Me, you, and many others have at one point or another sought out the “best” exercise for fat loss (as well as for other goals I’m sure).
We all seem to want results now and NOT tomorrow.
In a world where we can get just about anything delivered to our door in a relatively short period of time, our ability to wait for the things we want continues to dwindle.
Because of this lack of patience, we tend to seek out which workout will burn the most calories, strategies that will allow us to burn fat all day long and in general what works best.
The TRUTH, however, is that “best” is a relative term so looking for what was best for another is usually not the right path (just because it was best for THEM does not mean it will be best for YOU).
What IS the Best Exercise for Weight Loss
Truly, the “best” exercise is that which you enjoy doing and will stick with long-term!
Let me explain…
The key in losing weight is to put ourselves in a caloric deficit through decreased energy intake and increased energy expenditure.
Therefore, the best exercise for you is that which allows you to continue doing it consistently and/or long-term so that you have a continually increased energy expenditure.
“An important point is that it does not matter what type of physical activity is performed: Sports, planned exercise, household or yard work, or occupational tasks are all beneficial. The key factor is total energy expenditure; if that is constant, improvements in fitness and health will be comparable.”. (1)
“The key factor is total energy expenditure..”
Key Focus Points:
-Best is a relative term. Do not worry about what is the best exercise, just find a type of physical activity that you enjoy and can see yourself continuing long-term. Whether participating in a hobby such as tennis, basketball, flag football, or gardening for 30 minutes everyday, just be active!
-Though, generally I believe the most effective exercise program should consist of a mix of strength, cardiovascular, and flexibility/mobility training, physical activity (in any form) IS KEY (regarding general health, fitness and weight loss)!! Worry first about getting accustomed to being more active and then worry about perfecting your regimen later down the road (once being more physically active is habitual).
-An exercise program is of little to no value if it CANNOT BE SUSTAINED and because any physical activity influences energy expenditure and energy expenditure directly influences body weight, just moving more would be beneficial to our health and/or body composition.
Some advice on exercise:
-Start slow! One of the biggest mistakes people make is going too fast. Slowly and strategically add exercise sessions each week. Jumping right into 5, 60 minute sessions a week is usually going too quickly so try something such as one to two 30 minute sessions a week or three to five 10-15 minute sessions a week. Those or something similar, would be much better starting points.
-Do your best to make a SUSTAINABLE plan that includes a mix of resistance, cardio, and flexibility training. You can do this by mixing these three (or 2 of them into the same session). Resistance exercise followed by 10-20 minutes of stretching. Or resistance exercise followed by 10-20 minutes of walking.
-Do NOT neglect resistance training! Aim for 2-3 days a week (starting with just 1 session and increasing frequency and duration as you become accustomed to the exercise).
-If you find yourself continually falling away from your exercise plan and going back to your old habits, change things up. Continue to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, what you enjoy and what you do not. Remember the “most effective” exercise regimen is the one YOU enjoy and can continue long-term.
Whether regarding exercise, diet, or any other aspect of health and fitness, best and worst are relative terms.
Do not stress yourself out trying to find special workouts or those that claim to burn the most calories. Instead, always remember the best exercise program is the one which you enjoy and can sustain long-term.
Truly, the “best” exercise for YOU to lose weight is that which you enjoy and can stick with long-term!
The key to losing weight is a negative energy balance (i.e, expending more calories than you take in).
Exercise and/or physical activity is one of the ways we can control the energy out part of the equation (while also carrying with it many more health benefits).
Keep it simple and just move more in a way that you enjoy!