Weight Loss Exercises

"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.¨ ― Vince Lombardi Jr

Can exercise help me lose weight?

There is this constant argument about whether weight loss exercises work. Exercise can help burn calories but can this sustain weight loss? To answer that, let us look at the following questions.

How Does One Gain Weight?

According to a Havard publication, genetic and environmental factors both contribute to weight gain.

But simply put, weight gain occurs when the excess calories taken in get converted into fat (adipose tissue) and stored.

When you take in more calories than your body can burn, the hormone insulin triggers fat cells to convert the excess calories into fat molecules and store them for future use.

A calory is the basic unit of energy required by body tissues to perform specific tasks (1).

How Can One Burn Calories?

A number of factors affect how many calories one can burn in a single day. Some of these factors are controllable while others are beyond our control (2).

  • Age: the older one gets, the fewer calories one can burn daily. This is because the muscle tissue decreases drastically with age, and since muscles consume a lot of calories due to their high metabolic activities, fewer calories are consumed in old age.
  • Sex: men burn more calories than women because men have more lean muscle mass than women.
  • Amount of daily physical activity: those who move more and are active burn more calories than those who live a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Thermogenesis: the number of calories that are used to digest food and produce heat.
  • Body composition: more muscles more calories consumed, fewer muscles fewer calories consumed.
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding women: these women will obviously burn more calories.

We can group these factors into three main categories, i.e., the factors that affect how many calories one can burn every day are; metabolism, digestion, and physical activity. Of the three, we only have control over the latter.

How Do I Lose Weight?

According to the National Library of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control to lose weight, you need to shed the excess calories that your body had stored in the form of fat.

To do this, your daily caloric intake has to be far below what your body consumes for energy, to permit your body to dig into your calorie reserves. You equally have to exercise often to help you burn even more calories.

The CDC equally mentions that most weight loss occurs because of decreased caloric intake and that the only way to maintain the weight loss is to be engaged in regular physical activity.

weight loss exercises

How Will Physical Activity Help Me Lose Weight?

As you exercise, you use up energy (calories) to power up your muscles and other tissues involved and if the number of calories used up daily exceeds what you get from food, then there is a net calorie loss from your body.

If you keep up with this, you will start digging into your fat reserves and using up the excess calories, hence losing weight. Thus, weight loss is a gradual process and you will not shed pounds overnight.

Though exercises can help you burn calories, they will only help you lose weight if your daily caloric intake is far below what your body burns for energy. That means you will observe significant and sustainable weight loss with exercises if you accompany them in healthy eating.

Eating healthy for weight loss is about minimizing the number of calories you consume daily without compromising other nutrients or eliminating food groups.

Pairing this up with regular physical activity means your body will spend more calories than it earns and will therefore go broke by digging into its savings, causing you to lose weight in the process.

So, YES, weight loss exercises can help you lose weight and keep it off long-term. Exercise will equally improve your overall health and well-being and should be continued even after achieving your desired weight

Types of Weight Loss Exercises

There’s no specific weight loss exercise.

Keep in mind that your goal isn’t bodybuilding and though it is recommended that you exercise regularly, we do not encourage you to set goals you might not attain.

This might cause you to get discouraged and less motivated, making the overall weight loss journey even more difficult for you.

When it comes to weight loss, anything that gets your body moving; from brisk walking to cooking to raking to dusting, etc. is considered physical activity and will definitely help burn calories.

However, the more intense and strenuous the activity, the more calories will be burned in the process. In a certain study, a 155-pound person doing the following activities for 30 minutes, had the following calorie counts (3). 

Physical Activity (30 minutes- duration) Calorie Count
Stationary bike (light effort)
Stationary bike (moderate effort)
Physical Activity (30 minutes- duration) Calorie Count
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Running 12-minute miles
Physical Activity (30 minutes- duration) Calorie Count
Running 10-minute miles
Running 7.5-minute miles
Laundry, including folding clothes
Mowing the lawn (no riding mowers)
Playing with kids at the playground
Physical Activity (30 minutes- duration) Calorie Count
Shoveling snow
Brisk walking
Physical Activity (30 minutes- duration) Calorie Count
Walking while pushing a stroller
Tennis (singles)

How Much Physical Activity is Recommended for Healthy Weight Loss?

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity per week and 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity. 

Again, you are not an athlete nor are you a bodybuilder, we recommend you start slow and not set your expectations too high. Some physical activity is better than none.

weight loss workouts

How do I manage my workouts? I can’t make it to the gym regularly and I don’t think I will stay motivated always.

Many people start fitness programs and then quit.

This is because they either get bored, don’t enjoy it or the expected results come too slowly, or most commonly, they set goals they can’t attain.

DietsForHealth strongly believes keeping fit should be a life-long activity, not a short-term process for some short-term results.

We understand how difficult it is to keep to your gym schedules or stay motivated throughout, especially for those on a weight loss journey who use their body to judge how effective the fitness program is. 

We highly recommend Aaptiv, one of the world’s best fitness experiences. With Aaptiv, it’s workout anywhere, and at any time of your choice, doing any activity you choose.

With more than 2,500 workouts across a variety of categories, and 30 new classes added every week, there is always something for everyone.

Whether you are on a weight loss journey, just want to run farther or faster, or simply just want to stay fit, Aaptiv has got you covered.