As a fitness instructor, the first question I usually receive from a new customer is: “Is this the best for losing weight?”. Or: “What’s the best for toning up: Pilates, Yoga or Zumba?”
The truth is that these questions can not be answered in two sentences. If I only wanted to make money out of my fitness business, I would say that Zumba is the best for losing weight. But that would be a lie. On the other hand, if I say: “No, Zumba is not the best for losing weight.” – that would sound as if I was my own enemy, sending customers away.
What I want to say is there is no ‘one size fits all’ type of ‘best exercise’.
Unfortunately many fitness businesses, gyms, do not refrain from giving misleading information to people, only to create more profit. Few month ago I rang one of the gyms in Dublin, being so revolted by their flyer I received through the door saying: “Aerobics exercise will make you fat.” – They said this only because their business was only focusing on weight training. It is a shame that businesses will not only focus on highlighting what they are good at, they rather choose to lie to people about other types of exercise they are unable to provide.
But wait, you are here now because you want to find out the big truth:
Which is the best exercise to lose weight?
The answer: All of them and any of them. As long as you enjoy it and can stick to it. At least for a while, and then you can feel free to try out something else. But if you start something and don’t enjoy it, if you find it boring, you will simply stop doing it after a short while.
Exercise cannot be a burden. Ideally working out should be something you look forward to, the same way as spending your evening with family, or going out in the weekend with friends. Or at least something you don’t hate and don’t immediately cancel if the weather is not perfect, or you feel a bit down, or a friend wants to chat with you. Your exercise should give you a great feeling afterwards, and that feeling should make you looking forward to your next workout. It is also possible to find a form of exercise you enjoy while doing it, not just the feeling afterwards. And that’s the main point when trying to find “the best” exercise.
I’ll tell you another “secret”: After finding only one type of exercise you enjoy, and you stick to it and work out regularly, you’ll soon be enjoying other types of exercise too.
Losing weight is a recipe with many ingredients. The key is food, then the second important ingredient is regular exercise. Adequate sleep and water intake, as well as detoxifying your body are also important elements in the process of getting rid of unwanted pounds.
The worst thing what people do is that they think that whatever food they have eaten can be “worked off” in the gym. Our body is not a plain math though: you had a chocolate bar which had 300 calories, then your app shows that you worked 300 calories, so you think your job is done. Well, that’s the worst you can do. With that 300 calories chocolate bar you did not give any nutrient to your body. No fuel. While 300 calories of plain nuts or seeds, or a healthy salad or smoothie will provide so many beneficial nutrients, that they will not only feed your body, but help your body get rid of unwanted fat.
Can I gain weight after starting a workout program?
Yes, you can. That does not mean the problem is with the workout program. There are two reasons this can happen.
One of them is that you allow yourself some extra food or extra treats, saying that you deserve it because you’ve worked hard at the gym, or you just ran for 30 minutes, or you just finished your Zumba class. It happened to me in the past. I basically ate more because I thought I could do that without any consequence. If you start to eat more (especially unhealthy, sugary snacks), you will put much more calories in, then the amount of calories used while working out.
The other reason: once you start working your muscles and creating some lean muscle, while also getting rid of the body fat, the scale might show higher number. Don’t worry, scale should not be your main reference, because muscle is heavier than fat. So the best is if you look at yourself in the mirror, put on your tightest cloths, or bikinis, and that’s where you should see the positive results.
Conclusion: Exercise is extremely important, mainly for your overall health, and also for losing weight as well as maintaining your weight. You should aim for exercising 5-6 times a week, half of these days being cardio/aerobic type of exercise, and half of them strength exercise. This way you will see results, achieve the best your body can, have fit and firm body, and most importantly feel good about yourself. Keep in mind though, that if you start now, it is okay to start with one day a week, then gradually increase it until you get to the 5-6 days a week. Don’t rush, that will only put you off, and that’s not the goal, am I right?
The best exercise is the one you enjoy and becomes your habit!