If feeling self-conscious at the gym was your excuse not to exercise, you're out of excuses -- it's possible to achieve your weight-loss goals without expensive gym memberships or fancy exercise equipment. There are plenty of exercises you can incorporate in your plan to shed the excess flab and jiggle in a time- and cost-efficient manner all without leaving the house.
Aerobic exercise is essential to getting rid of the jiggle in your wiggle and the muffin top hiding beneath your loose-fitting shirt. Perform at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week to shed the fat. If you have a stationary bike or treadmill at home, hop on them to burn calories. But they're not your only options -- pop in an exercise DVD and get your sweat on. You can also walk, bike or jog with friends to maintain motivation and accountability while enjoying a little social time.
Blast Fat with Interval Training
When a hectic schedule cuts into your exercise plans, it's time to find something more efficient. Interval training can help you shave 10 to 15 minutes off a typical one-hour workout while still maintaining a good calorie burn. Alternate between four minutes of exercise at your regular pace followed by one minute at a faster pace. For instance, walk briskly for four minutes and then jog or run for one minute. Continue to alternate intervals for 45 minutes.
You might be inclined to skip the strength-training exercises if your focus is on weight loss, but this is actually counterproductive. As you build muscle with weight-bearing exercises, your body will burn calories more efficiently. You'll also look leaner and feel stronger. Perform strength-training exercises two or three times per week for 20 minutes per session. Exercises such as chest and shoulder presses, dumbbell rows, trunk rotations, squats and lunges can help you get a good total-body workout without leaving the comfort of your home.
Keep in Mind
Engaging in aerobic and strength training exercises will help you drop the lumps and bumps you want to get rid of while developing a lean, toned body. But you can reach your weight-loss goals a little faster if you combine your workouts with a reduced calorie diet. Shave off 250 to 500 calories from your daily intake to lose an additional .5 to 1 pound per week. Focus on eating healthy foods that fuel your body, such as fresh produce, lean protein, whole grain products and low- to non-fat dairy. Plan your weight loss and exercise efforts with your doctor to ensure they're safe and appropriate for you.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight
- Harvard Medical School: Easy Ways to Add Exercise to Your Day
- MayoClinic.com: Rev Up Your Workout with Interval Training
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Common-Sense Strategies to Long-Term Weight Loss
- Georgia State University: Upper Body Strength Training Exercises
- Georgia State University: Lower Body Strength Training Exercises
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.