best exercises workouts to lose weight

Regular exercise is a necessary part of losing weight and also maintaining ideal body weight. Exercise can help prevent diseases and boost overall mood. Incorporating exercise in your weight loss program increases your chances of success rather than depending on diet alone.

This article documents my own road of discovery and aims to help you choose the best exercises, for your level of fitness and select workouts and activities that will allow you to burn as many calories as possible in the time you have available for exercise.

We are all busy and want to maximize our efforts, so if you are not sure which physical activity to choose to lose weight fast, this guide is for you.

The 20 exercises and workouts described below are safe and also fun for beginners to exercise. By beginners, I refer to all those people who haven’t exercised in years.

These workouts are also designed to help you develop foundational fitness and cardiovascular base to get fitter, stronger and also reach your weight loss goals. They are also ideal for people with busy schedules that leave them with little or no time to exercise.

I you want to speed up your weight loss you might want to try weight loss tea and invest in a sweet sweat waist trimmer. This waist trimmer belt can be worn while doing almost any exercise. You can read my sweet sweat review here.

Before you begin any exercise regimen, be sure to check with your doctor or fitness instructor if the selected plan is appropriate for you. If needed, wait for a complete evaluation and medical report before you begin. Once your doctor deems you ready, begin the workout you like at a slow and steady pace and then gradually build up on it.

If you do exercise currently, you can either continue doing what you do or cut your current plan in half to add other workouts described below. You can then choose to build back on the original workout after the first three weeks of below workouts.

Not all of us are in great physical shape so some of the exercises described below may not be suitable - for example - running could take a toll on the knees and back. But the aim of this guide is to discuss the best exercises and workouts for weight loss, who they are suitable for, the number of calories you can burn with them and also why they are the ideal exercises to lose weight fast.

Discover how how to choose the #bestexercise to #loseweight fast in the time you have available for fitness.

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I also recommend incorporating other physical activities in your daily schedule - such as gardening, house cleaning and running errands - these can also help you burn calories besides these workouts. That is the main reason why I have included them in the list as well.

So, without further delay, here are 20 best exercises to lose weight quickly.

1. Running

Why is it good?

Running is an excellent and popular exercise to lose weight quickly. Not only do you burn calories faster through running, you end up with a better looking body.

  • Running is a high intensity workout.
  • Runners can reduce blood pressure and decrease heart rate.
  • Runners tend to age slower than non-runners. Male runners develop musculoskeletal problems at a 40% lower rate than non-runners.
  • Running can actually lead to fewer doctor visits and lower medical bills.
Who is it good for?

Anyone who can walk for 20-30 minutes can take up running. That being said, people having heart disease, lung problems, pregnancy etc. must talk to their doctor about running.

Also, running itself will not cause knee problems. However, if during running you experience knee pain to an extent that it changes the way you run, then you must consult a doctor. It is an old wives tale that running causes arthritis.

How many calories can you burn with running?

The number of calories you burn from running depends on the methods of running used, the number of kilometres you run, your pace as well as your body weight. On an average, runners who maintain a  10 km (6 mile) per hour pace can easily burn up to 557 calories in one hour. Simple jogging can help you burn 398 calories per hour.

2. Treadmill

Why is it good?

Treadmill is a complete cardiovascular workout.

  • Treadmill rounds are ideal for people of all ages.
  • You can easily pace your workouts based on your time availability and your weight loss goals.
  • You can select the warm up and cool down periods as well as the pace, incline and speed.
  • Treadmill access allows you to work out on days you cannot go outside due to bad weather.
  • Some treadmills come with step counters and heart rate monitors.
Who is it good for?
  • Treadmill rounds are great for anyone who can afford a treadmill or have access to one in a local gym.
  • However, treadmills may not be suitable for professional runners, since they do not offer the same air resistance that you normally face outdoors. Those looking for strength training may not find treadmill rounds suiting their needs.
  • Treadmill can eventually get monotonous, but you can always use certain means to make treadmill rounds interesting. For example, listening to good music or competing with fellow weight watchers is a good idea. You can do so by using smart watches and fitness trackers.
  • Heart patients and pregnant women must exercise the same caution they normally would when running outdoors.
How many calories can you burn with treadmills?

You can easily find out how many calories you burned with treadmill rounds at 10% incline at the rate of 4 km (2.5 miles) per hour here. On an average, an 80 kg (175 pound) adult can burn 84 calories in a single 10 minute treadmill round.

