20 Best Exercises and Workouts to Lose Weight Fast

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best exercises workouts to lose weight

Regular exercise is a necessary part of losing weight and also maintaining ideal body weight. Exercise can help prevent diseases and boost overall mood. Incorporating exercise in your weight loss program increases your chances of success rather than depending on diet alone.

This article documents my own road of discovery and aims to help you choose the best exercises, for your level of fitness and select workouts and activities that will allow you to burn as many calories as possible in the time you have available for exercise.

We are all busy and want to maximize our efforts, so if you are not sure which physical activity to choose to lose weight fast, this guide is for you.

The 20 exercises and workouts described below are safe and also fun for beginners to exercise. By beginners, I refer to all those people who haven’t exercised in years.

These workouts are also designed to help you develop foundational fitness and cardiovascular base to get fitter, stronger and also reach your weight loss goals. They are also ideal for people with busy schedules that leave them with little or no time to exercise.

Before you begin any exercise regimen, be sure to check with your doctor or fitness instructor if the selected plan is appropriate for you. If needed, wait for a complete evaluation and medical report before you begin. Once your doctor deems you ready, begin the workout you like at a slow and steady pace and then gradually build up on it.

If you do exercise currently, you can either continue doing what you do or cut your current plan in half to add other workouts described below. You can then choose to build back on the original workout after the first three weeks of below workouts.

Not all of us are in great physical shape so some of the exercises described below may not be suitable – for example – running could take a toll on the knees and back. But the aim of this guide is to discuss the best exercises and workouts for weight loss, who they are suitable for, the number of calories you can burn with them and also why they are the ideal exercises to lose weight fast.

Discover how how to choose the #bestexercise to #loseweight fast in the time you have available for fitness.

I also recommend incorporating other physical activities in your daily schedule – such as gardening, house cleaning and running errands – these can also help you burn calories besides these workouts. That is the main reason why I have included them in the list as well.

So, without further delay, here are 20 best exercises to lose weight quickly.

1. Running

Why is it good?

Running is an excellent and popular exercise to lose weight quickly. Not only do you burn calories faster through running, you end up with a better looking body.

  • Running is a high intensity workout.
  • Runners can reduce blood pressure and decrease heart rate.
  • Runners tend to age slower than non-runners. Male runners develop musculoskeletal problems at a 40% lower rate than non-runners.
  • Running can actually lead to fewer doctor visits and lower medical bills.
Who is it good for?

Anyone who can walk for 20-30 minutes can take up running. That being said, people having heart disease, lung problems, pregnancy etc. must talk to their doctor about running.

Also, running itself will not cause knee problems. However, if during running you experience knee pain to an extent that it changes the way you run, then you must consult a doctor. It is an old wives tale that running causes arthritis.

How many calories can you burn with running?

The number of calories you burn from running depends on the methods of running used, the number of kilometres you run, your pace as well as your body weight. On an average, runners who maintain a  10 km (6 mile) per hour pace can easily burn up to 557 calories in one hour. Simple jogging can help you burn 398 calories per hour.

2. Treadmill

Why is it good?

Treadmill is a complete cardiovascular workout.

  • Treadmill rounds are ideal for people of all ages.
  • You can easily pace your workouts based on your time availability and your weight loss goals.
  • You can select the warm up and cool down periods as well as the pace, incline and speed.
  • Treadmill access allows you to work out on days you cannot go outside due to bad weather.
  • Some treadmills come with step counters and heart rate monitors.
Who is it good for?
  • Treadmill rounds are great for anyone who can afford a treadmill or have access to one in a local gym.
  • However, treadmills may not be suitable for professional runners, since they do not offer the same air resistance that you normally face outdoors. Those looking for strength training may not find treadmill rounds suiting their needs.
  • Treadmill can eventually get monotonous, but you can always use certain means to make treadmill rounds interesting. For example, listening to good music or competing with fellow weight watchers is a good idea. You can do so by using smart watches and fitness trackers.
  • Heart patients and pregnant women must exercise the same caution they normally would when running outdoors.
How many calories can you burn with treadmills?

You can easily find out how many calories you burned with treadmill rounds at 10% incline at the rate of 4 km (2.5 miles) per hour here. On an average, an 80 kg (175 pound) adult can burn 84 calories in a single 10 minute treadmill round.

3. Swimming

Why is it good?
  • If you are looking for an exercise that give you the ability to do more with less, then swimming is your answer. When you are immersed in water up to the waist, your body bears just 50% of its weight. This makes swimming a resistance exercise that increases muscle tone and strength.
  • With every stroke you lengthen the body and the broad range of motions in swimming improves flexibility of joints.
  • Swimming also strengthens the heart and leads to better circulation.
  • Apart from weight loss, swimming can reduce asthma symptoms and give you improved immunity to chronic and seasonal illnesses.
  • Thanks to the aerobic nature of swimming exercises, you can reduce overall cholesterol levels and raise good/HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Not only can it prevent type 2 diabetes, swimming is also great for people having type 1 diabetes as it increases insulin sensitivity.
Who is it good for?
  • Swimming is a low impact exercise that is good even for heart patients. In fact; new research is showing that swimming is terrific for your heart.
  • Water based activities are also easier on the joints- so even patients with cervical spondylosis or other joint issues can also take up swimming.
  • Swimming is also ideal for pregnant women as it makes them feel less bloated.
  • In short: anyone from 6 months to 90 years can take up swimming. It is an ideal exercise for reluctant exercisers.
How many calories can you burn?

