How can I lose weight?
In order to lose weight and keep that fat away for good, one should burn more calories than he eats before there is a significant visible impact on your body. You need to create a so called calorie deficit of about 3500 calories, which in plain English means that you need to burn off 3500 calories more than you are eating.
This naturally means exercising and depending of which body type you own, you need to do a lot of cardiovascular training combined with weightlifting. Cardio exercises are the best to burn fat. A 30-minute power walk on a flat surface can burn about 120 calories. So to be able to burn that half a kilo you would have to be walking for about 2 hours a day, every day of the week. Not everyone has time for that and most fitness coaches don’t even suggest you exercise each and every day. You should plan in some resting days during an intensive training schedule so the muscles tissue can rest and have the time to restore so they can properly build up.
So whats the best method to lose that weight then?
Well, the best method to weight loss is to create that calorie deficit by burning calories through exercises and cutting on the calories you are eating. Cardio exercise is only one part of the weight loss solutions. Your eating habits are just as important and you should try and implement a weight-training program. Most people want to lose weight fast and for free and fall for the traps of TV commercials and internet ads that promise weight loss solutions by just spending some money and drinking a delicious shake or taking some diet pills. Although some of these pills certainly can help you lose weight or reduce your food craving, actually losing fat takes time and commitment.
But I want to lose weight fast and for free, I hear you say. First of all don’t try to go too fast. Losing more than 250 to 500 grams a week is more than enough to remain a healthy weight loss pattern. And you also shouldn’t eat less than 1200 calories per day since your metabolism needs those calories in order to keep on running on full speed. Depriving your body, by maintaining a super low calorie diet can actually have the reversed effect. You will have a tougher time to lose weight since your metabolism is slowed down cause it doesn’t get it’s essential nutrients it used to have. And last but not least, your genetics also have an impact on how fast you will lose weight. But don’t use them as an excuse, everyone can lose weight, no matter what your genetics are.
So now that we know how to lose weight, the rest of the article is going to focus on what cardio exercises have the most effect and will get you the best results.
Exercise program to lose weight fast
General guidelines for cardio exercises to lose weight.
Keep in mind that not everyone is the same so different people have different needs. Please consult a registered dietitian and certified trainer to come up with the best weight loss program that is right for you, your body and of course your specific goals and time schedule.
When you really want to burn calories and lose the kilos it’s important that you do 5 to 6 workouts a week. These need to last for at least half an hour to 45 minutes and should be a mix of cardio and strength training. Of course you don’t need to do these all at once, you can spread it over the course of a week and even do two half hour workouts on one day and rest the next day. The level of intensity is also very important to have the most effective, healthy and natural weight loss. A lot of resources will tell you that exercising at a slow pace is more effective than high intensity training. There are even programs on cardio machines that ensure you keep a slow pace, but all of this can be misleading. It is true that your body uses fat as its primary fuel source during low-intensity training. But as you get closer to breaking point, the body starts to use more of the carbohydrates and burns less of the fat. However when you workout with a higher intensity you can burn more calories in total, which also means more fat calories. But when starting out doing exercise to lose weight you probably won’t be able to maintain a faster pace for a long period of time, which will result in less calories burned in total and also less fat calories. So going slower certainly does make sense for beginners, since it can help you to exercise longer and therefore burn more calories and fat.
Another very important factor is your heart rate. For optimal fat burning your target heart rate should fall somewhere between 60 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. You can multiply the result by 0.6 to find the lower and of your target heart rate and by 0.85 to find the upper end of that zone. To be able to check your heart rate during exercise you can use the a heart rate monitor that is built in to the fitness equipment or a separate one that you buy. Or if you don’t want to spend any money on it or don’t go to the gym you can simply count your heart rate for 10 seconds and then multiply that by 6. Make sure you start and end your cardio workout in the lower end of that range so you have a warm-up and cooling down period. This is very important to minimize injuries.
