You don't need a high-intensity, high-impact training regime to lose weight -- it's perfectly possible to lose weight with low-intensity workouts. Low-intensity training might also be better suited for beginners and those who are untrained or injured. According to MayoClinic.com, you should aim to drop between 1 and 2 pounds per week. Losing more than this is difficult to maintain, and it's likely that not all extra weight loss would be from fat.
Increase the duration of your exercise sessions. There's a common myth that low-intensity training burns more fat. While it's true that a higher percentage of the calories burned during low-intensity exercise come from fat, vigorous exercise burns more total fat and calories, according to the American Council on Exercise. However, low-intensity workouts are still beneficial for fat loss; you just need to do them for a longer time. If you're used to doing 20- or 30-minute workouts, aim to increase this to at least 45 minutes each session.
Perform more weekly sessions. Along with increasing the time spent training during each session, doing more sessions in a week can increase your weight loss progress. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. For even greater benefits, however, step it up to 300 minutes per week.
Choose activities that burn more calories. There are many different types of low-intensity exercise, but not all of them burn the same number of calories. Walking, for example, only burns around 300 to 400 calories per hour for the average person, according to David Robson, owner of Elite Physique Training Studio. Swimming, cycling and jogging, on the other hand, all burn closer to 600 calories per hour. This increased caloric expenditure will speed up your rate of weight loss.
- Mayo Clinic: Fast Weight Loss: What's Wrong with it?
- American Council on Exercise: Will I Lose Body Fat More Efficiently by Performing My Aerobic Workouts at a Low, Rather Than a High, Intensity?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
- Bodybuilding.com: Which Cardio Methods Melt Fat the Fastest?
- Combine your lower-intensity workouts with a calorie-controlled, healthy diet for optimal results.
- Always consult your health care provider before starting any training regime.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.