Exercise is an important part of any weight loss regimen. But with busy schedules, we all want to know which exercises will help us lose the most weight fast.
Generally speaking, there are two types of exercise: aerobic and strength (or anaerobic), and each contributes differently to weight loss. Aerobic exercise burns calories from fat while you perform the exercise itself. On the other hand, strength training primarily contributes to weight loss by helping to increase the speed of your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the number of calories your body burns while at rest. Your RMR actually increases (ie you burn more calories) the more muscular your body is because it takes much more energy to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat.
Important note: Remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so some strength training exercises will make you healthier and more attractive without necessarily contributing to weight loss. However, muscle is a “good” type of weight and you should aim to build more muscle to help keep body fat at bay.
Here are 5 exercise tips, both aerobic and strength, that you can do at home to lose weight fast.
Tip #1: Squats: Your buttocks and leg muscles are the largest muscles in your body. Every day in front of the mirror, place your feet shoulder-width apart while facing forward and squat down and up 10 to 20 times for 2 to 3 sets. This will strengthen the muscles in your legs and buttocks. As you build strength, try holding 2- or 5-pound dumbbells in your hands while you exercise. Be sure to warm up first and stop if you notice any sharp pain in your knees.
Tip #2: Pushups: Push-ups are a form of strength training: during a push-up your arms have to support up to 70% of your body weight. Do 2-3 sets of 20 push-ups to strengthen your arms and increase your RMR.
Tip #3: Jumping Jacks: Jumping jacks are a great full-body aerobic exercise that you can do at home. Do 4 or 5 sets of 20 jumping jacks, or as needed. Tip: If you live in an apartment or stay in a room on the second floor, be considerate of your neighbors by going out or doing this in a room on the first floor.
Tip #4: Walk fast: While walking is itself a great aerobic exercise, brisk walking is even better for burning fat. Be sure to stretch first and warm up with regular walks. Once you start walking faster, try to maintain as high a speed as possible for as long as possible. If you get tired, try intervals of brisk walking followed by short periods of slower walking.
Tip #5: Step by step: Walking is a great way to get your heart pumping and burn calories. You can use your stairs at home, but for best results I suggest buying specialized stacking mats and stacking them up to at least 15 inches (38 cm). Do 2-3 sets of 20 steps each to start. Although you may not feel like the step-by-step is helping, it is! This exercise will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help you shape your butt and legs.
An important element in a strategy to lose weight quickly at home is to do a combination of exercises that build muscle (strength training) while burning fat (aerobic exercise). Start a regimen of most or all of these exercises 2-3 days a week and watch the unhealthy fat melt away.