“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein
Losing weight with exercise is usually a slow process, so make sure you don’t give up too soon. Aim for 30 minutes each day of moderate or high-intensity exercise. If you still can’t lose weight with exercise make sure you have excluded a medical condition, as mentioned in Step 1.
Examples of exercises for weight loss
- Home exercises: aerobics, jumping jacks, skipping (using a skipping rope), resistance bands, weights, push-ups, dancing etc. One type of home exercise that is particularly effective is the 5BX exercise plan. You can complete this in only 11 minutes each day at home!
- High-intensity exercises: these include running, swimming, biking, using an exercise machine such as an elliptical or treadmill, certain sports such as football, tennis or badminton and so forth.
Try to do the highest category exercise that you are comfortable doing on a regular basis. You can also do different types of exercises on different days if you want some variety. Everyone should exercise every day, so there is a category for everyone!
What is the best exercise for weight loss?
Scientists have been investigating exercise and weight loss for decades. One thing has become very clear from all these studies: there is no one single exercise that is the best for reliably burning calories in all people. Instead you should choose something that you can do regularly for a prolonged period of time. And this is purely up to your own preference. So the best exercise for weight loss is one you can do everyday and that allows you to burn more calories than you eat or drink.
What if I don’t have time for exercise?
Start by identifying 10 minutes in the day where you can exercise. This might be in the morning or when you come back from work. Anybody can set their alarm clock 10 minutes earlier. Make it a daily habit to exercise in that time. You can choose among the different activities described here. After you have been doing this daily for about 6 weeks, it would have become a habit. Then try increasing your duration of exercise . Aim for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. If you can’t do 20 minutes at at a time, try 10 minutes twice a day
What if I have bad knees and can’t exercise?
Focus on upper body exercises. Try resistance bands or swimming. Biking or using a rowing machine are other options for some. If all of this is difficult, try simple aerobic exercises involving the upper body. The 5BX exercise program may be ideal for you.
What if I hate exercise?
One option is just focusing on the daily activities (mentioned above) for physical activity. The other option is starting small. Start with just 5 minutes of exercise and make sure you choose something that you enjoy doing. It can even be just walking. Gradually increase your exercise duration. You can join an exercise group or a course, which often makes people more interested in exercising. Try using an app on your phone or a pedometer. You will get motivated seeing your daily progress. Or you can think of more radical methods such as getting a games console that has exercise programs. One of my patients even got a dog to get him motivated to walk every day!
Making exercise part of your daily life
We often neglect simple ways to incorporate exercise as part of our daily life. Try parking further away from a mall entrance or your workplace and walk the extra distance. Use stairs instead of an elevator. Try walking to a nearby shop instead of taking the car. It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, doing this over months and years can have a big impact on improving your health.
How long should I exercise to lose weight?
As we will see in Step 5, losing weight is only half the battle. If you want to maintain weight loss, it is important to make exercise a daily habit. So make exercise part of your life for the rest of your life. Of course, there are a huge number of other health benefits by doing so as well!