Any woman who has partnered with a man on a weight loss or fitness program knows the frustration of watching his body drip off the pounds while she seems to barely lose an ounce. The struggle and the unfair comparison can cause women to give up—assuming that their fitness effort is futile.
According to an article by CNN, the perception that men lose pounds easier than women carries some weight. The male body is composed of more lean muscle and this allows them to burn calories easier — so, in the beginning of fitness and weight loss programs, men will seem to simply shed those pounds.
But, women of the world, have no fear. Experts say the male advantage is only temporary, and the female body is just as powerful in the fitness world as any man. For women, the focus should be on fitness and strength—instead of the numbers on the scale.
Begin a fitness program that focuses on fun and brings joy—not dread. Start a joyful journey to good health with a few killer workouts to tone, trim and strengthen. Here are the 10 best exercises to lose weight for women fast:
1. Barre Workout
Women who took dance as a child—or beyond—know the beauty and grace of ballet. Bring ballet beauty into fitness with Barre classes. These classes utilize movements from ballet (and yoga and pilates), and the barre is used for support during exercises. Some classes incorporate weights for extra resistance.
Celebrities have embraced hula hoops for a cardio workout. Hoop fitness classes use weighted hula hoops, which aid in a calorie burn of about 210 calories per half hour. Weighted hoops also help strengthen and trim the core, and workouts can be adjusted according to skill level.
Many people have heard of Pilates—but may not actually know what it entails. Pilates often uses specialized benches (some with arm and leg springs) on which practitioners perform exercises that help to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles. However, Pilates also may be done on a mat. Pilates aims for practitioners to gain “a coordination of the mind, body and spirit.”
No, this isn’t the ‘planking’ fad from Internet memes. Planking is a real exercise for the core. How do you ‘plank?’ Lay flat, bend the arms at the elbows, hold the chin slightly up and keep toes pointed down. Be sure to tighten in the tummy muscles. The goal is to use the abs to maintain the position.
Not sure about Pilates? Try YOGA for weight loss. New practitioners can take a class at a local health club or yoga studio. Or learn online. With yoga, breathing is vital to the movements and postures. Learn and master how to mindfully breathe. Focusing on the breath allows the body to overcome the objection of the mind. Yoga trains the body to be fit and provides a basis for overall good health.
Running is great for weight loss and even better for endurance. Invest in a pedometer or check out different wearable fitness accessories to track steps, and begin slowly with a gentle jog or even a brisk walking pace. Alternating between walking and running is perfectly fine, just mind the body’s signals and don’t push too hard too fast.
Jumping rope is one of the cheapest, easiest and most joyful forms of cardio. The simple exercise burns insane calories (800 to 1,000 per hour), tones the body and helps increase endurance…so jump for joy!
8. Step it Up
Working the heart and feeling the calorie burn of cardio means stepping up the fitness game—with stairs! Run up flights of stairs at work or find a building with an insane set of entryway stairs (think Rocky!) and climb! Repeat as necessary.
Stationary bikes at the gym provide a great workout. However, not everyone has a gym membership, and, sometimes, the real deal is just better. Find a scenic bike path that offers several inclines (for resistance and a better workout), pack some ear buds for some great ride music and go. Just don’t forget the helmet!
10. Weight Train
Build the body’s strength by weight training. No, this doesn’t mean bodybuilder. Use free weights for the arms to build and strengthen muscles. Attach ankle weights to give resistance for brisk walks or leg lifts. Focus on sculpting and creating muscle tone and definition.
Every ‘body’ is unique, and YOUR body is priceless. Step away from the scale, and focus on improving health and wellness with fun fitness habits. Enjoy the body and embrace its strength, power and potential.