Playing sports on a regular basis is important to keep fit and be healthy, especially if we combine physical activity with a healthy and balanced diet. However, if our goal is to lose weight, it is important to know that some sports help with weight loss more than others, as they speed up your metabolism and burn calories better. Weight loss occurs only when we burn more calories than we get with food. Let's find out what the best sports to lose weight are and discuss how to return to a healthy weight in a short time.
Why Does Aerobic Exercise Help to Lose Weight?
When we perform an aerobics, i.e., running or cycling, the muscles work at the maximum level of oxygenation. Our body uses oxygen from the air, fats, and carbohydrates, and, to a minimal extent, from proteins to generate the energy needed to meet our metabolic demands. Sports involve intense efforts for short periods of time. So, during such activities as weight lifting or bodybuilding, calorie consumption is very low as the effort, although being intense, lasts very little time. These are, therefore, disciplines to be combined with aerobic activity, especially if your aim is to tone the muscles. But, they aren't relevant for an effective weight loss.
Sports for Weight Loss: Sports Activities that Help You Lose Weight
The sports that help you lose weight are focused on endurance — such as running, swimming, cycling, etc. All those disciplines allow you to burn a lot of calories in a short time by involving the muscles of the whole body, resulting in weight loss.
Swimming is a sport suitable for all ages and involving all the muscles of the body. If you increase the intensity of the training, it becomes an ideal activity for weight-loss. For this reason, it is important to increase both the speed and tie you spend in the water. The ideal activity aimed at losing weight with swimming involves a 45-minute workout at least 3 times a week, alternating the different styles and rhythms, and taking short but repeated breaks between one swim and another. Swimming gives the body a complete workout and can lead to burning up to 600 kcal per hour. Sports that combine water and fitness, such as water aerobics or hydro bikes, should not be underestimated.
2. Fast Running to Speed Up the Metabolism
Running is the easiest and cheapest sport to practice but very effective for speeding up the metabolism as it involves large muscle masses. To burn more calories, the running time must be longer than 20 minutes. The ideal scenario would be to run for about 40 minutes, 3 times a week. With running, you burn, on average, 1 Kcal per kg of body weight per kilometer but, to increase the burning of calories, it is advisable to practice fast running. This way, blood circulation is faster, as the heart works faster as well. The body temperature rises, accelerating the basal metabolic rate. As an alternative to fast running, for people with back or knee problems, there is walking or fast walking. In this case, however, the activity must be practiced for at least an hour every day.
3. Tennis or Squash
With tennis, you can burn more than 600 calories in an hour. It also helps to strengthen the arms thanks to the rapid and snappy movements that involve the whole upper part of the body. Again, we speak of an aerobic activity that helps burn calories and dispose of excess fat, facilitating weight loss. The important thing is to practice it for at least an hour and a half two or three times a week. Don't forget about compensation trainings for the arm that does not play frequently.
As an alternative to tennis, there is squash, a very dynamic sport that requires a lot of energy to be involved, which is why it is ideal for weight loss. 10 minutes of this activity is enough to burn more than 100 calories.
4. Free Climbing
For those who love extreme and solitary sports, the ideal activity for weight loss is free climbing. This sport is in contact with nature, and it allows you to burn about 700 calories in an hour as well as strengthen the muscles of the whole body, especially the arms. Climbing is an activity with a high energy expenditure that will allow you to lose weight effectively.
5. Cycling — for the Leg Muscles
Cycling is a sport that can help you burn more than 100 Kcal per hour, and that involves the largest muscles of the legs as well as the quadriceps and buttocks, in addition to the calves. Those who practice cycling at a competitive level almost have no fat mass. The best affordable electric bike will, therefore, help you lose weight and strengthen your thighs and buttocks. Just practice this activity at least three times a week by varying the routes and gradually increasing your pedaling.
6. Martial Arts
Martial arts include karate, kung fu, and also kickboxing — those are activities that can integrate aerobics, making you sweat a lot, with muscle strengthening. They are, therefore, ideal sports for burning calories and having a toned and sculpted body. With an hour of training, you can burn more than 1,300 calories. To lose weight, it is important to be constant in the chosen art by practicing it for at least an hour, three times a week.
7. Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-country skiing is an ideal activity for burning calories as it is a very demanding sport that requires cold and snow. Low temperatures increase calorie consumption, making the body to warm up, thus boosting metabolism. Nordic skiing also involves all the muscles of the body, helping to firm it, as well as increasing its endurance.