3. Swimming

Why is it good?
  • If you are looking for an exercise that give you the ability to do more with less, then swimming is your answer. When you are immersed in water up to the waist, your body bears just 50% of its weight. This makes swimming a resistance exercise that increases muscle tone and strength.
  • With every stroke you lengthen the body and the broad range of motions in swimming improves flexibility of joints.
  • Swimming also strengthens the heart and leads to better circulation.
  • Apart from weight loss, swimming can reduce asthma symptoms and give you improved immunity to chronic and seasonal illnesses.
  • Thanks to the aerobic nature of swimming exercises, you can reduce overall cholesterol levels and raise good/HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Not only can it prevent type 2 diabetes, swimming is also great for people having type 1 diabetes as it increases insulin sensitivity.
Who is it good for?
  • Swimming is a low impact exercise that is good even for heart patients. In fact; new research is showing that swimming is terrific for your heart.
  • Water based activities are also easier on the joints- so even patients with cervical spondylosis or other joint issues can also take up swimming.
  • Swimming is also ideal for pregnant women as it makes them feel less bloated.
  • In short: anyone from 6 months to 90 years can take up swimming. It is an ideal exercise for reluctant exercisers.
How many calories can you burn?

Every 10 minutes of swimming enables you to burn up to 100 calories. More specifically here are the rates:

  • 10 minutes of breast stroke will burn 60 calories,
  • Backstroke will torch 80 calories,
  • Freestyle lights 100 calories and
  • Butterfly stroke incinerates a massive 150 calories.

Swimming is fun and an ideal activity for losing weight all year round. The best part about swimming is that you can incorporate numerous fun aquatic workouts and refreshing ways to burn calories.

​Swimming has been my favourite cardiovascular exercise that helped me lose weight. Read my article about swimming for weight loss and why I chose it over walking and running.

4. Walking

Why is it good?
  • Walking has numerous benefits that vary from physical to mental and psychological benefits.
  • It relieves stress and reduces lifetime risk of chronic health conditions.
  • It can eliminate risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
  • Walking improves muscular strength and endurance.
  • It helps burns calories and maintains ideal body weight.
  • It promotes bone mass and maintenance.
Who is it good for?
  • Walking is recommended for everyone: heart patients, diabetics, pregnant women etc.
  • Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes daily.
  • For obese patients, it is recommended to walk for 45 minutes to one hour per day.
  • For sustained weight loss, walk for 60-90 minutes and 5-6 times a week.
How many calories can you burn?
  • 70 kg (154 lb) person walking at the rate of 5.6 km (3.5 miles) per hour will burn 280 calories in 1 hour. The same person walking at 7.2 km (4.5 miles) per hour will burn approximately 460 calories.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. A person weighing 68 kg (150 lb) doing this activity 5 times a week for 5 minutes per day will burn 149 calories.
  • The total calories burned per mile depend on many factors such as speed of walking, etc. On an average, one can easily burn 100 calories per mile (1.6 km).
  • Keep in mind that if you want to lose a lot of weight, walking a dog or going for a short walk after work now and then, will not be sufficient to burn calories necessary for fast weight loss.

Aim to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.

5. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

What is it?
  • HIIT sessions involve repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times.
  • The intense workouts can range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long depending on the person’s maximum heart rate.
  • The workout continues with alternating work and relief periods totalling to 20 to 60 seconds.
Why is it good?
  • HIIT has been known to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
  • It can also regulate blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
  • It increases insulin sensitivity.
  • It is known to improve cholesterol profiles.
  • It reduces abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass.
Who is it good for?

HIIT can be modified for people with all kinds of fitness levels.

  • It is also useful for people with different health conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
  • HIIT workouts can also be performed on all workout modes such as cycling, walking, swimming, elliptical etc.
  • HIIT must be customized based on 80% of estimated heart rate. The intensity of recovery period should be 40-50%of estimated maximum heart rate.
  • Persons who have led largely sedentary lives or are generally inactive might have increased risk of coronary disease risk.
  • Prior to beginning HIIT program, do establish a base fitness level. Also talk to your fitness instructor if this program is right for you.
How many calories are burnt?

There is report saying that you can burn nearly 15 calories per minute with HIIT. Depending on the workouts you choose, you can even burn up to 900 calories in half an hour.

