Exercise to Lose Weight

What kind of exercise - and how much - is best when you're trying to lose weight?

By Barbara Russi Sarnataro
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

If someone told you right now what the absolute best exercise to lose weight was, would you do it? You might when you read this. Drum roll, please ...

The best exercise to lose weight is: "the exercise you'll do," says Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD, a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Other experts interviewed by WebMD said much the same thing about weight loss workouts.

"The two things that stop people from losing weight with exercise are either boredom or injury," says physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist Ben Quist, PhD, NSCA.

The truth is that weight loss is about creating a calorie deficit -- in other words, burning more calories than you take in. So, they say, while running at an 8-minute-mile pace might be a great calorie burner, if you're not going to do it, it's not going to help you. Instead, start with something you can do, like walking or working out on an elliptical machine or exercise bike.

The Beef on Strength Training

In all cases, however, you'll burn more calories with cardio (aerobic) exercise than with strength or resistance training.