The Best Exercises for Losing Weight

woman celebrating after a good workout session

Including light exercise in your OPTIFAST plan can be highly beneficial. Not only is it good for both body and mind, and it’s a great stress reliever.

Regular physical activity or exercise helps enhance your weight loss diet, as well as keeping your body healthy.

Below are some of the best exercises for losing weight that can help to enhance your weight loss journey.


Walking is one of the best exercises for losing weight – and a great one to get started with. Walking is a convenient and cost-effective way for beginners to start exercising, without feeling overwhelmed or needing to purchase any equipment. It’s also great for beginners on a weight loss diet, as it puts minimal stress on your joints.

It’s easy to fit walking into your daily routine. You can add more steps to your day simply by going for a walk during your lunch break or taking the stairs at work, or leaving your car behind for short journeys and walking instead.

To get started, aim to walk for 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week, then over time gradually increase the duration of your walks.


If you feel a bit more confident in your exercise plan, you can try going for a jog to lose weight. To get started, aim to jog or even run for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times per week, either indoors or outdoors.

woman jogging to improve fitness levels

If you find jogging outdoors is tough on your joints, softer surfaces such as grass, or indoors on a treadmill, will provide more built-in cushioning.


Cycling is another great exercise for beginners who are looking to lose weight. It’s non-weight bearing and low-impact, meaning it will place less stress on your joints.

If you have access to a bike, you can easily incorporate cycling into your daily routine by cycling to work or to the shops in the evening. If you don’t own a bike, most gyms have stationary bikes so you can cycle indoors.

A daily ride of 30 minutes a few times a week is a great starting point.


Swimming is brilliant for people looking to lose weight.

If you have access to a pool, swimming is a fun way to get regular exercise, as it puts less stress on your joints, while helping significantly reduce your body fat.


Yoga may not be commonly thought of as an exercise for weight loss, but experts do say it’s a great way to burn calories and reduce your stress levels.

woman doing yoga to improve fitness

Like swimming, yoga is also great for improving your flexibility and, the beauty of it is, you can practice it anywhere. Most gyms offer yoga classes, but with so many tutorials online, you can easily practice yoga from the comfort of your own home.

As well as helping you to lose weight, yoga can teach mindfulness, which can help you to better understand your body’s hunger signals, control overeating and avoid unhealthy food.

Weight Training

Out of all the exercise options available, weight training is one of the most popular among people trying to lose weight; just be careful that you don’t do too much, too soon.

A light workout using weights a few times each week not only helps you to lose weight, but helps improve upper body strength and promote muscle growth. This can raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which increases how many calories your body burns while resting and after your workout.

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A Beginners’ Home Workout for Weight Loss

If you’re just starting an exercise plan, you might not feel comfortable working out in public like at a gym or the park. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can easily work out in the comfort of your own home.

Try a circuit with three or four of these exercises:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Push-ups
  • Walking lunges (each leg)
  • Dumbbell rows
  • 15-second plank
  • Jumping jacks

You can also check out our easy-to-follow home workouts by LaBriece on our YouTube channel. Try this medium intensity flexibility and cardio session to help get you moving:

How to Stick to a Weight Loss Exercise Plan

Losing weight requires following a good diet plan and regular exercise routine.

However, if you’re just starting an exercise plan for the first time, it’s important to check with your GP to make sure it’s safe and take into account what your body is and isn’t used to. If you take on too much too soon, it could be harmful or you could run the risk of injury. You may also get discouraged if you put too much stress on your body too soon, reducing your motivation to continue exercising.

Start slow and steady and gradually build up the intensity of your workouts over the course of a few weeks. This means keeping your training sessions easy and short when first beginning. Also, remember to leave plenty of time before and after your workout to warm up and cool down. This will help reduce any muscle soreness and risk of injury.

Don’t worry if you don’t see immediate results or see a drastic drop in the number on the scale. Stick to a regular routine, and the results will come.

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Health & Nutrition Expert

Health & Nutrition Expert

Writer and expert