6. Les Mills BODYPUMP

What is it?
  • BODYPUMP™ is a music based workout developed by Les Mills.
  • It is a choreographed high repetition, resistance training workout that gives calorie burning and fat burning benefits.
  • The exercise is best done in a group because people tend to train harder and longer when they are together.
Why is it good?
  • Apart from weight loss, Les Mills BODYPUMP can give you improved aerobic fitness, muscular gains and improved stamina.
  • It can also give you positive psychological benefits and help to prevent osteoporosis.
Who is it good for?
  • BODYPUMP is a muscle building workout for men and women of all fitness levels and is fun to do.
  • The workout routines are ideal for men looking to bulk up which does not mean that ladies will also bulk up. The workout is designed to tone and shape up the body so that women can still look great in dresses.
  • There may be some chances of injuries in staying at par with the music tracks, so elderly people with joint problems must exercise caution.
  • As with any exercise, patients with cardiovascular disease or hypertension must talk to their physician whether BODYPUMP is right for them.
How many calories are burnt with it?
  • Reports show that males can burn an average of 483.1 calories and females an average of 338.9 calories per BODYPUMP session. This equates to 8.4 calories per minute for males and 5.9 calories per minute for females.
  • Maximum calorie burning of 424 (for females) and 603 (for males) has been reported.

Everyone should be doing some sort of resistance training and BODYPUMP is my workout of choice. I absolutely love BODYPUMP as it helped me to tone my body and develop strength and fitness.

[pullquote align=”right”]Keep in mind that if you want to lose a lot of weight, walking a dog or going for a short walk after work now and then, will not be sufficient to burn calories necessary for fast weight loss. [/pullquote]

BODYPUMP sessions are run in many fitness centres around the world. Just find a good instructor and watch your body transform.

If you are in the area where such classes are not available, buy a body pump barbell and a step and follow an on line video class from home.

7. Aerobics

What is it?

Any exercise that retains the heart rate at 60-90% of the maximum heart rate is considered aerobic activity. If your heart rate is lower than that, then aerobic levels are not reached. If the heart rate is higher than that, then it is at anaerobic levels. Even leisure time activities like gardening and walking the dog are aerobic activities that are suitable for patients who are not aerobically fit.

Why is it good?
  • Aerobic exercises such as cycling, walking, swimming, tennis, water or hydro exercises can all increase cardiovascular endurance.
  • The heart muscles are strengthened and enlarged increasing pumping efficiency and facilitating transport of oxygen throughout the body.
  • It can improve breathing by strengthening muscles involved in respiration.
  • Combined with healthy diet and strength training exercises, aerobic exercises can help reduce weight.
  • It gives improved mental strength.
  • It can improve your immune system by preparing the body to fight illnesses.
  • Long term aerobic activities can reduce fatigue and improve stamina.
Who is it good for?
  • Aerobic exercises can be taken up by people of all ages and at all levels of fitness.
  • Cardiovascular patients must exercise caution when participating in sudden stop and go activities.
  • Aerobic activities like shovelling heavy wet snow are known to elicit major increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
How many calories can you burn?
  • Water aerobics for 1 hour will enable a 160 pound/73 kilogram person to burn approximately 402 calories.
  • Low impact aerobics can burn 365 calories for the same person.
  • High impact aerobics for 1 hour can help the same person burn 533 calories.

8. Kettlebells

What is it?

Russian Kettle bells workout is a relatively modern workout which can be considered to be a combination of high intensity cardio and American ingenuity.

Why is it good?
  • It offers a complete body workout.
  • It is serious cardio without the boredom of a treadmill that also combines strength training.
  • It does not have long poses but offers complete flexibility.
  • It is fun and varied.
  • The kettle bell is a compact device which is easy to carry and store.
Who is it good for?

Kettlebell is great for the serious athlete as well as the sedentary person looking for ways to discover fitness for the first time. However, you must learn the proper techniques of using the kettlebells as improper use can put great deal of stress on the lower back.

If you have reduced mobility and lower back issues then work on developing mobility first before doing these exercises.

As with any exercise, people above the age of 50, or those having pre-existing medical conditions should talk to their physician before taking up this workout.

How many calories can you burn with it?

According to the American Council of Exercise, you can burn 400 calories with just 20 minutes of kettlebells.

