Losing weight is easier said than done! What types of exercise should I do? How should I do it? How often should I work out? How long should my work out last? People have a lot of questions about exercising, which tend to scare them off. Here are our tips for losing weight by exercising.


Losing weight: it's all about balance

You often hear that you need to do regular physical activity to lose weight. However, though exercise is a key part of losing weight, it is not a one-shot solution for quickly shedding those extra pounds. To be truly effective, you need to exercise while completely rebalancing your diet. Along the same lines, if you want to lose weight, simply rebalancing your diet is not sufficient. You have to pair it with exercise.


If you want to shave off a few pounds, you need to change the way you eat and live, decreasing the number of calories you ingest while increasing the energy you spend. It's all about balance. The solution isn't about going without. It's about varying and controlling the way you eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Soft drinks, sweets and other sugary products are out. Eat more fruit, vegetables and dairy products instead. Regular exercise should complement your change in eating habits.


Link exercise to weight loss

For starters, remember that weight loss and getting slimmer are not the same. In fact, you can tone your muscles and improve your figure without losing weight. Aerobic activities like running, cycling and swimming use a lot of energy and burn fats. At the same time, exercise makes you gain muscle, which is heavier than fat!


In any event, you can lose weight while gaining muscle because the more muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be and the more energy and calories you will burn. Basically, more muscles help you burn more calories!


In terms of energy, one hour of running, cycling or swimming burns 400 to 600 calories, but one kilogramme of body fat corresponds to 8000 calories! Since you burn about 65 calories when walking a mile, you would have to walk 4.6 kilometres per day for an entire month to lose one kilogram… Along the same lines, if you run at a speed of 8 km/hr, you burn about 80 calories per kilometre, so you would have to keep up this pace for 12.5 hours to lose one kilogramme! The long and the short of this is that you need to exercise regularly to lose weight.


If you haven't done any physical activity in a long time, gradually ease back into exercising. Slowly increase the length and intensity of your workouts without hurting yourself. Try to exercise at your endurance pace, which should be about 60 to 75% of your maximum heart rate. If you are significantly overweight, avoid types of exercise where you have to carry your own weight, and instead choose cycling, swimming or rowing.


What sport should I do to lose weight?

To lose weight, choose a type of exercise that burns calories and reduces body fat. Some sports are better than others for this. Any type of cardio exercise is an excellent choice. These can be paired with muscle training to tone your body.


The 7 sports where you burn the most calories are:

  • skipping rope: Skip rope for 10 to 15 minutes, 4 times per week. Burns 725 kcal/hr.

  • running: Run for 45 minutes, 2 times per week. Burns 500 - 1000 kcal/hr.

  • rowing: Row for 50 minutes, 2 times per week. Burns 625 kcal/hr.

  • cycling: Cycle for 90 minutes twice a week or 20 minutes a day. Burns 600 kcal/hr.

  • aerobics: Do aerobics for 45 minutes, 2 times per week. Burns 500 kcal/hr.

  • water aerobics: Do water aerobics for 45 minutes, 2 times per week. Burns 400 kcal/hr.

  • walking: Walk for 20 minutes a day. Burns 300 kcal/hr.


Out of all of these sports, the gold medal goes to running. It is best to run on an empty stomach so your body immediately starts burning fat. Running is especially motivating, since you need to lose weight to make progress. You have to be lighter to run better, which means you have to lose weight!



Finally, if your motivation starts to flag while you are getting slimmer but not shaving off those extra pounds, think about the many benefits of exercise other than losing weight!

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        Is sport a good idea when I'm on a diet? What kind of sports programme should I adopt? One thing is clear, the two are intimately linked and key if you want to lose weight.

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