The importance of exercise and regular physical activity is well-known. While busy lives, and lack of time leads to many of us not being able to inculcate regular exercise in our daily lives. Workouts play an important role to be more relaxed and energised. This is where weight loss exercises come in.
Humans were a nomadic race for generations, travelling long distances on foot, for food and shelter. Our bodies were designed to be active. For this reason, a sedentary lifestyle is more harmful to us than we can anticipate. It can lead to the development of many health ailments and lags as we begin to age.
Most people don’t have the time or a hefty amount to spend on a gym membership. They can practice weight loss exercises at home and invest in their health. You can find plenty of exercise routines online.
If your goal is to lose weight, exercise plans tailored for your weight and body type will yield you the results that you desire. Unlike fad diets, weight loss exercises are healthy for your body. If followed right, they can help maintain your body weight sustainably in the long term.
Exercise and Weight Loss
A research paper published in 2019, states the efficacy of home-based weight loss exercises and programmes. The burning of calories plays a key role in weight loss. Exercise helps you burn these calories that, in turn, lead to weight loss.
For example, burning 3500 calories a week will help you lose one pound (about 0.45 kg). Therefore, working out enough to lose 3500 calories will help you lose 0.45 kg that week.
Care must be taken to plan your workout routine as per your own fitness goals. An individual looking to lose more weight would be required to burn more calories, and hence follow a more intense workout routine.
You could take the dietary route to achieve this, but just that will not be enough since restricting calorie intake could backfire. Following a diet plan and no workout routine in a bid to lose weight could possibly lead to one losing muscle mass, which is not recommended. However, if you supplement this diet plan with sufficient weight loss exercise at home, you could achieve your desired goal.
Muscle is more metabolically active, and so muscle loss is not recommended as part of your weight loss program. Once any amount of weight has been lost, your metabolic rate drops significantly. Losing weight becomes more difficult. Proactively preventing muscle loss can aid in neutralising this slide in your metabolic rate.
The importance of exercise lies in the fact that it not only helps lower body weight but improves upon your body composition, metabolic health and overall fitness.
At times, you may notice that weight loss exercise at home may not be contributing to reducing your body weight. However, there is no reason to worry. Even if it is not decreasing your body weight, it helps reduce your body fat and build muscle. The waist size and body fat measurements can be used to tell the entire story, which scales may sometimes fail to depict.
6 Benefits of Weight Loss Exercises
Exercise benefits both our body and mind. Some of the ways in which regular exercise is beneficial to us are:
1. Improves Sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Maybe, your body isn’t tired enough. Exercising can help you sleep better, deeper and for longer. Be careful not to exercise very close to your bedtime, though; the adrenaline released while challenging physical activity could keep you from falling asleep.
Moderate exercising 1-2 hr hours prior to bedtime can lift your mood and help you relax, thus encouraging sleep.
2. Increases our Energy Levels
Exercise improves our endurance and muscle strength. It is equally effective in improving lung and cardiovascular function. It improves the body’s ability to circulate oxygen and blood into the body.
Better lung and heart functioning directly translate to more energy to follow through with our daily chores. Regular exercise increases the production of essential hormones like catecholamines (an organic compound that helps the body cope with stress), testosterone, etc. in the body that increases metabolism and provides energy.
3. Improves Muscle health
When you lead an active lifestyle, with an adequate amount of physical activity thrown in, your muscles strengthen and your tendons, ligaments and joints allow for easier movement and lesser chances of injury.
Your coordination and balance improve. Also, the correct joint alignment affected by strong muscles and ligaments protects against the joint and lower backache.
Negating the misbelief that cardio is just meant for weight loss, studies claim to establish, cardiovascular activities can help in muscle growth. High-intensity cardio triggers the release of anabolic hormones which increases muscle mass.
4. Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease
The lack of regular physical activity is known to be a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise helps improve insulin sensitivity, body composition, and cardiovascular fitness while decreasing blood pressure and blood fat levels.
A lack of regular activity can lead to a significant increase in belly fat. This, in turn, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It is, therefore, recommended that one remain physically active and exercise regularly in order to avoid these diseases. An average adult can perform 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workout or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week to keep one healthy.
5. Pain Reduction
Exercise can also help reduce chronic pain. While it was recommended to get rest whenever in pain, studies have now found that exercise can benefit chronic pain.
According to several studies, exercise also helps control pain associated with various health conditions. This includes chronic lower back pain, chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, among others. In addition to that, physical activity also helps raise tolerance to pain.
Aerobic exercises stretching, yoga, Functional training and balance training and strength-training are associated with reducing Fibromyalgia Pain (a condition that causes chronic pain in the body).
6. Improves Skin Health
The amount of oxidative stress in the body can affect your skin. This occurs when the body’s antioxidant defences are unable to completely repair the damage caused by free radicals to cells. This damages their structure and deteriorates the skin.