9. Les Mills Step Aerobics (BODYSTEP)

What is it?
  • BODYSTEP™ is a full body cardio workout akin to climbing up and down the steps. It uses a height adjustable step for group workouts.
  • It is known to tone butt and thighs.
  • You can sign up for 55, 45 or 30 minute BODYSTEP sessions.
  • A typical session begins with a warm up, followed by basic movements where you learn to take the steps correctly. This is followed by two fitness peaks with recovery time and a third cardio peak that is quite challenging. In the final peak, you do some floor exercises to tone abdominal and upper body muscles.
Why is it good?
  • BODYSTEP pushes fat burning into high gear and can get the heart rate up.
  • Not only do you burn calories, you also tone and shape up butt and thighs and improve coordination and agility.
Who is it good for?

BODYSTEP is great for people with all fitness levels. Cardiac patients and people with hypertension must talk to their doctor before taking it up. Pregnant women can safely do this exercise up to their second trimester. Again, it is best to consult your OB/GYN if the workout is right for you.

How many calories can you burn with it?

Moderate to high step cardio workout can help you burn 620 calories in 55 minutes.

10. Cycling

Cycling, both indoors on a stationary bike and outdoors, is a great catalyst for weight loss and maintaining ideal weight. It is fun, simple and costs a lot less than a gym membership.

Why is it good?
  • Just 30 minutes of cycling per day can prevent obesity and diabetes according to a report by the World Health Organization. You do not even have to do it all together, you could cycle 15 minutes to work and back in the evening.
  • By cycling at faster pace and higher intensity, you could burn 3 and a half times more body fat than cycling at slow pace.
  • Cycling is complete cardiovascular workout that can strengthen your lungs over time.
  • Employees who cycle to work or to lunch actually increase productivity and improve time management.
  • Being an aerobic activity, cycling is also great for the brain.
  • Mild to moderate intensity workout on a stationary bike boosts the feel good endorphins and counter stress.
  • It can be a great wake-up activity on days you are feeling sleepy or fatigued to exercise.
  • It is a low impact exercise for people having joint issues. It can prevent arthritis and osteoporosis.
Who is it good for?

Cycling can be taken up by people of all ages and fitness levels. In the young, it can prevent obesity and boost brain power. In women, it helps tone butt and thighs and also strengthens postural muscles in the back and abdomen. It is a great social sport that can be done in groups. Mums and dads can ride with their kids keeping the entire family active and energetic.

How many calories can you burn with it?
  • 30 minute moderate intensity bike ride can help burn 300 calories. (Source
  • Daily cycling meets an average adult’s recommended daily exercise requirement.

11. Gardening

Surprised to see gardening in the list of best workouts for weight loss? You shouldn’t be! Regular contact with plants and nature improves mental and physical well being.

Why is it good?
  • Increases physical fitness and burns calories.
  • Increases organic fruit and vegetable consumption in adults and kids who grow their own food.
  • Contributes to social interaction.
  • Helps people with chronic illnesses such as asthma or allergies as well as those undergoing cancer treatment to cope with physically and mentally challenging circumstances.
  • Alleviates symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Reduces reliance on drugs, psychiatric intervention and self harming behaviour in people with emotional and mental issues.
  • It's fantastic to keep seniors fit and active.
Who is it good for?

Old and young alike can participate in this low impact activity. It is great for everyone; kids, adults and even the elderly. Even pregnant women can safely take up gardening as long as they do not carry heavy objects or participate in strenuous digging etc.

How many calories does it burn?

10 minutes of gardening can help a 68 kg (150 lb) person burn 37 calories.

12. Elliptical Trainer

What is it?
  • Elliptical trainer provides the ability to exercise and target thigh and gluteus muscles. It is an excellent alternative to running without high impact on joints.
  • There are 2 types of elliptical trainers - front drive and rear drive. The rear drive type enables true elliptical movement of pedals and has an incline ramp at the front of the machine. The front drive uses articulating pedals but lacks the adjustable ramp of rear drive elliptical units.
Why is it good?
  • As stated above, it is a great alternative to people with joint issues who cannot take up running.
  • Many studies have shown that elliptical trainers produce greater quadriceps utilization compared to other forms of workouts such as walking on ground, stationery bike and treadmill.
  • Some studies have also indicated that it can target weak muscles of the butt and external hip muscles to strengthen them.
  • It is great for balance and posture training.
  • It requires less space than a treadmill for home use.
Who can use it?
  • Patients who have heart trouble, chest pains or those taking medications for high blood pressure must talk to their doctor before using the elliptical trainer.
  • Those with dizziness or balance problems must use the elliptical with caution.
  • People who have led a sedentary life so far must consult their physician before using the trainer.
  • People with bone or joint problems that get worse with physical activity may want to reconsider use of the elliptical.
How many calories can you burn with it?

