How to Exercise to Lose Weight Fast

If you have ever tried to exercise to lose weight I can almost guarantee you that are doing it wrong. How do I know that? I know that because most people who exercise for weight loss don’t exercise hard enough or for long enough and (most importantly) don’t understand why they are exercising.


If you want to exercise to lose weight fast you need to learn how to exercise properly, so let me show you how.

Hard Enough

In order to lose weight you have to exercise harder than you might think. Exercise that is hard enough has two components:

  • Sustained Exercise: Exercises such as running or jogging, jumping rope, cross-country skiing, walking, running in place, bicycling, rowing, swimming, stair climbing, and dancing can all be sustained exercises. These are exercises where your heart rate is elevated over a long period of time and you don’t have any time where your heart rate drops. All other exercises (such as tennis, basketball, golf…) allow your heart rate to slow down in between times of effort.
  • Intensity: Study after study has shown that exercise intensity is a key ingredient to both increasing your metabolism and exercising for weight loss. While there are many ways to measure the intensity of a workout, the easiest way is to buy a heart rate monitor. In order to lose weight and boost your metabolism you need to exercise at least 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

While this is a bit complicated, here is how you determine your 70 percent of maximum:

  • To find out what your 70 percent of maximum is, you first you have to find out your maximum heart rate. When you have your maximum heart rate, you can then determine 70 percent from that amount. To find your maximum heart rate, use this simple formula: subtract your age from the number 220. The result of your calculation is a good estimation of your Maximum Heart Rate. Now that you have your Maximum Heart Rate, you can compute your 70 percent (if you don’t remember how to do this math, you simply take your maximum heart rate and times it by .70).

Long Enough

Most people who exercise for weight loss don’t exercise long enough. Research shows that you need to exercise at least 20 minutes a day (but more like 40 minutes a day) in order to see some benefit.

Exercising this long is a big commitment on your part, but you can combine exercise with other things that you do every day (such as watching television while riding a stationary bike) to minimize the impact on your schedule. Do you watch a show every night? Then use your stationary bicycle or treadmill while you are watching your show. If you do this after you eat, the benefits will be double (you will be burning off calories that would normally just be added to your waistline, as most people just sit after dinner and you will be getting in your exercise for the day).

The Reason Why You are Exercising

The biggest problem people have when they think about exercise for weight loss is that they really don’t know why they are exercising.

Take a look at the facts:

  • One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories
  • Walking fast for a mile will only burn off around 100 calories

Who wouldn’t get discouraged after reading that? Here is what you need to wrap your mind around about exercise: You don’t exercise to burn off calories; you exercise to boost your metabolism. Your metabolism (or Basal Metabolic Rate) burns somewhere between 1200 to 1800 calories a day even if you are lying in bed doing nothing.

The focus of exercise is not to burn calories, but to build muscles. This is why you exercise. When you add more muscles to your body it boosts your metabolism. When you exercise hard enough, you also boost your metabolism.

Let me say it again: The key to exercise is to raise your metabolism, not to burn calories. This is how you lose weight fast: exercise hard enough, for long enough and build your metabolism.

Start Slow

Before you start exercising, you should check in with your doctor and remember to take it easy at first. I suggest that you start your exercise for weight loss slow and work up in intensity and length. Yes, you can exercise to lose weight fast; but you just have to know what you are doing.

Note: If you really want to supercharge your weight loss, try the 30 Sugar Free Day Program.

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About the Author

I'm Dr. Scott Olson ND. I'm a Naturopathic doctor who specializes in diet, health, nutrition, and alternative medicine. I've written numerous books and articles on health, medicine, and alternative medicine I want to help you get healthy! Take a look at my blog and make sure you join in the conversation!

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