If someone told you right now what the absolute best exercise to lose weight was,… would you do it? You might when you read this article.
The best exercise to lose weight is: “just any exercise,” says Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD, a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Two main reasons that stop people from losing weight with exercise are either boredom or injury. The truth is that weight loss is about using more calories than u get in (in other words, burning more calories than you eat). So, they say, while running at an 8-minute-mile pace might be a great calorie burner, if you’re not going to do it, it’s not going to help you. Instead, start with something you can do, like walking or working out on an elliptical machine or exercise bike.
Strength training itself will not lead to an appreciable amount of weight loss because it just doesn’t burn enough calories. To lose calories you must do a lot of cardio (aerobic) exercise. But what about all that talk that more muscle mass equates to more calories burned, even when you’re at rest? This is just a myth, It will never happen. The only successful studies to show a significant calorie burn following a weight-lifting workout (after burn) were done with serious professional lifters, working out for 60 to 90 minutes at a time and lifting as much as they could on every set. In fact, gaining one pound of muscle will help you burn 5 to 10 extra calories a day. You could do that by chewing gum, so it is not worth it to do weight training if your goal is to lose weight. That’s not to say that strength training is not important for the overall health of your body. But when it comes to burning the most calories, go for cardiovascular exercise. And vary the intensity. Do aerobic base-building workouts, where you alternate between moderate and higher intensity, either within the same workout or on alternate days.
Doing a range of different activities during your workouts is also a good way. Not only does this help you keep from getting bored, it’s better for your body. Doing different activities targets different muscle groups. You’re also less likely to develop an injury, since doing the same thing day after day creates wear patterns on your joints.
Get creative, for example, if you’re a golfer, ditch the cart and walk with your clubs. You’ll do what you love and burn more calories doing it.