Losing 5 pounds a month through exercise can be challenging. At a minimum, it requires a lot of dedication and a commitment to working out daily for more than just an hour a day. To make the weight loss easier, you might want to make some changes to your diet, such as cutting down on sugars and white flour, as well as on sweets and high-fat snacks.
Keep the amount of calories you need to burn in mind at all times. If your goal is to lose 5 pounds a month, it means you should be losing 1.25 pounds per week. Since a pound equals 3500 calories, your goal is to burn 4375 calories per week -- or 625 per day -- in order to meet your goal.
Choose activities that burn the most calories. Swimming, walking and yoga can be good for you, but they all burn less than 300 calories per hour. That means you would have to exercise for more than two hours every day in order to burn enough calories to stay on track. Instead, choose high-calorie burning activities such as spinning, which can burn up to 600 calories per 40-minute session. Other activities that burn a lot of calories include step aerobics, which burns about 598 calories per hour, and Jazzercise classes, which can burn around 422 calories per hour.
Head outside to exercise whenever you can. The uneven terrain and wind resistance can increase the difficulty of the workout, causing you to burn more calories per hour than you would working out inside. Good outdoor calorie burners include hiking with a backpack and cross-country skiing, both of which can burn around 493 calories per hour. If you do a lot of uphill walking when you’re out cross-country skiing, you could be burning up to 1161 words per hour.
Add some weight training to your workout. Light weight training doesn't burn a lot of calories -- about 211 per hour -- but it does help to build muscle. And muscle can help rev up your metabolism, making it easier to burn calories and speeding up your weight loss.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.