While intense physical activity contributes to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise increases the body’s natural antioxidant production, thus helping protect cells. Similarly, exercise can also stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptation. This helps delay the appearance of skin ageing.
4 Weight Loss Exercises at Home
It is a common complaint among the working public that there is not enough time for one to go to the gym and workout. However, exercise is a crucial part of anyone’s fitness journey, and should not be ignored. Here are a few exercises that one can do at home to achieve their fitness goals.
1. Squats Exercises
Squats are great as it engages and strengthens the lower body and core muscles. It also aids weight loss with the increase in the production of anabolic hormones.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes facing straight ahead or angled slightly outward.
- Slowly bend your knees and squat, sending the hips back behind you, while keeping your torso straight and your abs pulled in tight.
- Keep your knees behind your toes. Make sure everything’s pointing in the same direction.
- Squat as low as you can, and push into your heels to stand up.
- Squat with one dumbbell
- Squat with dumbbells
- Barbell squat
- Wide leg squat
- Front squat
- Wall sit
- One-leg squat
2. Planks Exercises
The plank is one of the best exercises that help you strengthen your core, spine, arms, back and shoulders. In other words, it helps you engage all the body muscles between the shoulders to your toes. Helps in tightening our mid section.
- Lie face down on the mat with your elbows resting on the floor next to your chest.
- Push your body off the floor in a push-up position with your body resting on your elbows or hands.
- Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
- For beginners, do this move on your knees and gradually work your way up to balancing on your toes.
3. Lunges Exercises
Shaping and strengthening your lower body is needed to torch calories for weight loss.
- Stand in a split-stance (one leg forward, one leg back).
- Bend your knees and lower your body into a lunge position, keeping the front knee and back knee at 90-degree angles.
- Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up (slowly!) to starting position.
- Never lock your knees at the top and don’t let your knee bend past your toes.
- Variations include front lunges, back lunges, and side lunges.
- Do this exercise two to three times per week for 12 to 16 reps.
4. Push Ups (Inclined) for Beginners Exercises
Working on your chest and core can be beneficial for weight loss and inclined push-ups can at least burn 7 calories per minute.
- If you’re a beginner or don’t have as much upper body strength, this is a good move to start with.
- Start on all fours with hands a bit wider than the shoulders.
- Walk the knees back a bit in order to lean your weight on the hands and flatten the back from the head down to the back of the knees.
- Pull the abs in and, keeping your back straight, bend the elbows and lower body toward the floor until elbows are at 90-degree angles.
- Push back up and repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps.
Exercise is an essential part of weight loss. One must focus on following a workout routine planned as per your goals and requirements. Ideally, consult a certified fitness trainer to plan out this workout routine. That said, one’s weight loss goals is dependant on the right kind of eating habits as well.
It takes a combination of a good workout routine and a proper diet plan to ensure weight loss. Thus, get started on your fitness journey with a healthy meal plan, and a workout routine that includes the exercises mentioned above.
Q. What type of exercise is best for weight loss?
A: Any individual looking to lose weight must turn to a combination of strength training (about 70%) and cardiovascular exercises (about 30%). This, combined with the right diet will help one achieve their weight loss goals.
Q. Can you lose weight by exercising 30 minutes a day?
A: Yes, you can. However, care must be taken to ensure that you follow correct posture, intensity and frequency. Ideally, get in touch with a certified fitness trainer to understand what exercises you need to do, and how exactly to do them.
Q. Can you lose weight with just exercise?
A: No, you can not lose weight through exercise alone. Weight loss is a result of a combination of a proper diet and the right workout plan. It is important to ensure that you follow both in order to achieve the desired results. How do I lose belly fat?
Q. How do I lose belly fat?
A: In order to lose belly fat, you need a combination of a well-balanced diet, an active lifestyle, and a proper workout plan. That said, spot reduction is not a practice that is recommended by HealthifyMe. Make sure to follow a plan that will help you lose weight across the body.
Q. What type of exercise is best for weight loss?
A: Squats, Planks, Lunges and inclined push-ups are some of the exercises that are best for weight loss.
Q. Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?
A: Ideally you need to burn around 3500 kcal to lose 1 pound of weight per week. Investing 30 minutes of your time in working out will surely keep you healthy and shed weight.
Q. How much weight loss per month is healthy?
A. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 4 to 8 pounds (1.814 kg to 3.628 kg) of weight loss per month is considered healthy.
Q. What home exercises burn the most fat?
A. If you wish to workout from your home and burn fat, include regular squats, lunges, inclined push-ups and planks. You can also try skipping for kids and yoga for elderly. You can also include calisthenics exercises which can be done at any place in a safe form.