BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!

Fitness and Health

Fitness and health go hand in hand, and this section of our health library is devoted to exploring the relationship between these two very important aspects of life.

Exercise to Lose Weight

Simply put, weight loss occurs when calories out exceed calories in, though diet, hormones, and other physical and environmental factors play a large role. But is there a best exercise to lose weight? Find out how exercise works to lose weight here!


Simply put, weight loss occurs when calories out exceed calories in, though diet, hormones, and other physical and environmental factors play a large role. While calories in is impacted by diet, calories out can rise through regular physical activity. But is there a best exercise to lose weight? Find out how exercise works to lose weight here!

How Exercise Works to Lose Weight

Simply put, any sort of activity can stimulate calorie burn. However, exercising promotes weight loss largely based on its two subtypes: aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Aerobic Exercise

During aerobic exercise, oxygen supplies the body's cells with energy. During the initial 20 minutes, the body utilizes carbohydrate and its body stores (known as glycogen) as its primary fuel source. After 20 minutes of constant movement, the body starts to burn body fat to power the muscles and body, also known as "aerobic fat-burning." Aerobic exercises commonly involve continuous, rhythmic movements of large muscles for at least 20 minutes and include jogging and running, brisk walking, cycling, dancing, and canoeing.

Anaerobic Exercise

Unlike aerobic, anaerobic exercise relies on energy breakdown from muscle stores rather than oxygen, while being short in duration and involve high-intensity levels. The short bursts of high-powered exercises are less able to be carried out for more than two to three minutes at a time and include sprints, high jumping, diving, and high-intensity interval training. Interestingly, though, all exercises start out as anaerobic exercise as the body starts to adapt to the workout.

But you may be wondering "These exercises work to lose weight how…?" Simply put, aerobic exercise contributes to weight loss by burning calories, largely influencing a calorie deficit if paired with a healthful diet. Anaerobic exercise, too, does instigate a calorie burn but further stimulates muscle growth if implementing strength training workouts. Increased lean muscle raises metabolism, as muscle mass is more efficient at burning calories than fat mass, even when the body as it rest!

Best Exercise to Lose Weight

There really is not a singular exercise that results to the greatest weight loss, but rather a series and tiered layers of multiple movements. As mentioned, aerobic activity offers calorie burn during its undertaking while anaerobic exercises contribute to calorie burn during its production and following, especially as fat mass starts to decline and muscle mass builds. And realistically, exercises should fit the shoe that you wear, signifying there really is "no size fits all." Additionally, not all individuals enjoy lifting weights while not everyone enjoys buckling the helmet and hitting the biking trails. Luckily, bistroMD offers an extensive library of available workouts, including the following:


With no equipment needed, you can practice this custom CrossFit style workout routine virtually anywhere!

Anaerobic Exercises

As mentioned, anaerobic exercise offers great benefit to weight loss. Include these five anaerobic exercises to your next workout routine or upon waking.

Outdoor Activities

Not all workout routines have to remain indoors, nor should they be! Embark on these eight ways to stay in shape while enjoying the outdoors.


Yoga continually has shown to benefit both physical and mental health. And with this full body yoga workout, all individuals can build muscle strength and increase flexibility within a short 20 minutes!

10-Minute Workouts

Crunched for time? Utilize these 10-minute workout ideas to reap the benefits of exercise without running the clock!

But the list does not stop there! You can find a continuous list of workouts here along with valuable fitness tips. And remember, have fun with workouts! Fitness and health is an ongoing journey so lace up the tennis shoes and enjoy the ride.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on June 24, 2013. Updated on April 25, 2019.


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