Fitness

Does a 1/2-Hour Workout Help You Lose Weight?

Does a 1/2-Hour Workout Help You Lose Weight?


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Thirty minutes a day can help shed extra body fat.

Over time, 30-minute workouts can help you lose weight at a steady pace if you choose the right exercises and keep an eye on your diet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, or five 30-minute workouts every week. Each workout can get you a little closer to achieving your weight-loss goal.

Losing Weight

Weight loss boils down to a numbers game - burn more calories than your take in. It's referred to as caloric balance, and to lose weight you must be in a calorie deficit. If you can manage to burn and/or cut 500 calories per day, you're on pace to losing 1 pound per week. A 30-minute workout can get you there, but be prepared to work hard.

Type of Exercise

Thirty minutes of walking each day is great for your overall health, but it doesn't burn a significant number of calories. If weight loss is your goal, increase the intensity. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a vigorous workout consisting of slow “rest” intervals followed by intense “work” intervals. You can use any aerobic exercise to design an HIIT workout, including jogging, elliptical training or biking. Simply alternate one minute of rest with one minute of vigorous exercise for up to 30 minutes. You can easily burn 500 calories per workout with HIIT, but even better, it causes your body to continue burning calories at a high rate for hours after the workout is done. This is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC.

Weight-Loss Goal

Set a realistic weight-loss goal when designing your exercise strategy. It can help you achieve better results. The CDC recommends losing weight at a rate not exceeding 2 pounds per week, or the equivalent of 1,000 calories per day. Most 30-minute workouts don't burn 1,000 calories, so a more realistic goal may be 2 to 4 pounds per month.

Considerations

A key factor in losing weight is your diet. Burning 500 calories working out for 30 minutes per day is tough; however, cutting 500 calories from your daily caloric intake is usually much easier. For example, eliminate your daily can of soda and avoid high-calorie specialty coffees in the morning to eliminate 500 or more calories per day. So, you can maximize your weight-loss results by continuing to exercise 30 minutes each day, at least five days per week, and cutting empty calories from your diet.



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