13. CrossFit

What is it?
  • CrossFit workout is a fitness regimen designed by founder and CEO of CrossFit Greg Glassman. Greg designed these workouts in order to define fitness in a measurable way.
  • The data driven workouts are recorded accurately using scoreboards and timers. There are rules and standards for performance measurement.
  • The aim of CrossFit workouts is to give trainees measureable, repeatable and observable results.
Why is it good?
  • CrossFit workouts last for 20-30 minutes but the metabolic rate continues to be high after the intense activities giving rise to higher calorie burning.
  • CrossFit is great for cardiovascular conditioning as it increases the oxygen utilization during workout.
  • The workouts increase joint mobility.
  • They comprise of pushups, squats, pull-ups, barbells, and gymnastic moves etc which are fun and never boring.
  • CrossFit consists of community exercises which can be great motivational factor.
  • It is very intense and it's one of the best exercises for weight loss.
Who is it good for?
  • You need to be in fairly good shape before joining CrossFit. The workouts can get very intense and they consist of some serious weight lifting. You need to find an experienced trainer who can help you in the first few days of your training.
  • CrossFit consists of a wide range of activities from rope climbing, to running to gymnastics and so on. There is no way that a single person can be great at them all, for example, you might easily climb ripe but may not be able to do a handstand push up.
How many calories can you burn?

According to a Kennesaw State University study, CrossFit workout routine can burn 261 calories per 20 minute session.

14. Jump Rope Workouts

What is it?

Jump rope workouts are extremely popular methods of training for sports as well as for weight loss. It is an unparalleled all-round workout that strengthens heart, bones, muscles and promotes leanness. It is also known to improve hand eye coordination, balance, rhythm and timing in athletes.

Why is it good?

There are many benefits of jumping rope workouts:

  • It increases aerobic and anaerobic capacity and power.
  • It improves coordination, balance and agility.
  • In athletes, regular jump rope can increase speed.
  • They can offer a high intensity cardio workout.
  • You can easily carry a jump rope when you travel and exercise on the go.
  • You burn tons of calories in a short time.

Even the best jump rope workout will not yield results unless you follow proper technique. In fact; if you plan on taking this exercise up, make sure you emphasize on technique in the first two weeks.

Warm up is an essential part of the workout. Jog slowly in place before you start jumping. Rope jumping needs skills, coordination and timing. You might have to learn coordination of swinging the rope each time you jump. In the first week, go for 1 to 5 jumps-rest-jump-rest routines. Jump for 30 seconds and then rest for 60 seconds.

In second week, add 10-20 jumps per bout. By the end of second week, you must aim to jump continuously for 200 times, without stopping.

Avoid jumping on carpets, asphalt or grass as they increase impact on the joints. Choose vinyl floors or soft rubber mats which can minimize impact to the joints. Always wear comfortable shoes when jumping.

Who is it good for?

Jump rope workouts can cause considerable impact on joints. If you have joint issues and pain, do consult a doctor before taking up this activity. Try and jump only up to 1 inch off the floor to lessen impact.

People having balance-coordination problems and high blood pressure as well as cardiovascular illnesses must also consult their doctor before doing jump rope workouts.

A beginner must not jump for more than 10 minutes per day. An intermediate person who has jumped consistently for more than 6 months may jump for 30 minutes per day. Advanced athletes can train for an hour each day.

How many calories can you burn jumping rope?

This minimal equipment requiring workout can help you burn a ton of calories. According to a Harvard study, a 57 kg (125 lb) person can burn 300 calories in 30 minute-jump rope workout.

15. Cross Country Skiing

The best way to avoid winter weight gain is to take up the cross country skiing workout.

What is it?

Cross country skiing is complete body workout that can help you burn hundreds of calories in a short time.

Why is it good?
  • Cross country workout can tone your upper body giving you great abs.
  • It is a highly demanding workout that increases fat burning to help you lose weight quickly.
  • The faster and steeper the skiing, greater the calories you will burn.
  • In two weeks of skiing, you will develop stronger muscles, balance and coordination.
  • Since your workout is in the cold, your body has to also work harder to maintain core temperature. This leads to greater weight loss.
Who can do it?

With adequate training, anyone can take up cross country skiing. However, a Swedish study has found that long distance cross country skiers have a greater chance of developing arrhythmia.

