wikiHow to Use Exercise to Help You Lose Weight

Exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle; doing it the right amount can push you forward to your weight loss goals, in addition to doing favors for both your body and mind. Use exercise wisely as a tool to help you lose weight by selecting a routine that fits you, concentrating on aerobic exercises, knowing how many calories you're burning, and supplementing it with a healthy diet. When you combine these steps, exercise can be a very good tool to help lose the weight and keep it off.


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    Select an exercise regimen that is appropriate for you. Choose activities that you like, exercise at convenient times of the day, and have a variety of exercises to chose from to avoid getting bored.
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    Familiarize yourself with the benefits and potential risks of the exercises you are considering. You will want to know approximately how many calories are being expended, what muscle groups are being used, and how long you should perform the exercises.
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    Spend most of your time on regular aerobic exercises. Remember that regularly exercising is best for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. You can burn many calories in doing aerobic exercise 4-7 days per week, and you will continue to increase your metabolism even after training, by doing strength training exercises 2-3 times per week
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    Do include strength training exercise, as well. Building muscle mass is important - especially since dieting can cause loss of muscle mass. Muscles burn more calories than fat over the long term, so consider strength training to be an investment in long-term weight maintenance.
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    Work up to exercising at least 30 to 45 minutes per day, 4 or 5 days per week. Depending on your level of fitness, you may want to work up to that gradually. Lesser amounts of exercise are adequate if your goal is longevity or a healthy body and mind. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to work towards exercising most days.
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    Know approximately how many calories you are burning. Many exercise machines give approximations and you can find lists of estimates online. Those numbers are never going to be exactly correct, but you never really know how many calories you are consuming either, so consider it an estimate.
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    Avoid eating extra snacks or treats and telling yourself "it's ok, I exercised earlier" if your goal is to lose weight. It is much easier to eat 200 calories than to burn it off with exercise. A small snack could negate the entire workout.
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    Put your all into whatever exercises you choose. You can sluggishly make it through any exercise routine, but if you put a lot of energy into it you will burn a lot more calories.
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    Continue to challenge yourself. If your exercise routine is feeling, well, routine, then it is time to shake it up a bit. Try increasing the intensity, duration, or try some new exercises.
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    Include more natural activity in your daily life. Walk a little extra; don't take the short cuts; find excuses to move. Fidget in your chair. Park further from the door. Take the stairs. Don't count this towards your total exercise time, but consider it little bonus fat blasts.
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    Remember to stretch after your workout, and stop if you feel pain. Talk to your doctor if you have any reason to be concerned about exercising.
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    Try to get a balance game or something. When doing yoga and some forms of aerobics, balance is key.
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    Remember always think positive.


  • If you feel that you are too overweight to workout or are embarrassed to exercise in public, please give yourself a break! There is absolutely no need to be embarrassed about exercising. You do not have to wear skimpy aerobic outfits or tight shorts. Find clothes to exercise in that are comfortable. Force yourself to participate. Once you have done it several times you will realize that you deserve to be there as much as anyone else
  • If you are feeling lazy and are tempted to skip the exercise, try negotiating with yourself. Perhaps exercise for just 10 minutes. Once you start, you may want to continue and do the full routine.
  • Try this as a rule of thumb. Quit drinking soda (regular and diet) altogether. Eat right, and try not to eat many calories past 6:00pm. If you do, a low calorie protein snack or vegetables will help you repair your muscles and get your metabolism started for the next day. This should never be a big meal though. Regular aerobic exercise 3 to 5 nights a week and the pounds will start shedding. The more overweight you are the more you will exert your energy, therefore the bigger you are the faster you will shed lbs.
  • Try to exercise at the same time each day so that you make it a routine that will fit naturally into your lifestyle. Experience the feeling after you exercise and lose weight.
  • It can be difficult to get started with your exercise regime. Healthy Monday is a national non-profit public health campaign that encourages people to use Monday as the day to commit to a healthy habit, such as exercising. If you can't commit this Monday, you have another chance around the corner to get back on track.
  • Think about your goals and work towards them and never tell yourself you don't need to work out because your too tired. If you really want to lose weight fast you have to work towards it.
  • If you are a people person, join a gym or exercise club, exercise with friends, or find an exercise buddy. If you are independent and like doing things on your own, consider getting an exercise machine or participate in activities like running. If you are a competitive person, consider working up to races or other competitive sporting events.
  • You might have to work hard, but if you want to lose weight fast you should remember that it's always worth it at the end.


  • Stop exercising if you feel faint or ill.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water
  • It is normal to have muscle soreness or stiffness when you are beginning a new exercise routine. You may alleviate that by warming up with some light walking and then gently stretching. Stretching may be a bit painful at first, but it helps to reduce the soreness.
  • Do not exercise again until the soreness is just about gone.
  • If you experience more than normal muscle soreness, please consult a doctor.

Things You'll Need

  • Appropriate shoes are very important to safe exercising. Fitness shoes can be expensive, but they are the single most important investment you can make. Select shoes for the activity you chose. If you want to run, running shoes are what you need. For activities such as biking and the elliptical machine, all around fitness shoes are fine.
  • Select clothes for the temperature as well as the activity. There are differences between running shorts and tennis shorts. Yoga leggings are not the same as aerobics leggings. You will find that they are designed to help you move comfortably for particular exercises.

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Categories: Motivation to Exercise