How do I start exercising to lose weight is a subject that resonates enormously and enjoys a great deal of interest.
Losing weight with exercise and sports is good for your mental health and helps you stay physically fit and healthy in the long run.
To lose weight, exercising every day makes your body burn more calories.
The risk of contracting cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and/or depression is also diminished with regular exercise.
It is, therefore, definitely worthwhile to work out to attain your fitness goals.
In addition, doing so offers many other benefits besides losing weight, including mental well-being.
Here are some tips which will motivate you to exercise and, eventually, lose weight.
Table of Contents
- 1 Getting started and gradually building up is crucial
- 2 How much exercise should I do to lose weight?
- 3 Which is more important: Exercising or eating healthier?
- 4 Lose weight with exercise: What helps the most?
- 5 Tips for starting sports and exercise
Getting started and gradually building up is crucial
For an effective workout, you don’t have to push yourself until you are entirely breathless; in other words, you don’t have to suddenly become a top athlete.
An activity counts as exercise if it makes you breathe quicker than usual and your heart beat slightly faster than when at rest, as during a brisk walk, jog or bike ride.
Always build up exercise slowly. Are you dizzy or short of breath? Do you feel your muscles hurting? That means you need to take it easier.
If the same symptoms keep popping up, contact your doctor and find another activity that suits you better.
How much exercise should I do to lose weight?
To lose weight through sport and exercise, you should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderately intense exercise every day.
Preferably this is done 7 days a week, but it doesn’t have to be an hour at a time. You can have training intervals of, say, three times a day for 20 minutes each time.
A moderately intensive exercise is when your heart rate and breathing increase slightly during exertion.
The more intense your movements, the more energy you use.
The best thing is to include exercise in your daily routine. That way, you’ll find it easier to stick to it, and you’ll get better results.
How do I start exercising to lose weight? Consistency and discipline are essential to exercise more and thus lose weight quicker.
Tips for getting more exercise
- Use the stairs rather than an elevator at work or if you live in an apartment building
- Use your bike more often. Perhaps you can go to work or run errands on two wheels, rather than taking a bus or driving
- Walk briskly to the store or a nearby park or other outdoor space to put those muscles to work and increase your heart rate for a while
- Bad weather should not be an excuse to skip your exercise time. There are excellent solutions for exercising indoors as well. Think of cross-trainers, exercise bikes and treadmills. Attention: If you are overweight, you should invest in a sturdy fitness machine to handle heavier weights. In terms of treadmills, for example, you can check out the following list of the best treadmills with a weight capacity of minimum 300 pounds.
- Go for a walk during your break. Walking burns calories and helps you to relax for a while. You might find some colleagues who would jump at the chance to get outside.
- If you’re using public transport, get off a stop earlier, and do the last part on foot. You’ll take longer to get there, but your body will thank you for it.
- Skip the elevator at the airport, subway or shopping mall.
- Walk around the block after dinner. This will burn some calories and help your digestion.
- Stretch your legs and back after every hour spent sitting. It is important to stretch your legs and move around once in a while, especially if you have a sedentary job.
- Household chores, walking the dog or working in the garden (weeding or pruning plants) also count as exercise.
- Joining a club or gym will help you get more exercise.
Which is more important: Exercising or eating healthier?
Eating healthier and portion control is the most important thing for weight loss. Exercise is good for your health.
It helps you lose weight, but losing weight will be much more difficult even if you are moving around more if you persist with unhealthy eating habits.
To maximize weight loss, you need to eat less, eat healthier, and exercise more.
Ultimately, it’s simple math: You reduce your calorie intake while increasing your calorie burn. In the medium term, you’re sure to lose weight.
Lose weight with exercise: What helps the most?
How do I start exercising to lose weight? Choose a sport or some form of activity that you like and that can fit into your life for the long term.
You can choose a strength sport, endurance sport, team sport, or a combination of two or more.
With strength-intense sports (think fitness exercises and trunk stabilization), you mainly improve your body composition: lose fat and increase muscle.
You might not immediately realize that you are losing fat because of your muscle gain. The difference is not reflected on the scale.
Power sports lead to a tighter figure, and you can better maintain the weight you have achieved.
Anyone practicing endurance sports burns a lot of energy since the exertion period is extended.
As calorie burning is more intense than with strength training, you lose weight faster (think jogging, cycling, walking and rowing, to mention a few).
Team sports like basketball, volleyball and soccer are fun, and you can find encouragement from your teammates. The social element may well help you stick to it.
Tips for starting sports and exercise
As an adult, you should do at least 150 minutes of moderate or high-intensity exercise per week.
As we said before, it’s even better to do moderately intense exercises 60 minutes daily.
You will find it easier to start exercising and with an increased sense of conviction with the following tips:
Block your schedule
You are full of good plans, but without planned action, nothing changes.
If you’re a thinker rather than a doer, then it’s time to change.
Schedule exercise in your calendar. Make sure you take note of the workout you’re going to do.
Give this slot the same importance as you would to a work meeting or an appointment with a friend or family member.
Build slowly and look at it in the medium term
Don’t start off too fast.
The best way to stick with it is by starting with 10 minutes of exercise and movement and eventually extending the sessions.
Guideline: Increase your workout time by a maximum of 10% per week (or 5 minutes a week).
You will maintain attained fitness levels and prevent recurring or chronic ailments such as inflammation.
Remember that all beginnings are challenging, but as you exercise more often, your fitness level will improve, and you will find it easier.
Tip: Read how do I start running as a plus-size person if you’re interested in jogging to burn more fat.
Choose an activity you like
These days, you can practice all kinds of different sports such as swimming, cycling, padel, tennis, water polo, field hockey, jogging, running (Tip: Read our related article that covers starting to run when overweight or obese), etc.
For people who don’t like sports, don’t worry! There are other activities which provide sufficient physical activity.
Think of gardening, dancing, walking a dog (you might need to borrow one from a shelter!), hiking, biking, swimming, walking with a friend, coaching at a youth club, helping out on a farm, charitable work, etc. The possibilities are really infinite.
In short, do something that gets you moving (that’s already a very good start).
Create a routine of exercise and sports
Consistency and discipline are essential keys to slimming success.
That is why we suggest making exercise part of your daily routine. This is where doing the same thing every day can offer a great advantage.
If you always take the stairs, get off a bus or subway stop earlier, or ride your bike to work, and you won’t have to struggle to find the time in your busy schedule.
Look for opportunities to incorporate some more movement in your everyday life.
If you do that, you won’t have to make a conscious effort to exercise every day.
Consequently, you’ll be moving without even thinking about it.
Sitting down for too long is not good
We sometimes sit down for long periods while at work, at our desk at home, or watching television.
Essentially, this is not what our bodies were made to and thus could prove to be bad for us.
So get up regularly, make yourself a cup of tea, drop in on a colleague, or take a detour and go for a walk in the garden or down the street.
Can’t remember to move? Set the alarm on your phone, or consider a fitness tracker that measures all your movements and heart rhythm.
You’ll get an automatic notification when it’s time to get up.
How to start exercising to burn fat? Make it interesting
You don’t always have to do the same thing.
Go cycling one day, swimming the next, and then jogging, walking or dancing again.
Find an exercise partner for motivation
I’m not in the mood for exercise. So how do I start exercising to lose weight?
If that’s the case, you should try to find a good exercise partner.
It becomes harder to drop out, not only because it is more enjoyable to exercise with someone, but because you don’t want to let them down.
Exercise with a friend, or find an activity or sports center nearby, for example.
You can also explore websites to find a sports buddy who can motivate you.