Losing weight is different for everyone. Some find it easy and some find it much harder but it can be hugely rewarding and satisfying when you start seeing the results of all your hard work. And we all enjoy different sports but with so many different sports available, what are the best ones out there for weight loss?
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
It’s not technically a sport, but it’s one of the best ways to burn the fat so we’ll let it off. HIIT which stands for high-intensity interval training is a workout made up of repeated rounds of exercise performed at maximum effort each time. These intervals of high-intensity exercise will follow with a short period of recovery before starting back up again. HIIT uses the principals of Metcon and Tabata.
For example, you could do 1 minute of sprinting on the treadmill followed by 2 minutes of jogging. Repeat this 8-10 times, and you’ll soon feel the burn. HIIT can be adapted for most sports to suit your needs and requirements.
It takes a lot of energy to become a spin instructor, but spinning is another ‘not quite a sport’ that can help you lose a lot of weight, all over the body. A single spinning class can burn up to 500 calories, which can certainly make a big difference if done regularly. It’s also very similar to HIIT as you’re working out for intense short intervals that are followed with short resting periods. Even after you’ve hopped off the bike, you’ll still be burning calories hours later.
Spinning is not only great for weight loss but also improves your cardiovascular health too and helps with endurance.
Swimming is another sport that’s great for endurance and improving your cardiovascular health. And with many stroke options such as breaststroke and front crawl, you can mix it up to make swimming a little more interesting. It’s also a great sport if you want a low impact exercise that’s gentle on the body. This means that those will joint problems will opt for this.
With swimming, it’s one of those sports that doesn’t feel like you’re doing exercise. You can do it at your own pace. As swimming uses so many muscles in your body, you’re guaranteed to get an all over body workout.
Running is a very simple sport that just requires a good pair of trainers. As running can be a little mundane, listening to music while running can make it a bit more interesting. Running is great to do when warming up in the gym but it also can be a great way to lose weight. If you enjoy running, there are organisations like Parkrun where you can take part in 5K’s (running 5 kilometres), and you’re up for a challenge you might want to enter for a half marathon or marathon!
Ok so it might just be a good excuse to dance, but Zumba is one of the fun ways to exercise and have fun at the same time. Zumba can be done by anyone and there’s not a particular pressure to follow the moves. It’s normally offered as a class at your local gym but has also become more popular outside of the confines of the gym. It’s important though that even if you don’t follow the moves fully, that you put as much energy into it as possible. Otherwise, you won’t burn the calories! Zumba welcomes all ages so just because it’s new doesn’t mean it can’t be done by anyone and everyone.
Boxing has become a very popular sport for losing body weight and has provided those who do it often, with incredible results. This sport requires you to make a few purchases before you start if it’s not already provided at the gym. This includes gloves, wrist supports etc. For those who never like working out, boxing seems to be a sport that makes doing fitness more fun.
Boxing is all about being mobile, so it might not be for everyone. However, it has become more popular with celebrities and supermodels alike opting for this type of workout when exercising. This sport requires a lot of endurance so if you didn’t have any, to begin with, you soon will.
A great sport to take part in if you like doing exercise in a group. It might be available at your gym if it’s big enough to fit in a court, but usually, you’ll find it’s more widely available outside of the gym in your local area. Group sports like this are a great way to meet new people and challenge yourself when exercising. As you’re constantly moving the whole body, your endurance levels are certain to rise.
Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing can be found locally and is a great way to get an all body workout and is a body weight resistance type of sport. It can feel quite intimidating at first, but once you get used to it, it can be incredibly fun and encourages you to challenge yourself. Climbing outdoors is a great way for you to see your local area from a different viewpoint while burning those all-important calories.
Ice skating is a sport that requires a lot more skill, in particular, balance but when you master it, skating can be a great way to lose weight. It’s a form of exercise that is going to raise your heart rate and gets the blood pumping around the body. Ice skating also strengthens the muscles by helping to replace the fat with them. Stretching is important prior to skating, and like boxing, you’ll need to invest in a bit of equipment if training outside of a venue that may provide them for a fee.
Cross Country Skiing
If you prefer a colder climate and a snowy environment, then you’ll find skiing to be a very enjoyable sport that can burn as many calories as gym-based exercises do. Cross Country Skiing is very demanding on the body, requiring a lot of your energy and like ice skating, it requires a good amount of balance. Studies have found that those who are skiing for around six hours can burn around 2,500 to 3,000 calories. It’s another sport where you can have fun, and it doesn’t really feel like exercising. Those are the best kinds of exercising right?
Tennis is another fun sport, that doesn’t feel like you’re working out. But with these types of sport, you need to do it properly in order to lose the weight. This is because tennis tends to be a bit of a stop-start kind of sport, so it’s important you do that high-intensity bursts for those short periods. Some top fitness tips for tennis and weight loss are:
- Play tennis with someone also looking to lose weight so that the focus remains on working hard throughout.
- Use a ball machine for part of your workout as this will need to you to be constantly working.
- Have a long warm up to really help stretch the muscles. Tennis can be quite an impact heavy sport with sudden movements.
- During wait times, jump up and down or jog on the spot to keep yourself moving and burning the calories.
It’s not a sport that you would think would be popular, especially as we don’t have the wonderful sunshine and whitewashed beaches where you’d normally play volleyball, but it is a great way of burning calories fast. Volleyball can be played both outdoors and indoors and is another group based sport that requires good communication and awareness of your teammates. If you work hard at hitting the ball you can burn around 300 calories an hour.
Many volleyball games aren’t competitive, but you subsequently don’t burn as many calories as you’re not working so hard. Beach volleyballers will burn as many calories as cross-country skiers which is likely due to the ground they are playing on. Sand isn’t sold so requires you to use your muscles in order to pick yourself out of the ground.
And if you’re wanting to just stick to the gym-based activities, then the best exercises for losing weight can be weight training because of the prolonged intensity of the exercise which means your body is using more oxygen and therefore prolongs the calorie burn even after you’ve stopped working out. Skipping ropes can be great for a high-intensity workout, and the rowing machine is also beneficial for an all over body workout. Yoga can also help with weight loss over time but is a lower impact form of exercising as it doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part.
Exercising when trying to lose weight is only half of the battle. A good, healthy diet also needs to be maintained in order to keep the weight off so be sure to stay away from the carbs in the evening, eat plenty of protein and drink lots of water to help make the most of exercising in your chosen sport.