How many calories can you burn?

Skiing burns more calories than any other form of workout. An hour of skiing can burn up to 1122 calories.

​If you plan on taking up cross country skiing for weight loss, the right nutrition is a must. Make sure you eat slow-releasing complex carbs like fruits, nuts, rice along with proteins such as lean meat, eggs, etc. Also try and avoid dehydrating beverages such as alcohol on the slopes.

16. Tennis

Why is it good?

Tennis has numerous health benefits. Regular participation in this workout can provide tremendous positive physical and psychological benefits.

  • It is a complete cardiovascular workout.
  • It improves agility and bone health.
  • It is great for developing coordination skills.
  • It can be taken up as a sport for anxiety and stress management. (Hint: use weighted blanket for adults at night to relax).
  • It is an aerobic activity that burns greater amounts of fat compared to many other competitive sports.
  • It also is an anaerobic activity that can improve muscle strength and increase physical stamina and endurance.
Who is it good for?

Tennis is a lifelong activity which can be taken up by people of all ages. It is never too early or too late to take up this sport. Patients with high blood pressure can benefit from this activity but heart patients and people with joint issues must consult their physician prior to taking it up.

How many calories are burned through tennis?

A (68 kg)150 lb person can burn approximately 414 calories in one hour session of singles tennis and 365 calories in one hour session of doubles tennis.

17. Ball Games (Volleyball, Basketball etc.)

Exercise does not just happen in a gym on a treadmill; you can lose tons of weight by playing ball games and sports such as volleyball, baseball or basketball.

Why are they good?
  • Ball games give you a full body workout.
  • If you play volleyball at the beach, the workout gets even better since the sand actually targets muscles you are not even aware of.
  • Most ball games are played in a team, which teaches you social skills and ways to become a team player.
  • Movements used in all ball games such as shooting, dribbling, passing etc. promote coordination and improve balance.
  • They can build muscles.
  • They help develop concentration and discipline.
Who are they good for?

Basketball can put a lot of stress on the body; so warming up exercises must be done before each game.

Adequate stretching of muscles and joints as well as cooling down exercises can help prevent injuries.

How many calories can you burn with ball game workouts?

An hour of basketball can burn 630-750 calories.

18. Circuit Training

What is it?

Circuit workouts are done in supersets involving a series of different exercises with little or no rest in between. Ideal circuit training would involve barbell squats, jump rope, bench presses, standard lunges, pull ups and pull downs, shoulder presses etc. You must do some dynamic stretches or aerobic exercises for 5-10 minutes before the circuit.

Why are they good?
  • Fitness circuits help maximize the time you spend working out.
  • Since you recombine basic exercises but change the format every now and then, you can keep things from getting boring and repetitive.
  • Circuits can target cardio-respiratory endurance.
  • It helps set an exercising tempo which eliminates the possibility of standing up with a ‘what-do-I-do-next’ question?
  • The step-by-step workout burns more fat and calories than other routines and is great for sculpting every muscle.
Who is it good for?

Circuit training should ideally be taken by fit individuals who do not have any heart or joint conditions. If you suffer from balance problems or dizziness, do consult your doctor about taking this workout up.

How many calories can it burn?

Typical circuit can burn 9 calories per minute or 540 calories per hour (Source: Fitness Magazine).

19. Gym Workouts

When we talk about gym workouts, we refer to a set of different exercises you see in a typical gym including weights, treadmill, and rowing machine and so on.

If you have taken up gym workouts to lose weight, you must do them for at least 60 days to really burn the fat and see results.

Ideally each workout should be heavy on one day, followed by a lighter exercise on the next/consecutive day. The 3rd and 6th day can be rest periods where you do moderate or low impact aerobic or cardio exercises.

You must also follow a healthy diet of lean proteins, nuts and seeds, smoothies and protein shakes, eggs, chicken, turkey etc. If you are following a low carb diet, make sure you include a wide variety of fats and proteins to replace them. Take a quality multivitamin supplement alongside the workout.

