What exercise should I do to lose weight? If I had a nickel for every time I heard that question I would be rich. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t know their answer to that question. Their answer, not THE answer because it’s different for everyone. A good question to ask yourself is what type of physical activity do you enjoy now?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends we should accumulate 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Or, be physically active 30 minutes a day, five days a week. So the best exercise you should do to lose weight is an activity you will do long enough and consistently enough so that you are losing weight over time. A spin class may burn 800 calories in an hour, but if you only do one cycling class a week it is ineffective for you. Jumping on your bicycle and riding around your neighborhood for a half hour may be more realistic and a lot more fun.
Don’t let anyone tell you that walking at a moderate pace is a waste of time. If you are just returning to the exercise world - running five miles is probably a bad idea. A walk in the park or hiking a local trail is a great way to get in shape and have fun doing it. Did you like playing Frisbee when you were a kid? You might still have a disc or two tucked away in the garage. If not, pick up a new one and toss it around with a friend.
Get the entire family involved and in motion by playing volleyball. I never liked a regular volleyball because it was just too hard, so I use a beach ball instead. If you are playing with very young children then use a balloon. Don’t have a volleyball net? String a length of rope between two trees. No rope or string available? Just see how long you can keep the ball or balloon in the air.
Are you someone who lives near a beach? Or are you visiting one for vacation? Instead of walking in the sand wade about knee deep in the water and take a walk. The water resistance will increase the intensity of your walk. You will be working harder and smarter. Besides, anything at the beach is fun, isn’t it?
Don’t forget that regular yard work counts as physical activity. Just because you enjoy gardening doesn’t mean you aren’t burning calories and staying healthy. Mowing the grass, carrying flats of flowers and hauling topsoil to the garden beds can be strenuous work and good for your heart. And in the winter, snow shoveling is a great workout. I admit this may not be a favorite activity, but give yourself credit for a job well done and a fantastic workout.
Do what you like. Do what feels good. Aren’t those words gratifying? Discover your answer to the question: what exercise should I do to lose weight? You’ll be successful and healthy.