It’s nearly swimsuit season, so that means it’s time to hit the gym hard and cut back on all of the indulgences we enjoyed all winter. But is there anything you can do, specifically, to get your body on track for the warmer months when we expose more skin? We researched some of the best exercises for weight loss to get you going strong.

Cardio

Whether you choose to swim, bike, hike, run, row, walk, or take a class, cardio is an excellent choice as part of your balanced approach to weight loss. The aerobic exercise gets your heart pumping and helps you to burn calories.

Cardio forces your body to use fat as fuel, burning it off as you sweat it out. The trick is to keep it going for at least 20 minutes and make sure your workout is aerobic. Some research says to maintain 50–75% exertion, whereas other research suggests going all out is just as effective.

Trainers generally agree that the best exercises for weight loss in the cardio realm are intervals, meaning that you go all out for a short period of time and then workout at about 50% or less for a certain amount of time. There’s no magic number as to how to break up your intervals, so experiment with it and see what works for you. Just be sure you’re doing your cardio for at least 20 minutes at a time three times a week or more.

Resistance Training

Resistance training can take the form of body-weight exercises or actually lifting; either way is effective. Sometimes, women are afraid of weight lifting because they don’t want that bulky look, but the truth is that most women cannot achieve that look unless they are very strict with their routines and/or use supplements. Ironically, some men skip the cardio because they want a bulky look (which isn’t a good choice either).

While most resistance training doesn’t put you into an aerobic state, it does help with weight loss because it boosts your metabolism. And that’s true even when you’re not at the gym. Resistance training is also a boon to your posture since it keeps those bones and muscles strong. When you have good posture, you immediately look taller and leaner.

Yoga and Stretch-based Exercises

Losing weight is great, but being fit is even better. While cardio and weight lifting certainly play into being fit, you need to stretch those poor muscles as well. Add 10–15 minutes of stretching into your routine right before you leave the gym, when your muscles are warm. And if you have the opportunity, try a yoga or Pilates class once or twice a week. You’ll see the difference in your overall well being.

The Best Exercises for Weight Loss Are a Combined Approach

No, there’s not one best exercise to help you shed pounds and drop inches. The best approach is to do a little bit of everything. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park far away from your destination so you can get some cardio throughout the day. Head to the gym to do weights a few times a week. And pick up a yoga class on Tuesday night. The more you’re able to mix up your approach, the better your results will be.

When Exercise Isn’t Enough

Sometimes, no matter how much exercise you get, you still have a few inches you just can’t shed. That’s where CoolSculpting comes in because it’s perfect for the person who’s doing everything right and is still feeling stuck. This noninvasive, FDA-cleared procedure freezes the fat, which naturally flushes from the body in 2-4 months. In no time, you’ll be able to fit into those jeans with no extra fat in your hips or tummy.

So keep mixing it up with cardio, lifting weights, and doing your Pilates. CoolSculpting can be your secret weapon that makes all that hard work really pay off. When you’re ready, take a look at our before-and-after success stories. We think you’ll agree that Bodify will only benefit your efforts.