10 Effective, Free Exercises for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Losing weight is a matter of calories in versus calories out. So the most effective exercises to lose weight are those that burn the most calories. Here are five workouts that will help you burn 400 calories or more to lose weight, and five exercises that will help you maintain a healthy weight.

Running
For each hour you run, you will burn 600 calories or more, depending on your weight and speed. Running also helps build leg muscles, the muscle groups that help burn more calories even as you rest. It is great to build endurance and for improving cardiovascular health. To kickstart a weight-loss program, running is definitely an effective exercise.

Swimming
Swimming, like running, burns a lot of calories. If you swim at a leisurely pace, you can burn anywhere from 430 to 630 calories in an hour. If you swim laps and get your heart rate up, you can expect to burn anywhere from 700 to over 1,000 calories depending on your weight and speed. Unlike running, swimming is lower impact and is safer for those with knee pain or arthritis.

Rollerblading
Remember when you were a kid and skated around the park with your friends? Well, you can enjoy the same activity as an adult and lose a ton of weight. That’s because rollerblading can help you burn 550 to 800 calories per hour. Who says losing weight can’t be fun?

Cardio-boxing
Another fun, yet challenging, exercise is cardio-boxing. This workout combines aerobics with boxing. A 155-pound person can expect to lose roughly 600 calories with cardio-boxing. Although it consists mainly of throwing punches and kicks, cardio-boxing keeps your heart rate up throughout the workout and works your entire body. Youtube has a wide variety of free cardio-boxing routines provided by highly trained physical trainers who just want to help people lose weight. Some of these Youtube pages include Fitnessblender and Body Project.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
Interval training is highly effective because it varies the speed of normal workouts. So, for instance, if you do squats, you can vary the speed to maximize your weight loss. You can find a variety of workouts online from websites such as Fitness Magazine, Popfit or Bodybuilding. High-intensity interval training involves a variety of quick cardio moves with short 10 or 20 second breaks between exercises. This is effective because it allows your heart rate to remain high and keeps your body working hard. Although many high-impact aerobic exercises can burn anywhere from 500 to 700 calories in an hour, there are HIIT workouts on Youtube that you can try for free that burn as many as 1,000 calories in an hour. These can be found on personal trainer Youtube pages, such as Christine Salus and Fitnessblender.

Free exercises to maintain a healthy body weight

To maintain weight loss after you have already lost the weight, you need to maintain muscle mass, build body strength and exercise less to avoid fatigue and an unnecessary calorie deficit. If you maintain the same level of exercise and diet when your metabolism is already high and you have lost the weight, you will continue to lose weight and even fall underweight if you’re not careful. Fewer calories are required to be burned, so here are some relaxing and fun exercises that can keep you on track.

Yoga
Yoga is super important for maintaining good health, promoting flexibility and spinal alignment, and sculpting lean muscles. You can burn anywhere from 200 to 400 calories during an hour session. Yoga can also help you to prevent injury if used before an intense workout.

Strength training
Resistance or weight training can burn 300 to 500 calories and is great to tone after you have lost body fat. Building muscle helps boost metabolism for starters, but is also good for people who want to maintain their current body weight, because muscle burns more calories than fat.

Bicycling
walking exercise While your shift should focus to toning, light cardio can help you maintain good heart health and endurance. Bicycling is lower impact than jogging or running and can help tone your legs. It burns relatively few calories, anywhere from 200 to 400 per hour. You can even use it as a means of transportation for short distances, or use it as a form of meditative exercise as you sightsee.

Walking or light jogging
Another way to incorporate light cardio is to take your running down a notch and jog or walk instead. Like bicycling, walking can burn 200 to 400 calories per hour, depending on your pace. Walking is a good way to stay active without overexerting yourself. It helps keep your joints and leg muscles lubricated and is especially good for those with a history of heart problems or those with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.

Zumba
The best way to stay motivated to continue exercising is to find an exercise you enjoy. Zumba and other cardio-dance routines are popular choices for those who love to feel envigorated during and after their workout. A 150-pound person can burn up to 500 calories during a Zumba routine. Although Zumba is available on DVDs and gyms around the country, you can participate in Latin cardio dancing online for free. Multiple personal trainers provide their Zumba workouts to the public for free on Youtube, including BeFit and FitTV.

There’s something for everyone! You’ll never know until you try, so go out there, try new things, and discover a workout you love. Remember, fat-blasting cardio workouts are optimal for losing weight. Transitioning to low-impact cardio and strength training exercises will help you keep it off. Diet is always more effective than exercise, but a combination is key to maintaining a strong, healthy body that will keep the weight off. What are some of your favorite exercises? Leave us a comment below.

—The Alternative Daily

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