Best Exercise for Weight Loss: 9 Exercises to Lose Weight

best exercises for weight loss. A couple doing exercise.

Data shows that about half of all American adults attempt to lose weight every year. Keep in mind that about 70% of adults in the US are overweight. Exercising is one of the most common methods to lose weight, apart from dieting. Besides helping you lose weight, regular exercise helps prevent or manage several health conditions, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. It also boosts your energy and mood. What are the best exercise for weight loss?

Here we are going to list the 9 best exercises for weight loss.


Walking is a great exercise for beginners. You will find it very easy to fit walking into your daily routine because you can do it anywhere you like. Another important advantage of walking is that it is a low-impact exercise (i.e., it doesn’t stress your joints).

Walking is considered one of the best exercises for burning fat. According to an estimate by Harvard Health, a 155-pound person burns around 175 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace of 4 mph.


You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment to start running. If you have a pair of shoes, you can start today. The jogging pace is generally between four to six miles per hour while a running pace is above six miles per hour.

A 155 pound person burns around 288 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a pace of five miles per hour or 360 calories per 30 minutes of running at a six miles per hour pace (Harvard Health Estimate).

Studies also found that jogging and running can help reduce belly fat (visceral fat). This type of fat wraps around your internal organs and can cause many diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.

If you find this exercise making trouble for your joints, try running on softer surfaces like grass. In addition to this, many treadmills have built-in cushioning, which may be easier on your joints.


Swimming is another joint-friendly exercise. The style of swimming is important in determining how many calories you burn. A study conducted on competitive swimmers found that the most calories were burned during the breaststroke, followed by the butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle.

According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person burns approximately 216 calories per 30 minutes of swimming.

Studies also revealed that swimming significantly reduced body fat, improved flexibility, and reduced several heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol.


Many gyms and fitness centers have stationary bikes that allow you to cycle while staying indoors.

According to Harvard Health, a 155 pound person burns approximately 252 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace or 288 calories per 30 minutes on a bicycle at a pace of 12–13.9 mph.

In addition to weight loss benefits, studies have revealed that people who cycle regularly have better overall fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death in comparison with those who don’t cycle regularly.

One important advantage of cycling is that it’s non-weight-bearing and thus, a low-impact exercise. That is, it won’t place much stress on your joints.

Strength Training

This type of exercise is also known as resistance or weight training. According to Harvard Health estimates, a 155-pound person burns roughly 108 calories per 30 minutes of weight training.

In addition, research has shown that the body continues to burn calories several hours after a weight-training workout. One study revealed that 24 weeks of weight training led to a 9% increase in metabolic rate among men and nearly 4% in women.

Also, weight training can help you build strength and promote muscle growth. A study published in 2015 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that weight training is helpful in enhancing your resting metabolic rate (RMR).

Push-ups, lunges, Step-ups, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts are great strength training exercises for weight loss.


High intensity interval training (HIIT) or simply interval training is a broad term for short bursts of intense exercise that alternate with recovery periods. Ideally, a HIIT workout lasts about 10–30 minutes.

A research study revealed that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories per minute than other types of exercises like weight training, cycling, and running on a treadmill. Many studies have also shown that HIIT is effective at burning belly fat.

Burpees, high knees, jumping jacks, rope jumping, and push-ups are a few of the best HIIT exercises for weight loss.

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is a versatile exercise for weight loss. Although you can use a machine for this exercise, stairs are readily available in apartments, office buildings, on streets, and in public areas. In fact, all buildings that have elevators also have stairs.

According to estimates, one hour of stair climbing will burn approximately 1,000 calories. Stair climbing can also add to the amount of good cholesterol in your blood and help keep your joints, muscles, and bones healthy. When you climb stairs, you burn twice the fat in half the time than if you run and three times more than walking.


You can do Pilates at home or at one of the many gyms that offer pilates classes. It is true that pilates may not burn as many calories as aerobic exercises like running, swimming, and cycling. But many people find it enjoyable, which makes Pilates an easier exercise to stick to over time.

A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise revealed that a 140-pound person would burn around 108 calories at a 30-minute beginner’s level Pilates exercise or 168 calories at an advanced level.

In addition to weight loss, Pilates may also ease lower back pain and improve your flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance.

If you want to use pilates as your main weight loss tool, you must combine it with a healthy diet or other forms of exercise.


Yoga is an ancient, complex exercise program that consists of physical, mental, and spiritual workouts. Nowadays, people all over the world have accepted it as a great fitness and wellness exercise. It is a popular way to exercise and relieve stress.

Although classical yoga includes many elements, yoga as practiced in the United States, emphasize physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana).

While it’s not commonly thought of as a weight loss exercise, yoga burns a fair amount of calories and produces positive changes in the body and mind that can promote weight loss. According to Harvard Health estimates, a 155-pound person burns around 144 calories per 30 minutes of practicing yoga.

Apart from the weight loss benefits of yoga, research has shown that yoga can increase mindfulness and reduce stress levels.

Nowadays, most gyms offer yoga classes. But you can practice yoga anywhere. There are plenty of guided tutorials available online or in digital form. One such very popular yoga program (designed specifically for women) is Zoe Bray-Cotton’s Yoga Burn (Read Yoga Burn review).

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