Although you should always focus on your diet when trying to lose weight, exercise and sports are almost equally important. In this article, I explain what the benefits of exercise are and which type of exericse is most suitable to lose weight.

Can You Lose Weight Without Exercising?

Many people wonder if it’s really necessary to exercise to lose weight.

Well, it’s not necessary to exercise if you want to lose weight. I haven’t been able to exercise much and still lost nearly 60 pounds in a year. However, most people get better results if they eat healthy in combination with more exercise.

How Exercising Helps You Burn Fat

To understand the impact of exercise on your fat burning, you must first know how your body burns its daily amount of calories.

Approximately 60 to 70% of the energy we absorb from our food is used to let our hearts beat, breathe and allow our brain and organ to function. In short, a large part of the energy is used to keep us alive. Of the remaining 30%, 10 to 15% is used for digestion. The last 15 to 20% is used for all other physical exercise: standing, walking, running, exercising…

When you don’t exercise a lot, your muscles use very little energy. 8% in comparison to 15 to 20% for people who are more active.

So if you eat just as much as the more active people, you’re creating an energy surplus. And this energy surplus is usually being converted into fat.

To reduce the energy surplus you can choose to “go on a diet” or you can exercise more. The major problem with most “diets” is that they are unable to prevent the yo-yo effect. However, people who exercise a lot are less affected by the yo-yo effect and can eat more without gaining weight. This is why exercising increases your chances at long term weight loss.

How To Get More Exercise

There’s are many different methods to exercise. Below are some fairly easy-to-implement ways to incorperate exercise into your lifestyle:

Tips To Increase Your Exercise

  • lose weight through exercisego for a walk more often
  • go dancing
  • run or cycle if your destination is close to home
  • walk to the next station after missing the bus
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • if you make a lot of phone calls, you can walk around while calling
  • clean your house more often
  • work in the garden
  • wash your car by hand

Sports

The most obvious way to get to more exercise and and lose weight is by doing sports. Sports is a worldwide phenomenon that you either love or hate. There’s only a small group of people who are doing sports to stay healthy while not really being into it.

For people who aren’t into sports, persevering is often difficult. Quitting quickly also demotivates people. That’s why you should only start a sport if you’re certain that you’ll persevere for a long time. Having a buddy or trainer who can set up a training schedule can help you to achieve more success.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not good to try out something new. Being an “athlete” is all about the mindset. If you don’t like that sport, it won’t demotivate you since you already knew that it was just a try-out.

How To Make Sports Fun

How To Get Started

There are several options when it comes to sports. You can choose to exercise by yourself or go to a gym or club. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A gym or club for instance costs money, but there’s guidance or friends that can motivate you. If you sport by yourself, you have complete control which allows to exercise whenever you like.

Regardless of how you exercise, the most important thing is that you take it slow and set realistic goals.

If you go jogging for example, you’ll have start with a short lap and then build it up gradually to longer distances and/or a faster pace.

Don’t expect miracles and don’t give up too fast. It’s much better to adjust your goals instead of just quitting. Make your lap a bit shorter if you feel like it’s too long for you. Or slow down your pace to what is acceptable for you. On the other hand, you can also increase your pace or distance if you feel like you’re getting more fit.

How To Persevere

Getting started is usually not the problem, but persevering is a lot harder. A lot of different things should motivate you to get fit. Think for instance about the fact that a lack of exercise increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other diseases that are related to unhealthy lifestyles.

Additionally, exercising improves your mood and makes you more energetic. It also impoves your sleep and most importantly… it simply makes you healthy and fit!

Are You A Quitter?

People mainly tend to focus on results-oriented goals such as losing weight or having slim legs. But if you also focus on process-oriented goals such as feeling great and eating healthy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be much easier.

So don’t just pay attention to those pounds and inches, but also focus on yourself and the energy that exercising and eating healthy gives you.

Which Sports Are Best To Lose Weight

Sports can be divided into cardio (running, cycling, swimming) and muscle workouts.

Muscle workouts are the most effective exercises to lose weight. It’s best to train your major muscle groups: the arms and legs. There are more benefits to muscle workouts besides burning calories. After your training, you’ll benefit from a phenomenom which is called “the afterburn effect”. Up to 39 hours after your workout, your muscles are still burning calories. This makes muscle workouts more effective than cardio training when it comes to burning fat!

Any sport that requires physical efforts is suitable to lose weight. However, not every sport is as appropriate! As previously mentioned, muscle workouts are more effective than cardio training. In addition, there are also disctinctions within cardio. For example, there are differences in the amount of calories you burn with different sports.

Below is an overview of some sports and the amount of calories they burn.

Calories per hour (for a 155 lbs./70 kg. person, bigger people burn more calories):

  • lose weight through exerciseWalking: up to 300
  • Running: 300 – 450
  • Cycling: 300 to 400
  • Dancing: up to 400
  • Tennis: 500
  • Rowing: up to 550
  • Swimming : 600
  • Squash: 600
  • Boxing: up to 700

Tips

The most important thing is to prevent injuries. Always warm up first and use good gear during exercising (running shoes for instance)! Don’t eat too much before exericising. Have a meal that includes more carbs and less fat approximately 2 hours before your workout. If you’re hungry during your workout, your best choice would be a muesli bar or even a piece of fruit. Also avoid energy drinks, but opt for water to hydrate yourself.

The Health Benefits Of Exercising

Exercising offers many health benefits. So losing weight should definitely not be the only reason to exercise:

  • Sports and exercise are the best preventive medicine.
  • Physical activity reduces stress and tension.
  • Sports and exercise are the best methods to prevent a mild depression.
  • Exercise increases your strength and boosts your metabolism.
  • Exercice increases your stamina. It helps you feel fit and less tired.
  • Exercise provides you with stronger bones.
  • Through physical activity, your body is disposing waste faster, which is good for your health.
  • Exercising makes your skin healthier.