Obesity is a chronic disease that has spread epidemically both in developed and developing countries. In Brazil, for example, the percentage of obese and overweight people has increased by 50 times in 30 years. Mostly, old people are the victim of this disease but about 40% of the adults also have some degree of weight excess, and 10% are obese. However certain strategies and weight loss exercises have been developed to cater this problem.

Obesity is the source of many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, Diabetes, Cancer, Heart diseases, Heart stroke, Gallbladder diseases, Gall stone, Osteoarthritis and breathing problems that’s why obesity should be recognized as a disease and treated accordingly. Different exercises for weight loss reduce the risks associated with these diseases. 

 Energy balance:

Before we move to describe the effective exercises for weight loss we should learn about the energy balance and how it is important for weight loss. Obesity is the result of excessive energy intake as compared to the energy used. To lose weight this energy difference should be addressed effectively. And To maintain the lost weight, energy balance should also be maintained. This should be done by carefully choosing what you eat, how much calories you take per day and how many calories you burn. 

Exercises for weight loss:

There are very few choices a person can make to address negative energy balance for weight loss or to maintain energy balance to keep the lost weight. One of the important methods for weight loss is through diet but by using diet it is very difficult to maintain the lost weight so it does not provide the long term solution. According to the studies, over 50% of the individuals who lose weight through diet regain it eventually. 

Exercise, under voluntary control, is the only solution to balance the energy for weight loss and maintenance of the lost weight. Moreover, weight loss and maintenance is directly proportional to the calories burnt per day as depicted in the figure.


Now, Let’s take a look at the different type of exercises for weight loss.

Aerobic exercises:

Aerobics on mats

Aerobic exercises are physical exercises of low to high intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. The word “Aerobic” means “relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. These are some aerobic exercises that help in weight loss.

  • WalkingWoman runner walking on field in morning

Walking is one of the best exercises for those who want to lose weight. It is a very easy and convenient way for the beginners as it does not require any equipment. It is also a low impact exercise as it does not put too much stress on joints.

According to Harvard studies, it’s observed that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns almost 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a normal pace of 4 mph (6.4 km/h). Walking should be included in your daily routine adding some steps every day.

  • Jogging/running 

Running woman

Once you get used to walking, start jogging as it is a very effective workout for weight loss and burns more calories than walking. The small difference between jogging and running is the pace of a person but the result is the same. 

Harvard experts state that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 298 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a 5-mph (8-km/h) pace, or 372 calories per 30 minutes of running at a 6-mph (9.7-km/h) pace. Jogging and running are also effective for losing belly fat.

  • Swimming

Male swimmer swims on workout in swimming pool

Swimming is a little harder than walking and running but it is very effective for weight loss and getting in shape. 

Harvard studies claim that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns almost 233 calories per half hour of swimming. So, 30 minutes of swimming burns enough calories to get in shape real fast. This is a low impact exercise that means it does not put too much stress on joints.

  • Cycling

Mature couple cycling

Cycling is a very useful exercise done for fitness and weight loss. Traditionally cycling is done outdoor but nowadays cycling machines are available in indoor gyms and fitness centers. 

Harvard experts claim that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 260 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a normal pace, or 298 calories per 30 minutes on a bicycle at a moderate pace of 12–13.9 mph (19–22.4 km/h).

Cycling Is not only effective for weight loss but it also prevents many diseases such as cancer, heart attack, and osteoarthritis. 


Strength Exercises:


Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, size of skeletal muscles and bone density.

  • Weight lifting

young sporty woman with trainer exercise weights lifting

Weight lifting is very popular among individuals who are looking for losing weight as well as strengthening their muscles.

According to Harvard studies, it’s calculated that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns roughly 112 calories per 30 minutes of weight lifting. 

Weight lifting enhances muscle strength and muscle growth that increases the metabolic rate of an individual as well calories burnt during rest. The advantage of the strength exercise over aerobic exercise is that it continues burning calories even after weight lifting workout. Weight lifting is also considered a fat-burning workout.

Other strength exercises include:

  • PushupsDumbbell row
  • Bench step-ups
  • Lunge and front raise
  • Incline dumbbell press
  • Squats

These exercises burn an immense number of calories and are very helpful in weight loss, belly fat loss, thigh fat loss, and muscle strengthening. 


Flexibility Exercises:

Flexible female yoga trainer

Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion. This includes stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles and may include activities like yoga or pilates. Improving your flexibility can help you move more comfortably throughout the day.

  • Yoga

Yoga on the beach

Yoga is a very popular workout for weight loss and stress relieving. Generally, Yoga is not considered as weight loss exercise but it helps in burning calories that promote weight loss.

Harvard studies show that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 149 calories per 30 minutes of practicing yoga.

Apart from burning calories, yoga helps to improve physical and mental health. Many fitness centers offer yoga classes but it can be done anywhere.

  • Pilates

Young woman practicing pilates indoors

Pilates is a type of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. It emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength, and muscle balance.

A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise depicts that, a person weighing around 140 pounds (64 kg) would burn 108 calories at a 30-minute beginner’s class, or 168 calories at an advanced class of the same duration.

It is a type of flexibility exercise and helps individuals improve their strength, endurance flexibility, balance, and overall fitness level. It also helps in reducing lower back pain.


So, these were the type of exercises that help an individual losing weight. It should be kept in mind that you cannot lose weight can not be lost or reduced overnight. Also, many other factors affect the pace at which an individual loses weight. These factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Initial weight
  • Diet 
  • Sleep 
  • Physical condition
  • Genetics
  • Daily time allocated for exercise
  • Mental health

Although most people want to lose weight quickly, health experts often recommend losing 1–3 pounds (0.5–1.36 kg), or approximately 1% of your body weight, per week. Also, people who lose weight fast are prone to regaining it. So, maintaining weight is more important and difficult than losing it.


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