The best exercises for weight loss

I admit, I’m not exactly up on current events, but I have a good reason.best exercises for weight loss

Every time I open my browser I am immediately hit with news that makes me want to drop everything and build an underground cement bunker, and then run to Costco to fill it up with cans of beans, flashlights, and other non-perishables.

And some days that’s just from reading Facebook.

It’s particularly disturbing because I consider myself an optimist. I imagine all the pessimists are already underground, stockpiling toilet paper and painting pictures of flowers on their fake windows while they still remember the look of an un-scorched earth.

Problem is, it’s part of my job as a writer to know the latest and greatest developments in the fitness world. So I hold my breath, scrolling super slowly, inching my gaze down the page through squinted eyes, prepared to immediately leave the page if a disturbing headline rises above the bottom of my screen.

Sadly, that’s often enough to ruin my day. I don’t need details because my brain instantly creates the scene for me, and that’s never good.

But then, once in a great while a headline pops into view that I know I must not only read but pick apart and decide if it’s worthy to report to my loyal followers who rely on me to wade through the noise and speak the truth.

That happened this week.

Here’s the thing: Every fitness/weight loss/dietary headline sounds as if readers will read it and say to themselves, “Finally! Someone figured all this out and I will never have to read another fitness or weight loss article the rest of my life. Now I can go back to watching binge watching Stranger Things.”

But such is not the case.

Examples of headlines that promise to solve your most pressing problems (and some you didn’t know you had) include:

  • Do this 10-second exercise once a month for flat abs!
  • 5 Exercises that get rid of hemorrhoids!
  • 6 Fruits that halt underarm hair in its tracks!

Okay, I may or may not have made these up.

But admit, it. You’d be hard pressed to scroll past these articles, even merely out of curiosity. What if eating red grapes cut back on your weekly underarm hair removal costs? You’d be totally in – who wouldn’t, right?

So when it comes to exercise headlines, I’m always more than a bit leary.

Case in point, an article that originally appeared on Health and was featured this week on the front page of Yahoo.

A new study by Duke University tracked approximately 120 overweight and sedentary volunteers for eight months. Some performed resistance exercise while others did cardio (aerobic) exercise or a combination of the two.

best exercises for weight lossWho do you think lost the most weight?

The winner: cardio exercisers. The aerobic exercise group lost about four pounds, while those who did only strength training gained two. (Granted, muscle gain was behind the gain, but if you’re looking only at the numbers on the scale you won’t feel as if you’re making progress… more on this in a bit.)

Holey moley! Clearly this means you need to drop those weights and do only cardio if you want to lose weight, right?

No, no, and N-O.

As I expected, the study researchers gradually peel back the layers of the results, which reveals a truth that somehow got lost in all the excitement of this “new” discovery.

In other words: Let the back pedaling begin!

Okay, so the first conclusion you come to when reading this article is: In order to lose weight the fastest, you need to do cardio only. Anything else will not work as well.

Glad that’s settled. At this point you may have closed your computer and moved on to other, more important things, such as clipping the cat’s toenails.

But wait. There’s more.

One of the researchers quoted in the piece adds: That’s not to say that you shouldn’t lift weights, especially as you get older and start losing muscle mass. Resistance training is important for maintaining lean body mass, strength and function, and being functionally fit is important for daily living no matter what your size.” best exercises for weight loss

Say what? You mean we’re not done here?

Sorry. If only it were this easy.

So even though you burn the greatest number of calories per minute while doing cardio, you still need weight training for the aforementioned reasons.

Or, to put them in my own terms, you need resistance training if you want to achieve a fit, firm and ageless body.

Who knew? YOU did, if you’ve even read one, single blog post of mine, you smarty pants.

So your next conclusion (after you thought you had all this in the bag): You also need to work out with weights.

Alrighty. That leaves us with cardio and weight training.

Then yet another researcher hops on the bandwagon and reminds people that “exercise by itself won’t lead to big weight loss. What and how much you eat has far greater impact.”

Oh, so now we not only have to do cardio PLUS weights, but we also have to watch what we eat???

Stop the insanity!

