Exercise is a very important part of any weight loss program. Running is a very popular form of exercise for weight loss, should you choose to start running or another form of exercise?
Runing is a great choice if you want to start exercising for weight loss as is does not require any special equipment. If you are looking for a full-body workout that is easy on your joints, swimming or cycling might be better options and if you are looking to build muscle and improve your metabolism, weightlifting is a great alternative. The best form of exercise for you will depend on your personal preferences and goals.
In this article, we will compare running to other popular forms of exercise such as cycling, swimming, weightlifting and go over the benefits of each type of exercise for weight loss.
Why exercise is important for weight loss
Before we compare different types of exercise for weight loss, let's take a look at why exercise is so important for weight loss as a whole.
Exercise burns calories
Everyone knows exercise burns calories. The higher the intensity of the exercise, the more calories you burn. Burning more calories than you consume is the key to losing weight.
Exercise boosts metabolism
Regular exercise can increase your metabolic rate, this means your body will burn more calories even when you are at rest.
Exercise preserves muscle mass
When you lose weight, you want to lose fat, not muscle. Regular exercise, especially strength training, can help preserve your muscle mass while you lose weight.
Now we have gone over why exercise is important for weight loss, let's compare different types of exercise to see which one is best for weight loss.
Running for weight loss
Running is a popular form of exercise for weight loss for many reasons.
Running burns a lot of calories: Running is a high-intensity exercise that can burn up to 600 calories per hour.
Running is accessible: You do not need any special equipment to go for a run. All you need is a comfortable pair of trainers.
Running is a weight-bearing exercise: When you run, you are supporting your own body weight, which can help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Running does have some drawbacks you should consider.
Running can be hard on your joints: The repetitive impact of running can put stress on your joints, especially if you're overweight or have a history of joint problems.
Running can be intimidating: If you are not used to running, it can be daunting to get started.
Cycling for weight loss
Cycling is a common exercise that can be great for weight loss.
Cycling is low-impact: Unlike running, cycling is a low-impact exercise that is easier on your joints.
Cycling is a great cardiovascular workout: Cycling can improve your cardiovascular fitness, which can help you burn more calories during other activities.
Cycling can be done indoors or outdoors: Cycling can be done on a stationary bike or outdoors on a road or trail.
Like running, cycling also has some downsides you should be aware of.
Cycling can be expensive: While you do not need a high-end bike to get started, cycling can be an expensive hobby if you get really into it.
Cycling does not build as much bone density: Cycling is a non-weight-bearing exercise, which means it doesn't have the same bone-building benefits as running or weightlifting.
Swimming for weight loss
Swimming is a full-body workout that can be great for weight loss.
Swimming is low-impact: Like cycling, swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints.
Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout: Swimming can improve your cardiovascular fitness, which can help you burn more calories during other activities.
Swimming can be fun: Many people such as myself enjoy swimming and find it to be a relaxing and enjoyable form of exercise.
Swimming also has some drawbacks you should consider.
Swimming can be inconvenient: For me I moved from swimming to other forms of exercise as you need to go to a swimming pool to swim.
Swimming can be difficult for beginners: Learning how to swim properly can take time and effort, which can be a barrier for some people and when you give it a long break it is harder to get back into than other forms of exercise.
Swimming does not build as much bone density: Swimming is a non-weight-bearing exercise that does not have the same bone-building benefits as running or weightlifting.
Weightlifting for weight loss
Weightlifting is one of my main exercises I do every week. It is often an overlooked form of exercise for weight loss, but it can be very effective.
Weightlifting builds muscle: The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Weightlifting is a great way to build muscle mass while losing fat.
Weightlifting is a weight-bearing exercise: It can help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Weightlifting can improve your metabolism: As you build more muscle, your metabolism will increase, and you will burn more calories when you are not exercising.
Weightlifting has some downsides as well that you should consider before participating in this form of exercise.
Weightlifting can be difficult to start: If you are not familiar with weightlifting, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Weightlifting requires equipment: You will need access to weights or weight machines to do weightlifting, which can be a barrier for some people.
Weightlifting can be hard on your joints: If you are not careful, weightlifting can put stress on your joints, especially if you use poor form or lift too much weight.
Which exercise is best for your weight loss journey?
There is no one size fits all for what exercise is best for weight loss. All forms of exercises have benefits and disadvantages which will affect what exercise is best for you.
In my opinion the best exercise for you to lose weight is an exercise you enjoy, will do consistently and at the right intensity.
Exercise is an important part of any weight loss journey and there are many different exercises to consider. Whatever form of exercise you choose, the most important thing is to do it consistently and at the right intensity.