A workout routine can help women lose weight when it combines moderate- to vigorously-paced cardio with weight training on a regular basis. You can work out at the gym, at home or outdoors, but for effective weight loss, you should plan to perform strength-training exercises at least two days per week and cardiovascular exercise for at least 150 minutes per week according to recommendations from the Department of Health.
A workout routine for women who want to lose weight should include a combination of cardio exercise and strength training. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories and strength training increases muscle size to burn calories throughout the day. Because you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb. of fat, any boost in calorie burn will help you lose weight.
Choosing a Workout
Any workout routine will aid in weight loss whether it’s circuit training, going for a bike ride, using exercise videos at home, taking a class at the gym or community center or simply donning a pair of running shoes and using your own body weight to exercise. Whatever the type of exercise, it should combine cardio and strength training.
Watch the Intensity
To reap the weight loss benefits of exercise, you need to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. While any activity is great for your health, going too slow or not long enough won't help you lose weight. For an exercise to be moderately paced, you should be able to speak in brief sentences, but not sing. When you're exercising vigorously, you can speak only a few words at a time.
Grab Some Weight
A common piece of misinformation given to women is that to avoid having bulky muscles, you should not lift weights. However, women lack the testosterone necessary for extreme hypertrophy as seen in body builders. Furthermore, it is the moderate increase in muscle size--typically as it replaces body fat--that burns extra calories to help you lose weight. Toned muscles also trim your figure and strengthen your bones. The Department of Health advises working all the major muscle groups including the legs, arms, abs and back twice a week.
Enjoy the Benefits
A workout routine that provides intense cardiovascular exercise not only yields greater weight loss overall, but also has been shown to reduce belly fat specifically, according to a study published in the October 2005 issue of the “Journal of Applied Physiology.” Study participants who performed the equivalent of running 20 miles per week lost 17 pounds of belly fat over an eight-month period.
- Journal of the American Medical Association: "Physical Activity and Weight Gain Prevention"rel="nofollow"
- Department of Health: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Adultsrel="nofollow"
- MedLine Plus: Weight Controlrel="nofollow"
- Journal of Applied Physiology: "Inactivity, Exercise, and Visceral Fat"rel="nofollow"
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.