Why is it good?
  • Total gym workout is great for weight loss.
  • If you have a trainer to help, you are likelier to feel more motivated and stick to the exercise program.
  • You get access to a wide variety of machines to work out on- treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, stationary bike – just to name a few.
  • The energy, music, fellow gym goers and other atmosphere can all great motivational factors which can help enhance your workout and give you much needed fitness motivation.
  • Regular exercise is also fantastic for the brain. It boosts endorphins and keeps you in a good mood all day. It can also improve memory and concentration.
  • Many cardio exercises at the gym can prevent heart related issues.
  • Exercise at the gym boosts stamina and energy levels.
  • Regular gym workouts can help you have better sex.
  • Daily workout is good for solving sleep related issues like insomnia, sleep apnea etc.
Who is it good for?

A couch potato will actually benefit a great deal by signing up for gym workout. Anyone, with any fitness level can sign up for a gym membership. People with hypertension, heart disease, arthritis and other specific medical concerns must talk to their doctor before taking up strenuous gym workouts.

How many calories can you burn?

You can easily burn 400-500 calories with each gym workout.

20. Housework

Housework is a great activity to lose weight provided you turn it into a workout of sorts. According to a Discovery Channel Survey, most women, all over the world spend at least 16 hours per week in cleaning. This means, on an average, a woman spends 2 ½ hours per day doing this activity. This gives one (men and women, both!) plenty of opportunity to lose weight with housework.

If you don't enjoy housework (and who does?), think about all the calories you are going to lose while keeping your house clean and tidy. 

It is a fantastic way of saving up on annual gym membership. Housework can be done all year round, irrespective of the weather.

Benefits of housework to burn calories and lose weight

You have to put great effort to see its benefits:

  • Polishing, dusting, cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces, mopping, vacuuming can all help you burn plenty of calories.
  • Make sure that you bend and stretch when making the beds – this gives you an upper body workout and is great for arms and abdomen.
  • Washing windows and mopping floors in the squatting position can help you tone butt and thighs.
  • Running up and down the stairs to do the laundry etc can help you get enough aerobic activity.
  • Decorating the house and spring cleaning can also be a phenomenon workout.
  • Other outdoor chores such as mowing the lawn, cleaning the garage, trimming hedges, picking up toys from the yard, raking leaves in autumn can be great for toning muscles and burning serious calories.
How to maximize it?

If you are too busy to go to the gym or try any of the other weight loss workouts to lose weight quickly, you can use the following tips to maximize calorie burning through household chores:

  • Use polish from a tin instead of a spray bottles when polishing household furniture.
  • Do not allow things to pile up on the floor; bend and quickly put them away in the right place as soon as you sight them.
  • When doing the laundry, place the basket on the ground. This way, you need to bend, stretch and pick up each item of clothing.
  • Put on some music and dance as you do your kitchen chores- kneading the dough, chopping, peeling fruits and veggies etc. Music is a great motivator to make you clean harder and polish better.
  • Pace around as you whisk eggs or talk on the phone.
How many calories can you burn with it?

For a (57 kg) 125 lb person, the average calorie burn rate per hour is as follows: (Source: ShareCare).

  • Ironing and washing dishes - 128 calories
  • Cooking - 150 calories
  • Putting away groceries – 150 calories
  • Loading/unloading car - 180 calories
  • Sweeping or vacuuming - 222 calories
  • General housework - 165 calories

Discover how how to choose the #bestexercise to #loseweight fast in the time you have available for fitness.

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In Conclusion

If you need to lose weight and have been thinking of taking up a workout, we hope these 20 workouts help you choose a program that is right for you.

A successful weight loss plan will focus on overall health and not just on a particular workout. A safe and effective weight loss plan must have the following features:

  • It should have a plan to keep the weight off long term.
  • It should include lifestyle changes for overall health and well being.
  • There should be ongoing feedback, support and regular monitoring.
  • It should have slow and steady weight loss - ½ to 1 pound per week.
  • It should have support tailored to your needs.

And remember, it's simple math when it comes to losing weight. You have to burn or cut out 3,500 calories from your diet each week (500 calories per day), in order to lose half a kilo. 

The easiest way to make that happen without feeling food deprivation or overworking it in the gym is to cut out 200-300 calories from your daily diet and burn 1000-1500 calories per week doing workouts and exercise.

Even if you do not exercise currently, you can start small. Pick any activity you like and set 10, 15 or 20 minute goals. Do not forget to celebrate every milestone!

About the Author

Barbara is the founder and owner of She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.

  • Megan Young says:

    The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Thank you for sharing this. Great post!

  • Joyce Hansen says:

    What a selection of exercise options, Barbara. I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon lately, but when i saw the different ways I can burn up the calories, you got me all inspired again. Thanks this is a great reference.

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