We all know that exercise helps us lose weight, but what is the best exercise to lose weight?  Speaking strictly in calorie terms, the best exercise to lose weight is Cross Country Skiing.

The number of calories burned during exercise depends upon factors including the height and weight of the person doing the exercise and their basal metabolic rate, or BMR, which is the amount of calories burnt while at rest.  On average one could expect to burn between 270 and 600 calories in half an hour of cross country skiing, depending upon how much effort is put in.

While cross country skiing has great weight loss potential, it is not a convenient form of exercise for most of us.  It is also an exercise that requires a certain level of fitness and degree of skill.  This being the case, cross country skiing is not necessarily the best exercise to lose weight.  Other exercises that could be classed amongst the best in terms of calories burned include cycling, kick boxing, running, rowing, step aerobics and squash.

The best exercise to lose weight is an exercise you enjoy doing.  The reason for this is that you will be more likely to stick with something you enjoy.  Unless you are extremely disciplined, if you choose to do an exercise you don’t enjoy simply because it burns a lot of calories, you could soon find yourself making excuses to skip workouts.  If you enjoy walking and don’t like jogging, you’d be far better off walking three to five times a week than jogging once or twice a week, even though walking burns fewer calories than jogging.

If someone weighing 150 pounds walks at a brisk pace for half an hour they will burn approximately 130 calories.  If the same person were to jog at a pace of 5 mph and cover the same distance, they would burn approximately 150 calories in twelve minutes.  The difference in calories burned is minor, and those with a busy schedule might be tempted to opt for the exercise that will burn more calories in less time.  However, to get health and fitness benefits from exercise, it’s recommended the activity be undertaken continuously for at least twenty minutes in any one session.  This being the case, it would be better to walk briskly for half an hour than to jog briskly for twelve minutes.

Increasing the speed and putting more effort in when exercising will mean more calories burnt, so by all means go faster if you are comfortable doing so.  Keep in mind though that in terms of weight loss, increased speed will not necessarily equate to a greater number of calories burned.  It’s the distance covered and/or length of time one exercises that is the most important factor.  Going all out for five minutes then finishing your workout at a sluggish pace will not give the best result.  Going too fast too soon if you’re not used to exercising could also result in injury that could put you on the sidelines, thus slow down your weight loss campaign.

The best exercise to lose weight will always be more effective when combined with a sensible, low calorie diet plan.

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