Weight Loss Exercises
Over 10% of Indians are obese. Being overweight or obese attracts a host of health conditions and illnesses, from diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, to cardiovascular diseases, depression, anxiety, and breathing problems. Understandably, millions of Indians try to lose weight. There are two chief planks on which the goal of weight loss rests: the first one is diet, and the second is exercise. You cannot successfully lose weight without sincerely following both of them. Apart from helping you shed weight, exercise has a host of other benefits as well. It improves mood, makes the body stronger, and protects you from a range of serious health issues.
Why Do You Gain Weight?
Often there is no single reason for weight gain. A number of factors play in to make you get that tire around your belly. Here are some of the leading causes:
- Junk Food: These highly engineered processed foods are designed to be cheap, effective, and last longer on your shelf. Coupled with aggressive, yet subtle marketing, they are made to be attractive and addictive. It might look like just one burger, some fries, and a glass of soda, only for you to later know that you have already consumed more than 1,000 calories, which is more than half you need in the entire day. And also, since these are highly processed, you get hungry quicker, leading to you packing on more calories.
- Sugar: This is another reason for weight gain, which works on the same mechanism -- addiction. When you eat sugar, the reward system in your brain lights up, inducing in you a sense of accomplishment. There is a reason those donuts are irresistible enough to make you toss yourself out of your weight loss journey.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: In a way, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity feed off each other. A sedentary lifestyle in which you don’t move around much, or not at all, makes you gain weight, and obesity, in turn, hinders movement.
Diseases That Cause Weight Gain
If you eat right and work out enough, and are still unable to lose weight, a disease might be at play here. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has listed out nine such conditions:
- Hypothyroidism: In this condition, your thyroid glands become less active, i.e. they produce less amount of thyroid hormones than normal. This leads to slowed metabolism, making you gain weight.
- Diabetes: Those suffering from diabetes take insulin to manage their blood sugar level. But they snack often to not let their blood glucose level drop too low. This in turn makes them gain weight. However, this isn’t the case with every person suffering from diabetes.
- Ageing: For most people, as they age, their physical activity reduces. Also, they lose muscle mass, which adds to the problem, as stronger muscles help you lose weight.
- Medication: There are some medications that can make you gain weight. An example is the corticosteroid drug, which treats conditions such as asthma and arthritis, but increases your appetite, leading to weight gain.
- Cushing’s Syndrome: It’s a disorder marked by an excessive level of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to weight gain. Cushing syndrome either results from prolonged use of steroids or a tumour.
- Stress: This is quite common in today’s time. However, its effect differs from person to person. Some lose weight, others gain it as they start depending on food as a coping mechanism. This is again a vicious cycle as when stressed, you eat and such emotional eating further leads to stress. To avoid dependence on food, engage in other activities to manage stress, such as communicating with others, picking up a hobby, doing Yoga, or going for a massage.
- Sleep deprivation: Research suggests that lack of sleep makes you gain weight. The connection isn’t established yet, but as per some, when sleep-deprived, your body produces more ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone, and less of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full.
- Fluid Retention: This is yet another reason behind weight gain.
- PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition many women face today. A condition that affects the kidneys, PCOS leads to irregular periods, trouble getting pregnant, excessive growth of facial hair, and also, weight gain.
Exercises To Lose Weight
Working out consistently is crucial to losing weight. There are several workout options available, but what works for you is for you to decide. Answering the following answers might help?
- What is my goal and does this workout option fit into that?
- Is it effective as per my current fitness level?
- Can I be consistent with it?
- Do I enjoy doing it or is it making me miserable?
- Does it suit my personality type?
After answering these five questions, chances are that you will arrive at an option that would work best for you.
Here are some exercise options for you:
- It’s a low-impact exercise ideal for beginners.
- It doesn’t need any special equipment and you can slip walking right into your everyday routine.
- Since it’s a low-impact exercise, it doesn’t put excessive stress on your joints.
- 30 minutes of a brisk walk in a day can make a difference to your weight.
- Running is a great cardiovascular exercise highly effective in making you lose weight.
- By running for just 30 minutes, you can burn over 350 calories.
- It is also highly effective in burning visceral fat, which envelops the vital organs in your abdomen. Fat of a highly dangerous kind, visceral fat makes you prone to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
- You should always start small, and should initially set the goal for running for 15-20 minutes, and increase the duration gradually.
- You can burn over 250 calories by cycling for just 30 minutes.
- If you don’t have the space to cycle outside, you can join a gym that has the option of stationary bikes.
- Not just weight loss, this activity improves metabolism, increases insulin sensitivity, lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and improves overall health.
- The best part: Anyone, from a beginner to a trained athlete can do this exercise.
- If you are looking for a fun way to lose weight, a swimming pool is a place you should be in.
- You can burn over 200 calories by swimming for an hour.
- If you are looking for something cheap and effective, jumping rope is the workout option for you.
- Not only can you easily carry it with you, but it is also highly effective too.
- It helps you burn more calories than what you would by walking on a treadmill.
- Not just weight loss, varied muscle groups are involved when you jump a rope.
- It also helps with balance.
- If you are looking for something fun and adventurous, hiking is the thing for you.
- In this, you walk around in the woods.
- When done consistently, hiking is a great workout option to lose weight.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- HIIT workout is very popular among fitness enthusiasts.
- In this, you switch from high-intensity exercise to a low-impact one.
- It is believed to be more effective for weight loss than other workout options.
- Not just weight loss, this mind-body-soul exercise routine improves overall health and wellbeing.
- You can burn about 150 calories in a 30-minute Yoga class.
- Although slower than other workout options in weight loss, it lowers stress and improves mindfulness that helps you make better decisions about food.
Other than these, there are several other options available, such as:
- Strength training
- Weight lifting
- Playing sports
As you can see there are numerous exercise options available to lose weight. However, if you do it one day and skip the rest of the time, then it won’t work, as consistency is the key to weight loss. A consistent effort with patience and focus is all you need to reach your weight loss goal.