With the majority of Americans classified as either overweight or obese, many people are wondering what they can do to take off the pounds. While many odd methods have been suggested, the consensus seems to be that eating a proper diet and getting plenty of exercise are key to losing weight. But if you haven't exercised in a while, where do you start? How do you pick the right exercises to lose weight?
Diet plans that have the most success rely on the concept of calories in vs, calories out in order to promote weight loss. If more calories leave your body than you take in you should lose weight. Almost any activity will burn some calories, even sitting on the couch watching television, but that type of sedentary activity won't burn many. It's better to get moving.
Cardio exercises are often considered exercises to lose weight because they burn a lot of calories. Generally, move large muscle groups quickly will burn the most. Running is an exercise that many turn to simply because it does burn a lot of calories, and it can be done without a lot of equipment. While some run outside in the winter, many find access to a treadmill or an indoor track when it is cold in order to get their running in. Many sign up for charity 5K or longer runs in order to motivate them to run on a regular basis and give themselves a goal other than weight loss to focus on. If you aren't ready to run a 5K, which is just over 3 miles, you can participate in a Couch to 5K program that alternates periods of walking with periods of running, allowing you to build your strength and endurance.
If running is not your thing, you can also take to riding a bike, either indoors or out, use a stair machine, a rowing machine, or an elliptical. You can also simply walk or sign up for sport such as softball, basketball, tennis, football or golf. Swimming is also a great way to burn calories, and is a great option for people who suffer from painful conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.
Strength training is also an important part of exercising to lose weight. You can use free weights or weight machines at the gym, dumbbells or resistance bands in your home, or even your own body weight to help build your strength. These types of exercises won't immediately translate into lost calories, and eventually pounds, but those who are able to hold onto more muscle burn more calories even at rest than those who do not strength train.
There are both machine displays and charts compiled by various fitness experts that can tell you how many calories you should burn doing different exercises or activities. These resources can offer a good guideline, but the exercise that will work best for you is the one you can learn to enjoy. Walk your dog, dance in the kitchen while you do the dishes, or muddle through a few jumping jacks on a commercial break. Make moving fun, limit treats and high fat foods, and add in extra fresh fruit, vegetables, and water and the scale should soon start moving in the right direction.