The new year is upon us once again, giving us an opportunity to try again to meet all the goals that we failed to meet last year, due to whatever reasons. For many of us, working out for that summer body is a goal that we hope to finally succeed at this year. While some may be comfortable heading to the gym, others would prefer to save on the cost of a membership and just do home workouts instead. If you’re in the latter group, having a weight loss workout plan at home is a great first step in the right direction. Having a set home weight loss workout plan is both a great start to your fitness journey and a way to save time on deciding on which workouts to do. If this sounds like something you are interested in, stick around to learn the benefits of an at-home exercise plan, the best workouts to lose weight at home, and much more.
Can I Lose Weight By Home Workout?
Yes, you can.
While going to the gym is considered the best first step to a weight loss journey, it is not the only way for you to reach your fitness goals – a fact that has been proven by scientific research (3). The two most important things you need to achieve this goal are
- The motivation to start and keep going
- The disciple to keep at it even when the motivation is lacking
Remember that working out is not restricted to a gym. What’s more, you do not need those complicated machines to do your exercises. Something as simple as walking has been shown to have incredible effects on weight loss (4, 2). Your bodyweight is also enough to help lose weight without even having to use any free weights.
What Is A Good Workout Schedule For Weight Loss?
Having a schedule is a great way to ensure that you have your life in order – same goes for weight loss. Our lives are already incredibly busy as it is with us having to juggle work, taking care of and improving our mental health, spending time with family and friends, taking time to ourselves to practice self care, etc. It’s a lot and thus adding a workout to all of this can seem overwhelming.
To ensure that you do not drop any of these multiple balls that you are juggling, here are some factors to consider when coming up with a workout schedule
What time of day works best for you? When do you have free time? For some, it could be super early before the sun even rises, others might choose to work out at 9 am, others at lunchtime, some at 5pm after work, while others will choose to get a workout just an hour or two before bedtime. Because we all have different responsibilities and workday schedules, it is best to choose a time that works for you. A time that you know you’ll always be able to show up for yourself and put in the work.
How Many Days?
After figuring out the time of day, the next thing to do is look at your week/month and figure out how many days a week you can comfortably workout. To many beginners, the thought of hitting the ground running and choosing to workout 7 days a week seems very appealing. Afterall the more work you put in the faster the results, right?
Yes and no. While this is partly true, you need to remember that too much of something is almost always a bad idea – including working out. Overtraining syndrome is a condition that affects many athletes, as well as casual exercises when they workout or train too much. Symptoms of this overtraining syndrome range from extreme fatigue, reduced performance, mood changes, and sleep disturbances to anxiety or even depression (6).
To avoid overtraining, it is recommended that you give your muscles at least 2 days a week of no exercise for them to rest and recover – meaning that you can workout 4 to 5 days a week. However, if you are new to exercising, we recommend that you choose a weight loss workout plan at home that only covers 2 to 3 days.
This may seem too little, but since you are new to the world of working out, you will be sore a lot and need more time to recover. Starting slow also reduces your chances of falling off the wagon. Try working out for just 2 to 3 days for about a month or two and gradually increase the number of days from then on.
Which Exercises To Do
Every good workout plan includes cardio, strength training and rest. Choose the exercises in these categories that work best for you. They should be for your level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), but also challenging enough to work up a sweat and keep your muscles engaged. Also be sure to have a variety of exercises to avoid boredom.
Once you have these 3 things down, then you are good to go. Remember that a good workout schedule is what works best for you, not what everyone is doing or what’s considered popular/trendy.
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Is Working Out 30 Minutes A Day Enough To Lose Weight?
Yes, it is. Not only can a 30 minute workout help you lose weight, but it is also enough to help you maintain or improve your overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease (7). In fact, research has shown that by giving your maximum effort during a simple 30-minute workout, you can end up burning more calories and losing more weight than someone who works out for an hour (1).
What Workout Burns The Most Belly Fat?
If you were to type the above question into your search engine right now, you’d find articles and videos giving varying answers claiming that specific exercises such as crunches, sit-ups, or planks are the best at burning belly fat.
We are here to dissuade you from falling for this. There is no one exercise that works best to burn belly fat. Spot reduction aka losing fat in a certain area of the body through certain specific exercises is a myth. It just doesn’t work (5).
If you want to lose belly fat, ab targeting workouts are good, yes, but you need more. You have to also do full body workouts, cardio as well as strength training. To lose weight/fat, you lose it all over the body, not just one part.
Weight Loss Workout Plan For Beginners At Home
Common belief says that it takes 21 days to build a habit. Whether this is true or not, we can all agree that taking the 1st step is the best way to build good habits and a better life. As a beginner to the workout lifestyle, we suggest trying a 4-week workout plan for weight loss at home. The reasons for this include
- You get to challenge yourself to meet those goals
- It gives you time to see if you really need to head to the gym before forking out the money to get a membership
- A month gives you ample time to gauge how you feel about working out overall. What exercises do you enjoy the most? Which ones would you rather avoid or modify to work better for you? Etc.
The best types of exercises to have on your at home 4-week workout plan for weight loss include
Also known as cardio, these are workouts that work to improve endurance and your cardiovascular system i.e, your heart and lungs. They are also great for burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Some aerobics for your at home workout plan can include swimming, walking, jogging, cycling, running, and hiking.
Aka resistance training these are exercises whose main goal is to build your strength and endurance. In the gym, these workouts would mostly be associated with weight lifting, but you don’t need free weights of gym machinery to do them. Your body weight is enough. Some examples include squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups, burpees, planks, calf raises, etc.
Balance And Flexibility
As the name suggests, these work to improve your balance, which reduces the risk of falling over, and flexibility, which increases the range of movement of your muscles and joints making daily life and exercise better. Perfect examples of this include yoga and Tai Chi.
Ps. Balance and flexibility exercises are best done on rest days as a form of active rest – low-intensity activities that allow you to keep up your fitness momentum and promote better recovery for your muscles.
The Bottom Line
If it’s been your desire to start a weight loss workout plan at home, then there’s no better time than now. Do not allow yourself to procrastinate any longer. With the above tips and points, you have everything you need to start working on your plan, get healthier and in shape. Good luck!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 30 minutes of daily exercise does the trick: Same effect in half the time (2019, sciencedaily.com)
- Dose-response effect of walking exercise on weight loss. How much is enough? (2002, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Home-Based Exercise Training Systems, Combined with Diet, on Cardiometabolic Health (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Walking Speed on Total and Regional Body Fat in Healthy Postmenopausal Women (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Myths and Misconceptions: Spot Reduction and Feeling the Burn (2013, acefitness.org)
- Overtraining Syndrome (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2022, health.gov)