per hour. If you haven’t worked out in awhile or if you have a lot of weight to lose, you will have to build up to a full hour of running.
Racquetball – Calories burned in 1 hour: 931
Regardless how you feel about the game of racquetball it is a great weight loss exercise that doesn’t necessarily feel like exercise. The competitive nature of racquetball lets you focus on winning rather than finishing, which is a great way to keep you interested in regular physical activity.
The reason racquetball made the list of weight loss exercises you should be doing is that in addition to being a calorie burner it is a great lower body workout that tones the thighs, legs, butt and lower abdominal muscles. Because you’re running side to side and swinging a racquet, you get a well rounded workout that will help you work up a sweat.
The other thing that’s great about racquetball for weight loss? You get to hang out with a friend while beating them at racquetball!
Freestyle Swimming – Calories burned in 1 hour: 817
In summer or in winter swimming is one of the best weight loss exercises you should be doing. Swimming works all the muscles, improves lung capacity and is a relaxing way to burn a few hundred calories. Freestyle swimming is something that all capable swimmers can do, as it is the method most of us use when learning to swim.
The good news is that seasoned swimmers can burn even more calories by swimming the butterfly stroke for 1 hour. This method burns more than 1,000 calories per hour but may be too vigorous for you if you’re just becoming physically active again. However swimming is a great weight loss exercise for those not yet ready for impact aerobics like running, and a 2006 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness indicated no difference in the effect of aerobic exercises in the water or on land.
Boxing/Sparring – Calories burned in 1 hour: 838
Getting in the ring with a buddy for an hour of sparring is another weight loss exercise that you should be doing. Although an hour of actual boxing burns more than 1,100 calories, many exercise newbies may find this method of exercise too intense.
Nevertheless, sparring with a partner is a great way to burn calories while improving your response time and coordination. Getting in the ring to spar means not getting hit is a great motivation to keep moving!
The movements associated with boxing; footwork, punching, ducking and breathing can help tone a wide range of upper and lower body muscles. So next time you’re looking for a fun weight loss exercise you can do with a buddy, book an hour at your nearest boxing gym!
Rock Climbing – Calories burned in 1 hour: 1,024
Even if you think that rock climbing is a weight loss exercise that’s too adventurous for you, think again because many gyms and recreation centers offer indoor rock climbing so you can learn before hitting the great outdoors.
Sign up for a few rock climbing lessons and you can burn more than 1,000 in the first hour! In addition to being an amazing calorie burner, rock climbing helps tone arms, legs, butt and core since you’ll need all these muscles to keep you on the rock and not on the ground. Balance and concentration are key when rock climbing so you’ll become a better athlete and problem solver by rock climbing.
Jumping Rope – Calories burned in 1 hour: 981
Jumping rope is a weight loss exercise you should be doing at home because it’s so simple and requires inexpensive exercise equipment. One hour of fast rope jumping can burn close to 1,000 calories which puts you well within reach of losing a one pound per week until you reach your weight loss goal.
If you don’t like going to the gym or simply don’t have time, purchase a rope at a sporting goods store and get your workout in the backyard or basement. This perhaps the easiest of the weight loss exercises you should be doing, and it doesn’t require anything but a good pair of sneakers and a rope.
It is important to mention that these calorie burning weight loss exercises are but one part of an exercise program for weight loss. Strength training should also be a part of your workout routine to boost your resting metabolism and tone muscles. The good news about this is that weight lifting and basic calisthenics are also great calorie burners, so no matter what you do you’ll always be working towards your weight loss goals.
Tired of counting every calorie in your favorite sweet snack? Read our review of Eat Stop Eat to see if intermittent fasting can help you reduce your sugar intake.