Exercise Is Good for You, But Does It Really Affect Weight Loss?

2. High-intensity interval training

HIIT gives you a well-rounded workout while burning a ton of fat and calories. “HIIT workouts can vary greatly, from 500 calories per hour to 1500-plus calories per hour for an 180-lb man,” says Ryan.

“HIIT workouts are great because of the intensity of each exercise as well as the variation of exercises and reps.” Pairing any body-weight movement with a weighted movement and a traditional cardio element and you have the perfect recipe for an amazing fat-burner.

The best way to do it: Look for Tabata, HIIT, high-impact aerobic, and vigorous interval classes using weights at your local gym. No gym or class? Check out these 10 HIIT workouts to get shredded. Be sure to keep rest periods to a minimum to really maximize your efforts.

25 of the Best Exercises to Lose Weight and Fat, Backed by Research and Science


The king of compound exercises, there’s not much a well-performed deadlift can’t do. Be sure to mobilise and warm-up with lighter loads before you hit your working sets, otherwise you’ll put yourself at risk of injury. But here’s the beauty of it: as a compound exercise, the barbell deadlift will hit multiple muscle groups all at once, including your quads, hamstrings, arms, abs and grip strength.

By challenging yourself with progressively heavier weights, you’ll increase your lean muscle mass to, in time, increase your metabolic rate — your body’s process of burning fat.

Here’s a handy tip, too: vary your grip technique between overhand, underhand and hook (one over, one under) to avoid your forearms giving out before your legs do.


— Squat down and grasp a barbell with your hands roughly shoulder-width apart

— Keep your chest up, pull your shoulders back and look straight ahead as you lift the bar

— Focus on taking the weight back onto your heels and keep the bar as close as possible to your body at all times

— Lift to thigh level, pause, then return under control to the start position

If you’ve clicked on this article, it probably means that you want to know about the best exercises for weight loss. The first thing to know is that in order to lose weight, you need to actually get up and move. You simply can’t go to the gym, sit on a leg-extension machine, and expect to drop 10 pounds, Tilita Lutterloh, performance coach and certified nutritionist, tells Woman’s Day.

Another thing to know is that exercise must be accompanied by a healthy diet and a positive mind set. The first step on this weight loss journey is to ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Do you want to burn fat? If so, why? Do you want to simply lead a healthier lifestyle, or do you want to be stronger?

And don’t forget — consistency is key. “In order to efficiently lose fat, you must be active for at least 5 hours a week while also making sure you give your body enough time to recover,” Lutterloh says.

With all of these things in mind, here are the best exercises to lose weight and burn fat, according to Lutterloh.


Menopause is likely to hit in your 50s.

The average age for menopause in the United States is 52, according to the Office on Women’s Health, and those hormonal changes can bring a number of health changes too. Some of the symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, problems sleeping, irregular periods and bleeding, vaginal dryness or infection, and depression and anxiety.

After menopause, the ovaries produce much lower levels of estrogen, and having less estrogen in the body can cause women to lose bone mass at a much faster rate, putting them at a higher risk for the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis. The breaking down of bones can also set off other health conditions. According to the Office on Women’s Health, the lead people are exposed to throughout their lives is stored in their bones, and “because bone begins to break down much more quickly after menopause, that lead is more likely to be released into the blood,” which can affect kidney function, and put women at risk of lead poisoning, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries.

One in three women in their 50s also experiences stress incontinence, or “urine loss while coughing or sneezing,” according to the AARP, which is often the result of decreased estrogen and vaginal deliveries. Many also experience dry eye and have to start using reading glasses.

Because 91 percent of cases of colorectal cancer are in people 50 and older, Dr. Adeniran says women should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 50.


While lying in bed: Do half-bridges.

HOW TO: Lie on your back (no pillow), knees bent and feet flat on the bed. Tighten your stomach muscles, squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips, aiming to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for 15 seconds. (Work up to 30 seconds.) Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat 3 times.

WORKS: Glutes, hips, abs and back


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Focus on having a great day.

