The best weight loss exercises for safe exercising this holiday season

Dec 31, 2014
  • Are you trying to manage your body weight this holiday season?
  • Are you frustrated by exercises that leave you feeling sore and sorry?
  • Is exercising sometimes just not worth the effort?

Take heart in knowing that all exercises are not the same and many of us can exercise with comfort and lose weight even with aching joints or pelvic floor problems (e.g. after prostate or prolapse surgery).

This physiotherapist information teaches you the 16 of the most effective weight loss exercises and how much exercise you need to do for moderate weight loss.

The best weight loss exercises for most mature men and women are without doubt low impact exercises.

Low impact exercises can help you exercise with comfort by minimising pressure on your joints and your pelvic floor. Low impact exercises involve the body being supported during exercise or at least one foot remaining in contact with the ground during exercise e.g. walking.

In contrast, high impact exercises that are often prescribed for weight loss involve landing heavily, usually with both feet off the ground e.g. running. High impact exercises can overload your joints especially your knees, hips and/or spine. Landing heavily with impact is also known to worsen pelvic floor problems, especially if you’re already carrying a little too much body weight.


16 of the most effective low impact weight loss exercises

Some low impact exercises are more effective weight loss exercises than others!

To maximise the effectiveness of your weight loss exercise try to incorporate a variety of low impact exercises into your regular routine. Choosing a variety of low impact exercises helps optimise weight loss and reduces the risk of joint dysfunction and associated discomfort.

These 16 low impact exercises are listed in decreasing order according to the amount of energy they burn during exercise.

  1. Road cycling (fast speed >20mph)
  2. Swimming freestyle (fast/vigorous effort)
  3. Swimming breaststroke
  4. Stair machine
  5. Spin class*
  6. Stationary bike (moderate effort)
  7. Swimming freestyle (slow to moderate effort)
  8. Stationary rowing* (moderate effort )
  9. Cross country skiing (slow/light effort)
  10. Water aerobics
  11. Jazzercise
  12. Hiking cross country (no pack)
  13. Elliptical machine
  14. Low impact aerobics
  15. Dancing (disco, folk, square or fast ballroom dancing)
  16. Golf (walking not pulling clubs)

* Require pelvic floor safe exercise technique with pelvic floor problems

Not all exercises suit all individuals – we all have different physical injuries to accommodate and different interests. Choose exercises that best suit your body and your interests, this list is provided as general information for the benefit of readers and not exercise prescription.

How much exercise you need for moderate weight loss

Moderate weight loss is approximately 5-7.5 kg (11-16.5 lb).

To achieve moderate weight loss healthy adults need to do:

  • 45 minutes – 1.5 hours of exercise on 5 days of the week – a dose-response relationship exists for time spent exercising and weight loss; the more time you spend exercising, the more body weight you can expect to lose.
  • Continuous moderate intensity exercise – moderate intensity exercise increases your heart rate and breathing rate but allows you to carry on a conversation

This holiday season choose low impact exercises to help you safely manage body weight and lose weight. Low impact exercises are effective weight loss exercises that help you protect your joints and your pelvic floor. Choose a variety of exercises that suit your body and your needs. Try to commit to exercising on at least 5 days of the week at moderate intensity – the more exercise you do, the more weight you can expect to lose. Now what are you waiting for?

Happy holiday season and safe exercising to all the readers as Starts at Sixty!

This is general information and not a substitute for medical consultation or advice. Always consult your doctor before commencing any new exercise program.


What regular exercises do you do? What works best for losing weight? Share your best tips below.

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