Best exercise for weight loss
So what exercises actually work best? Most important is that you choose an activity that you like doing and which you sustain for at least 15minutes. Don’t try to go for the best exercise sports if you don’t like them or if they will get you exhausted in no time, cause eventually you will give up. It’s more important to consistently doing exercises which may be less effective to burn fat, but which you like doing and which you can keep on doing for longer periods of time. It will be more fun to do and naturally success will come along with it.
There are loads of cardio exercises to lose weight that you can choose from and here are a few examples:
Walking: An exercise that can be done anytime and anywhere and best of all, it’s free. A lot of people even do these kinds of workouts while they are at work or when they are busy shopping.
Bike riding: If you live close to work it can be a good idea to start going to work on your bicycle, or use it to go to friends or get some small stuff from the shop instead of taking the car again. You can also go to the gym to use a stationary bike or buy one for at home, but then you’ll have to imagine the scenery. Or you can watch your favorite tv show or a documentary on the computer while you’re at it. The position of your body is very important while riding. Make sure that you adjust the seat so that when your legs are in down position, your knees have a slight bend. You can use the handlebars but it is important not to lean on them with your full weight, you should keep your shoulders relaxed.
Running: This is a very popular type of cardio exercise. By running you put relatively extreme stresses on your body which promotes more calorie and weight loss than other cardio workouts. Keep in mind though that the same stresses can also increase the risks for injuries related to those exercises. For beginners, most established weight loss programs recommend less strenuous cardio workouts.
Swimming: Male Olympic swimmers have close to the lowest body fat percentages of any athletes, averaging 6%. Try and focus on the freestyle stroke of front crawl, since this one is the best for cardio workout, uses the most muscles overall and helps building your core. Breast stroke can also be a good way of burning calories, but just as with the freestyle stroke it’s important to focus on technique. Poor technique will have you do it all for nothing.
Dancing: After the classic types of cardio training, here is one that is not so typical and for many people can be a lot of fun. Dancing can even be something you do on weekends with friends at a club, but be sure not to drink too much alcohol which will bring your calorie intake right up again.
Stair stepping: Another one you can do for free at home. Going up and down of starts is a very good cardio workout since the motion is a great way of getting the circulation going and work your heart.
Kettlebell workouts: This is a very effective and efficient way of cardio training while building muscles at the same time. It’s a very versatile way of training since it combines explosive exercise that work on major muscles so you can build power, while you are burning fat. It’s also very cost effective cause you on need one pair of kettlebells as opposed to a full set of dumbbells. Kettlebells are designed so that the weight hangs below it’s handle which makes it more difficult to control than dumbbells and which ensures your body has to work harder than with dumbbells. If you are using more muscles you burn more calories and if you combine that with exercises which target the whole body then you’ll be achieving your goals fast.
Rope skipping: Used by a lot of boxers since it can be a very intense training if you do it right. Make sure you go try and do it consistently at a high pace and you’ll be burning calories while feeling like a kid again.
Free programs and schedules
Nowadays it’s not hard to find an exercise program to lose weight fast. The internet is full of weight loss exercise schedules and fitness plans. There are tons of sites that offer personal training services just like as you would get in a fitness center. But even for the people who don’t want to spend any money there are a ton of free weight loss exercise programs to find online. Although you should be weary that in certain cases you should first consult your doctor before starting a workout plan which you found online. When you have a heart disease, arthritis or diabetes it’s not so safe to just take any weight loss plan you can find for free and start doing it.
Here are a few resources where you can find free online cardio training programs for weight loss
Besides using Google to find a load of webpages with fitness plans for weight loss, there are also dedicated android apps which can guide you with your natural and healthy weight loss efforts. A lot of them are free and while certainly not all of them are that good, some of them are really detailed and give you detailed information with photos or even videos on how to do the exercises. Most of them offer features such as calorie burning tracker, GPS and pedometer, voice input and music player, activity feeds to share your presentations and connect with others, schedule workout reminders, heart rate monitor, … For the paid versions you obviously get even more features added to this.
A few examples of apps are:
Youtube is also a great source of information. Loads of free cardio workouts can be found there. Here are a few to get you started: