If you're starting your weight loss journey for the first time this year, there's a few things to learn. For starters, losing weight doesn't have to cost the earth: You don't need a gym packed to the rafters with the latest fitness equipment in order to lose weight. After all, this is the era of COVID, and many gyms are closed as a result of the pandemic.
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You could pick up some home gym kit, such as the best rowing machine or best elliptical machines, to help you in your fitness quest. But to start with, you should learn to master these five bodyweight moves that will help you tone up, build muscle and lose weight fast.
Weight loss exercises: Walking to lose weight
Yes, walking! If you're wondering how to get fit and this is your first time trying a weight loss exercise, walking is one of the best places to start. It's low-intensity, easy to incorporate into your day and very beneficial. Now many of us are sitting at home and no longer commuting as a result of the coronavirus, walking is one of the best things we can do for our overall health.
You don't need much to get started: just some comfortable clothes, a pair of the best shoes for walking and our list of tips below.
- Walking to lose weight: 7 tips to kickstart your weight loss journey.
Weight loss exercises: Push ups
It's one of the simplest moves you can start with, and one lots of people first try in gym or PE class. Push ups work your triceps, chest, shoulders and abdominals simultaneously, as it's like holding a plank while pumping your arms at the same time. This kind of move, which works several different muscle groups, is called a "compound move", and they're great for losing weight because you're burning lots of energy. You'll be seeing a lot more of them in this list.
Once you master the push up, you'll be able to move on to lots of different variations, some of which are especially taxing on your arms and core. they're a great way to lose weight on your arms and build muscle all over your body.
Weight loss exercises: Squats
Just as push ups train your upper body, squats are a great way to train your lower body muscles without impacting your joints. They're a safe way to exercise your core, quads (thigh muscles) and glutes (bum muscles). If you eventually start running for fitness, you'll be able to propel yourself forward faster. In addition, your bones and muscles in your legs will become stronger after consistent squats practice.
Weight loss exercise: Stretching
Stretching is not exactly a weight loss exercise. On its own, it won't help you burn fat. However, after a long period of inactivity, your muscles begin to contract and their range of motion becomes shorter, making physical exercise much more difficult to perform. This also happens naturally as you age, which is why people get stiff as they get older.
Stretching is a way to mitigate this. Regular stretching practice can help our muscles lengthen again, keeping our bodies active. Although stretching won't help on its own, it will keep your body limber and healthy, so you're able to perform the other activities on this list much more effectively, losing weight in the process. Regular stretching will also help our bodies recover from exercise much faster, so you can do it more.
Weight loss exercises: Burpees
If you've ever tried high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, chances are you're heard people groan when they hear the word "burpees". This move is extremely taxing, working all the muscles of a push up plus your legs, which increased cardiovascular work thanks to the explosive jumps and the effort of sprawling on the ground and back up again.
It's a great weight loss move for all the above reasons, burning calories quickly and forcing you to work at maximum intensity. However, it's not the most enjoyable of moves...
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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