What’s the Best Exercise for Weight Loss?
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The best form of exercise is the exercise you’ll still be doing years from today.
I was told a cautionary story of a local woman who lost over 100 pounds in a “The Biggest Loser” weight loss contest. She counted calories, surrounded herself by motivation, and immersed herself into all things health and fitness related. It was an amazing transformation, one that captured the attention of local media.
Unfortunately, she also spent countless hours in the gym to lose those 100 pounds.
When I went to Hampton Hill (the gym we both worked out at), I saw this woman every time I was there. It could’ve been a coincidence, but I was told otherwise. It didn’t matter what time I’d go — 5 AM, 7 AM, after work at 5, a rare Sunday trip at 2 — she’d be in the cardio room upstairs on an elliptical machine.
I admired her determination. I didn’t judge her at all — she could’ve had a sleeping bag in the corner and lived at the gym for all I cared — as long as that’s what she wanted to do and she enjoyed it, then why not spend 3 hours a day at the gym?
Because she wasn’t enjoying it. She hated it.
While exercising for a few hours a day helped her lose weight quickly, it also doomed her in the end. Unfortunately, once the weight loss slowed and she got closer to her goal weight, losing weight turned into maintaining that weight loss.
Losing weight is exciting. Maintaining it is boring.
Eventually, this woman regained every single pound she lost, plus put on some extra pounds for good measure. She stopped going to the gym, lost all motivation, and is now attending nightly pity parties. And she’s reading this post today.
If you love the gym, then please go to the gym. Personally, I love it. I miss going to the gym and have been strongly considering going back and lifting weights there as opposed to the house. Cardio will still be performed in my driveway though, pictured above, by playing basketball and playing with my three year old girl.
But if you don’t love the gym — if you don’t like exercising in front of other people or paying monthly dues or driving to workout — then by all means, don’t think it’s required to lose weight and find some other way to exercise. Don’t associate becoming a gym rat as a requirement to reaching your weight loss goals.
You can routinely burn calories a thousand different ways. Join a kickball team, be active with your kids, take up salsa lessons, shoot some hoops in your driveway, or make some rough love (no details will be provided on that one, thanks).
The best exercise is the one you’ll keep doing well after you’ve lost weight.