If you’re on a mission to shed some extra pounds, you need to have a solid fitness plan in place. When it comes to weight loss, not all exercises are created equal, and finding the right ones can make or break your success in achieving your weight-loss goals. But what if we told you there’s one exercise that stands out among the rest in terms of its effectiveness for melting away body fat? We spoke with TJ Mentus, CPT, a certified personal trainer at Garage Gym Reviews, who unveils the number one most effective exercise that can kickstart your weight-loss journey and transform the way you approach fitness.
It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for overall health and well-being. Studies show that weight management is associated with significant reductions in chronic disease risk, such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Beyond the physical health benefits, keeping a healthy weight can also improve your mental health. For example, a 2021 meta-review concluded that having a healthy body weight can support good mental health by enhancing confidence and instilling a positive mindset.
Read on to learn more about the top trainer-recommended weight loss exercise and how to incorporate it into your workout routine. Then, when you’re finished, be sure to check out The #1 Daily At-Home Workout To Lose Weight—for Good.
What is the most effective exercise for weight loss?
So just what is the best exercise for shedding extra pounds? According to Mentus, it’s power walking. “Power walking can be done almost anywhere, no equipment is required, and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes,” says Mentus. “Plus, walking is low-impact and creates little wear and tear on the body, meaning you can recover quickly and go for a long walk daily. This repeatability means you’ll burn more calories over the course of a week than tougher, more intense workouts that you can only do for short periods and need to take a rest day from.”
Not only is power walking a highly versatile exercise for weight loss, but it requires no special equipment and is a low-impact activity that minimizes stress on your body while torching calories.
How does power walking support weight management?
While the total number of calories burned while walking may be less than that of a higher-intensity workout, power walking provides a more sustainable approach to weight management without putting excess strain on your joints and muscles. Plus, there’s plenty of research out there that links walking to weight loss.
“Walking puts your heart rate in a zone where fat is the main energy source,” Mentus explains. “This means that most calories burned from a walk will be from fat. So the overall calories may be less than a boot camp-style workout, but instead of burning carbs, your body will willingly burn fat.”
How much power walking should you do for weight loss?
“Go for at least a 30-minute walk daily,” suggests Mentus. “However, if you’re committed to losing weight, I suggest doing two 30-minute walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. If 30 minutes seems too long, start with a 10-minute walk and try to go multiple times a day until you can comfortably walk for 30 minutes without stopping.”
Starting with shorter, more frequent walks can help you gradually improve your endurance until you can walk for 30 minutes uninterrupted. That being said, be sure to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine.
Try this power walking workout for weight loss.
For an effective power walking workout aimed at weight loss, Mentus recommends starting with a brisk warm-up for five minutes. Follow this with 20 minutes of power walking at a pace that keeps your heart rate elevated. Finish with a five-minute cooldown, and gradually reduce your pace. Feel free to add some hills or inclined to your walk to increase the intensity and incinerate more calories. Following this daily power walking routine will help you achieve your weight loss goals while boosting your cardiovascular health and fitness.