In essence, what started out as a single, eureka! moment has now turned into something you knew before you even read this startling revelation of a news flash: You need cardio, resistance training and a clean diet to lose weight for the long haul.

Checkmate.

Here’s the thing: There’s no One Solution to any of this, although it doesn’t stop us from hoping someone will someday come up with a weight loss cure worthy of a Shark Tank episode.

Until then, your best approach is to take a multifaceted one:

  • — Cardio for 30 minutes five or more days of the week, which may be broken up into 3, 10-minute bouts in lieu of a continuous half-hour stretch
  • — Resistance training that includes all major muscle groups three days a week (two minimum)
  • — Eat clean 80% of the time — no junk food and as little processed foods, sugar and white flour/sugar

NOW YOU… How often do you do cardio and strength training weekly? Let me know in the comments section below — and please forward this to your friends on social media and via email! I would be forever grateful. ♥  

Need help with your program? Send me note at Linda@LindaMelone.com and we’ll chat. Or try my free 7-Day Challenge, which you can sign up for on the homepage.

Other posts you may enjoy:

3 ways to tell fitness fact from fiction

10 key questions to ask yourself for faster result

Best exercise routine for ageless muscles

Your Ageless Body Coach,

8 Comments

  1. Sue Ainge on April 20, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Hi Linda

    Great article as ever, and amusing to boot!

    I am 58 (59 next month – yikes!). I walk dogs 5 days a week averaging about 4 hours walking per day. Anything from fast pace to a potter around while the pooches do their thing.

    I do Kettlercise twice a week (45 mins), circuits once (45 mins), Pilates occasionally. I also do a 45 minute class using weights/dumbells to music but not sure if this is going much for me. Finally, another class that has a cardio, abs and weight section, again 45mins. So that’s 5-6 classes a week usually.

    I have shoulder problems (sad emoji here!) so sometimes have to take it easy using the kettle bells.

    I am thinking that I probably should do a couple of sessions per week, purely fir resistance/strength/weights. Not sure, so your opinion would be appreciated.

    Keep up the great work for us Ageless ladies!

    Sue
    X

    • Linda Melone on April 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Thanks, Sue! Congrats on staying so active :). Since I don’t know the breakdown on the class, it’s hard for me to say if it’s enough or not enough. Some classes are better than others as far as the effectiveness of their resistance training. Shoulders are a HUGE issue as we age. Are you a member of my Facebook group? I did a quick video last week on why, if you’re interested. Check it out there. Keep up the good work!

  2. Carol on April 20, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Glad you share good common sense!
    Starting walking neighborhood
    Now jog down hills and as far as I can
    Now up to 40 minutes
    Weight not fly off but wearing smaller size
    Thanks.

    • Linda Melone on April 20, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Sounds like you’re making great progress, Carol! 🙂

  3. Tonia Steinkamp on April 20, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Hello,

    Do you feel that using bands for resistance training are as effective as free weights?

    Thank you

    • Linda Melone on April 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Great question, Tonia! In a nutshell: they’re different and both offer pros and cons. Tubing is great for beginners because they tend to be less “intimidating” than free weights. On the downside, they create variable resistance throughout a movement, which makes something like overhead presses or lateral raises (both shoulder exercises) particularly tough. In other words, the movement starts out with little resistance but by the time you’re at the end it’s a lot harder. I suggest mixing them up if you have access to both. Tubing is also very inexpensive and great for travel :). Actually, I could go on forever… I will address this in a future blog post in greater depth!

  4. Liz Graham on April 24, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I read that same article, had the same reaction. I need a jump start and appreciate your knowledge and candor. I went through a couple years with an issue right hip, leg, back from leaning over table as a neuromuscular therapist and few other issues. I have been an athlete majority of my life. I just lost my mom, son is grown, father six years ago. A breakthrough in fitness will lead to other breakthroughs desired.

    • Linda Melone on April 25, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Hi Liz, First, I’m sorry about your mom. It’s always interesting to me how those of us in the field of helping others often end up with injuries ourselves. A fitness breakthrough does often lead to other breakthroughs, for sure. 🙂

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