How do I Choose the Best Weight Loss Workout?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The best weight loss workout is one that works well with one's current fitness level. For people who are already quite fit but just want to lose a few pounds, a highly intense cardio workout followed by a bit of weight lifting is a good choice. For someone who is not very fit and has lots of weight to lose, on the other hand, it is important to start with gentler workouts that can help to build fitness. Beginning a weight loss workout that is not tailored to one's needs and fitness level will, at best, lead to limited weight loss and, at worse, could lead to injury or even a medical emergency.

Hiking through rugged terrain allows an individual to lose weight while exploring the outdoors.
Hiking through rugged terrain allows an individual to lose weight while exploring the outdoors.

Before beginning a weight loss workout, be sure to consult with a physician. This consultation will determine what kinds of workouts one should be performing, the intensity of the workouts, and how long the exercise should last. This kind of consultation can also determine how many times per week a weight loss workout can be performed. For people who are in poor health, have limited mobility, or have a very low level of fitness, this kind of consultation is especially important.

Swimming is a whole body cardiovascular exercise that burns fat.
Swimming is a whole body cardiovascular exercise that burns fat.

In general, the best kind of weight loss workout is a workout that increases the heart rate to a sustainable rate and keeps it there for a prolonged period of time. Unlike exercises that are based on short bursts of activity, such as sprinting, weight loss workouts last for a longer period of time and often use gentler types of movement. One of the best and safest weight loss workout routines for people who are just beginning to develop fitness is walking. Walking either outside or on a treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes per day is a great way to begin.

To lose weight, people already in decent shape might try jogging instead of walking.
To lose weight, people already in decent shape might try jogging instead of walking.

For people who have a higher level of fitness, the weight loss workout can be increased in length so that it is 40 to 60 minutes. Furthermore, the walking can be done at a faster pace and at an incline. For additional resistance, consider wearing ankle weights or holding light hand weights while walking to increase the number of calories that are burned during the exercise. Alternatively, walking can be switched for jogging or hiking. There are a number of other kinds of exercise that are excellent for weight loss and can be graduated according to fitness. Swimming, for example, is a great weight loss workout that can be increased in intensity and duration as needed.

The best weight loss workout depends on someone's current fitness level.
The best weight loss workout depends on someone's current fitness level.
Walking is a great workout for those just starting out.
Walking is a great workout for those just starting out.
Consulting a doctor can determine which workouts will work best for a particular person.
Consulting a doctor can determine which workouts will work best for a particular person.
An intense cardio workout followed by weight lifting can be a good choice for a person who is already fit.
An intense cardio workout followed by weight lifting can be a good choice for a person who is already fit.
Unlike sprinting and other sports that require bursts of energy, most weight-loss workout is built to.
Unlike sprinting and other sports that require bursts of energy, most weight-loss workout is built to.
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat does, so lifting weights is an essential part of any workout.
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat does, so lifting weights is an essential part of any workout.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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