The Best Form of Exercise for Weight Loss

by Nicki Howell

About Nicki Howell

Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.

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Exercise helps you shed pounds more quickly than dieting alone, but it also assists with stress reduction and leaves you feeling happier and more energetic throughout the day. Physical activity reduces risk for chronic disease, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, according to MayoClinic.com. Selecting the form of exercise that is best for you is important to increasing weight loss and getting the most from your workout sessions.

High-Intensity Cardio

Burning the most calories possible during your workout session will assist with faster weight loss. However, not all activities burn the same amount of calories. High-impact aerobics burns 533 calories per hour for a 160 lb. person, compared to low-impact aerobics, which burns only 365 calories a session. Another option is rollerblading, which burns 548 calories in a single hour. If you enjoy playing sports, get involved at your community center and play basketball or singles tennis, both of which burns 584 calories an hour.

Circuit Training

If you get bored easily with workouts, try circuit training. During this activity, you complete several different exercises, which fights boredom and burns 30 percent more calories, according to “Fitness” magazine. Select several different types of strength-training exercises, targeting your major muscle groups. Then, add an intense aerobic activity, such as jogging or jumping rope. Start with the aerobic activity for a couple minutes, and then switch to a strength-training exercise. Complete this rotation for about 30 minutes, selecting a new type of strength-training movement for each interval.

Interval Training

Interval training is an effective way to burn more calories without spending more time working out. Athletes use this approach to get stronger and leaner. Select two different types of similar activities, such as walking and jogging. Complete the less-intense activity for a few minutes, then switch to the more intense activity for a few minutes. Complete this rotation for at least 30 minutes, to build stronger muscles and increase calorie burning.

Building Muscle

If your cardiovascular session does not include strength-training movements, such as circuit training, carve out time for these exercises weekly. Building stronger muscles not only burns calories during the workout, but you will also benefit from an increased metabolism so you'll burn more calories when not working out. Strength training also helps to develop stronger bones and improve focus. For weight loss, select exercises for each of the major muscle groups, such as the abdominals, legs, buttocks, back and chest.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.