6 At-Home And Gym Exercises For Losing Weight Fast

According to the CDC, nearly half (49.1%) of adults in the United States are actively trying to lose weight, with research showing that women (56.4%) account for more of that percentage than men (41.7%).¹ The problem is that research also shows that only about 20% of people dieting and exercising succeed in both losing weight and keeping it off for at least one year.²

The best at-home exercises for weight loss

Although 79% of people say that they are much happier when they exercise, 48% say they are too busy to make it to a gym to exercise.³ Fortunately, there are at-home exercises like yoga, walking, running, and jogging that can make a substantial difference in weight loss for those who can't make it to the gym.

1. Yoga

Yoga combines focus, deep breathing, and poses to center yourself and still your mind. The practice increases your endurance while also decreasing stress and anxiety. It has also been linked to weight loss, which is likely another reason it has become so popular.

A 2016 study focused on the connection between yoga and weight loss found that participants who practiced yoga reported an average weight loss of more than 26 pounds. These results are even more exciting because 95% of participants reported psychological and mental changes, such as increased mindfulness, improved mood, and reduced stress.⁴

In another study published in 2018, two groups—one with worsening mental health symptoms and one with improved or stable mental health—were followed for 12 months on their weight loss journey. During the first six months, the groups experienced comparable weight loss. However, the last six months were not as successful for the group with worsening mental health as they regained their weight. The group with stable or improved mental health continued to see weight loss results.⁵

To add yoga to your weight loss routine, try practicing for one hour a day, three to five days a week. While similar in style, power yoga will be more fast-paced and physically demanding, while traditional yoga practices are calming and focus on mental and emotional health.

2. Walking

When you're just beginning to get familiar with exercising, many experts will tell you that walking is one of the best exercises to lose weight. This is because it's easy to do and very beginner-friendly, making it a great place to start.

Some great options for adding more steps throughout your busy day are to go for a walk during your lunch break and choose more physically demanding options when you can (i.e., take stairs instead of the elevator).

Walking for 50 to 70 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks can reduce abdominal fat and improve insulin sensitivity.⁶

Another 2017 study found that body weight and total fat mass were significantly decreased among walking group participants compared to a group on a restrictive diet without a walking routine.⁷

If you’re considering making lifestyle changes to improve your overall health and reach your ideal body weight, walking may just be the best way to start your journey.

3. Jogging and running

Another great exercise for quick weight loss you can do at or around your home is running and jogging. You can jog and run around your neighborhood, through parks, or even on a treadmill inside your home.

Running five miles-per-hour (mph) for 30 minutes can burn 288 calories on average at a weight of 155 pounds and 336 calories at 185 pounds.⁸ And if you want to turn it up a notch, as running speed increased, so did total calories burned.

According to a 2014 study that compared weight loss and body mass index (BMI) results between running and walking, participants saw 90% greater outcomes for individuals that participated in running than those that only walked.⁹ However, both exercises saw positive results. 

The best exercises you can do at the gym for quick weight loss

It can be intimidating to figure out what to do in the gym to lose weight at first, but it gets easier over time. With the help of other members and access to more equipment than many have at home, you won't have to wonder about how to lose weight at the gym anymore.

Start by participating in resistance training, aerobic training, and group classes at your local gym for the best results.

1. Strength and resistance training

Strength and resistance training is often much more successful in gym environments because they have many options to suit your workout needs.  Common workouts that fall under this training category include bench press, squats, lunges, and deadlifts.

Resistance training contributed to weight loss by reducing fat by building muscle potential.¹⁰ When combined with dieting, obese participants improved all of their risk factors and experienced weight loss.

2. Aerobic training

Aerobic exercises are important for weight loss because they play a role in cardiovascular conditioning, improve lung function and endurance, and decrease your resting heart rate. This would be similar to the results you may experience at home when walking, jogging, running around the neighborhood, or on your treadmill.

According to a 2018 study, a disciplined aerobic training routine efficiently treats obesity and its associated health conditions.¹⁰ Participants lost weight through aerobic exercises by reducing body fat and improving their cardiorespiratory fitness.

When you exercise at a gym, there can be many more options for aerobic training to keep your interest peaked and motivation high than when you choose to stay at home for your routines. Some popular aerobic training exercises at the gym include:

3. Group exercises

Many of the exercises you do at the gym can be done at home with the right equipment. Still, research shows that you are more likely to stay motivated and lose weight when working out with a group. According to the Fitness Business Association, group fitness gyms drive a higher retention rate (people committed to long-term exercising at facilities) at 73% over some other fitness methods that require individual routines and motivation.¹¹

Group exercises that are both effective and fun to do with your friends include the push-up tower, crunch & dip, squat & knee-to-elbow, and jump squat high five. However, you don’t need to directly participate with other gym members during your workout.  According to the following research, just working out in the same room as other members can increase your odds of achieving weight loss.

Expert Fitness¹² reports that the reason for this success is that:

  • When people exercise together, they tend to have a more enjoyable time

  • They can work out with participants that share similar fitness goals

  • You receive positive pressure to avoid cancellations and skipping gym workouts

  • The Kohler effect (a member that usually under-performs when alone, over-performs within a group to avoid being the 'weakest link') inspires participants to work harder at reaching their fitness goals.

A 2011 study evaluated the effects of group exercising versus individual exercises among the same individuals. The study reported that results were significantly greater in all the group conditions than in the individual control conditions. This was especially true when participants were partnered with more experienced members, improving the tasks and improving persistence motivation.¹³

The lowdown

When taking on at-home or gym exercises (or a mix of both) for quick weight loss, it's important to remember that exercise alone is not enough to lose weight and keep it off. You must also make healthy meal choices. When you combine dieting and exercise, research shows that you can experience weight loss with:

Yoga

Using a good mix of power yoga and traditional yoga practices, weight loss can be successful while maintaining or improving your mental health.

Walking

Whether you take some extra steps at lunch or choose stairs over elevators every chance you get, the more walking you do, the quicker you lose weight.

Jogging and running

Just 30 minutes of running can burn hundreds of calories, speeding up weight loss among individuals who eat healthily and regularly go for a run.

Strength and resistance training

Obesity-related health conditions and weight loss can be improved among adults participating in strength and resistance training.

Aerobics training

When you go to a gym, you can expand your traditional walking/running options into exercises you may prefer, like swimming and Zumba classes. People who participate in aerobics exercises can see positive results in weight loss.

Group exercises

Gyms that offer group exercises keep more customers because people rely on each other to meet their weight loss goals and stay motivated. Additional studies support the theory that group exercises are much more effective than individual exercises.

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