«You can train yourself to wake up thinking happy thoughts,» says Ling. Instead of ruminating on unanswered emails or upcoming conference calls, envision something you’re looking forward to, relive a happy memory, or set a positive intention for the day ahead, such as «I’m ready to get up and create a wonderful day.»


Double the workout in half the time! Hold a weight in each hand with your arms extended straight down by your sides, back straight and abs pulled in. Step your left leg behind you about three feet. Then bend your right knee so it’s at a 90-degree angle, with the left knee pointing down toward the floor as you lift your weight forward to shoulder level. Then come back up and switch sides. Alternate legs repeatedly for 1 minute.

BENEFIT: Firms the entire body, with extra focus on your arms and shoulders, hips, thighs and buttocks and your entire core!


5. You can apply to this cool get-healthy program.

If you dream of having a personal weight loss coach, now’s your chance. Apply here for the Woman’s Day Live Longer {amp}amp; Stronger Challenge, which provides ongoing nutrition and exercise counseling from nutrition expert Joy Bauer, RDN (as well as the chance to appear in a future issue of Woman’s Day magazine!). Don’t wait—the application process ends soon!


Goalpost Press (5 Minutes)

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms up and out to the sides, elbows bent with palms facing forward («goalpost» position). Press arms overhead, keeping biceps close to ears, then pull back to goalpost. Repeat.

WALK BRISKLY (5 minutes)

7. Jumping Rope

There’s a reason the jump rope is a mainstay in a boxer’s training regimen: it’s cheap, easy to do, increases foot speed, and burns a ton of calories. Think of your favorite boxers, wrestlers, and fighters—they all jump rope.

“Jumping rope not only enhances your footwork, shoulder strength, and coordination, but also simulates sprinting, allowing you to burn as much as 500 calories in just 30 minutes,” says Ben Boudro, C.S.C.S., owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, MI..

The best way to burn fat with a jump rope: While very few people can jump rope for 30 minutes straight, it’s best to do intervals of fast and slow jumps to keep you going. Can’t do that very well?

Jump as fast as you can for one minute, then rest for 20-30 seconds. Repeat until you’re done. If you’re a frequent traveler, throw a jump rope in your suitcase for a great workout without ever having to leave the hotel room.

8. Stair Climber

A stair climber offers another popular way to burn fat and calories, but only about 500-600 calories for an 180-lb. man at a moderate pace. “Because of the higher leg lift involved, climbing stairs uses significantly more muscles than just walking—strengthening your legs in a functional way,” says Adams.

The best way to burn fat on a stair climber: “Try incorporating 90% or more effort on the stair climber for 30 seconds with a one- to two-minute ‘active recovery,’ like a farmer carry with medium-weight kettlebells or dumbbells to incorporate upper body and core strength,” says Ryan.

9. Running (moderate pace)

Running at a steady, moderate pace is a sure way to burn fat and calories, but it’s not the most economical way to build or even maintain muscle.

“By the numbers, a 180-lb. man can burn about 940 calories in an hour while running an 8.5-minute-per-mile pace—or 7 mph on the treadmill for an hour,” says Ryan. “This would be a nice, long run to do every couple of weeks to keep up your aerobic capacity, but it involves a lot of mileage for the time and effort put in.” The cons:

Running at this pace can also break down muscle and subject your body to lots of pounding. “If you’re looking to add in a long run every once in awhile, by all means do so, just opt for trails or softer surfaces than cement and blacktop,” he says.

The best way to burn fat on a long run: If you’re running on a treadmill, set the incline to 2-3% to simulate running outside, suggests Adams. “This burns more calories and may actually be easier on the knees.

Effects on Appetite May Vary by Individual

Physical activity may influence the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is also known as «the hunger hormone» because of the way it drives your appetite.

Interestingly, studies show that appetite is suppressed after intense exercise. This is known as «exercise anorexia» and seems tied to a decrease in ghrelin.

However, ghrelin levels go back to normal after around half an hour.

So although there is a link between appetite and ghrelin, it doesn’t seem to influence how much you actually eat (34).

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