Every 10 minutes of swimming enables you to burn up to 100 calories. More specifically here are the rates:

  • 10 minutes of breast stroke will burn 60 calories,
  • Backstroke will torch 80 calories,
  • Freestyle lights 100 calories and
  • Butterfly stroke incinerates a massive 150 calories.

Swimming is fun and an ideal activity for losing weight all year round. The best part about swimming is that you can incorporate numerous fun aquatic workouts and refreshing ways to burn calories.

​Swimming has been my favourite cardiovascular exercise that helped me lose weight. Read my article about swimming for weight loss and why I chose it over walking and running.

4. Walking

Why is it good?
  • Walking has numerous benefits that vary from physical to mental and psychological benefits.
  • It relieves stress and reduces lifetime risk of chronic health conditions.
  • It can eliminate risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
  • Walking improves muscular strength and endurance.
  • It helps burns calories and maintains ideal body weight.
  • It promotes bone mass and maintenance.
Who is it good for?
  • Walking is recommended for everyone: heart patients, diabetics, pregnant women etc.
  • Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes daily.
  • For obese patients, it is recommended to walk for 45 minutes to one hour per day.
  • For sustained weight loss, walk for 60-90 minutes and 5-6 times a week.
How many calories can you burn?
  • 70 kg (154 lb) person walking at the rate of 5.6 km (3.5 miles) per hour will burn 280 calories in 1 hour. The same person walking at 7.2 km (4.5 miles) per hour will burn approximately 460 calories.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. A person weighing 68 kg (150 lb) doing this activity 5 times a week for 5 minutes per day will burn 149 calories.
  • The total calories burned per mile depend on many factors such as speed of walking, etc. On an average, one can easily burn 100 calories per mile (1.6 km).
  • Keep in mind that if you want to lose a lot of weight, walking a dog or going for a short walk after work now and then, will not be sufficient to burn calories necessary for fast weight loss.

Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.

5. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

What is it?
  • HIIT sessions involve repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times.
  • The intense workouts can range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long depending on the person’s maximum heart rate.
  • The workout continues with alternating work and relief periods totalling to 20 to 60 seconds.
Why is it good?
  • HIIT has been known to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
  • It can also regulate blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
  • It increases insulin sensitivity.
  • It is known to improve cholesterol profiles.
  • It reduces abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass.
Who is it good for?

HIIT can be modified for people with all kinds of fitness levels.

  • It is also useful for people with different health conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
  • HIIT workouts can also be performed on all workout modes such as cycling, walking, swimming, elliptical etc.
  • HIIT must be customized based on 80% of estimated heart rate. The intensity of recovery period should be 40-50%of estimated maximum heart rate.
  • Persons who have led largely sedentary lives or are generally inactive might have increased risk of coronary disease risk.
  • Prior to beginning HIIT program, do establish a base fitness level. Also talk to your fitness instructor if this program is right for you.
How many calories are burnt?

There is report saying that you can burn nearly 15 calories per minute with HIIT. Depending on the workouts you choose, you can even burn up to 900 calories in half an hour.

6. Les Mills BODYPUMP

What is it?
  • BODYPUMP™ is a music based workout developed by Les Mills.
  • It is a choreographed high repetition, resistance training workout that gives calorie burning and fat burning benefits.
  • The exercise is best done in a group because people tend to train harder and longer when they are together.

les mills bodypump weight loss

Why is it good?
  • Apart from weight loss, Les Mills BODYPUMP can give you improved aerobic fitness, muscular gains and improved stamina.
  • It can also give you positive psychological benefits and help to prevent osteoporosis.
Who is it good for?
  • BODYPUMP is a muscle building workout for men and women of all fitness levels and is fun to do.
  • The workout routines are ideal for men looking to bulk up which does not mean that ladies will also bulk up. The workout is designed to tone and shape up the body so that women can still look great in dresses.
  • There may be some chances of injuries in staying at par with the music tracks, so elderly people with joint problems must exercise caution.
  • As with any exercise, patients with cardiovascular disease or hypertension must talk to their physician whether BODYPUMP is right for them.
How many calories are burnt with it?
  • Reports show that males can burn an average of 483.1 calories and females an average of 338.9 calories per BODYPUMP session. This equates to 8.4 calories per minute for males and 5.9 calories per minute for females.
  • Maximum calorie burning of 424 (for females) and 603 (for males) has been reported.

Everyone should be doing some sort of resistance training and BODYPUMP is my workout of choice. I absolutely love BODYPUMP as it helped me to tone my body and develop strength and fitness.

Keep in mind that if you want to lose a lot of weight, walking a dog or going for a short walk after work now and then, will not be sufficient to burn calories necessary for fast weight loss.

BODYPUMP sessions are run in many fitness centres around the world. Just find a good instructor and watch your body transform.

If you are in the area where such classes are not available, buy a body pump barbell​ and a step and follow an on line video class from home.

Watch the following video to learn what BODYPUMP is about. This is the workout I do twice a week.