What type of exercise equipment would be good for weight loss?

Kimberly Garrison
Fitness Specialist

Fitness expert Kimberly Garrison explains what type of exercise equipment is best for weight loss. Watch Kimberly Garrison's video for tips and information on fitness, health and wellness.

Anything that makes you sweat and smile! Though the media tends to make us think different, weight loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out. Pick the exercises or exercise equipment that you get the most enjoyment from. If you like spending time outside in the summer months, find a walking route that you can master. Once you are really good at walking your new loop try incorporating a few running intervals. If you enjoy strength programs, explore working with an Elite Sharecare virtual trainer to write you a circuit training program that will keep your heart rate up, maximizing your calorie burn while building muscle. Maybe you love attending group fitness classes or swimming in the pool, both are great options for weight loss. Whatever you are doing, keep it fresh switching up your routine. The more you enjoy what you are doing for exercise the better!

Two other very important tools for weight loss are:

  1. A support system through a trainer, friends, co-worker, family or spouse - Having a go-to work out partner or someone to act as a cheerleader through your weight loss journey is vital.
  2. A food log - In order to know how many calories you are taking in each day you must keep track. That way you can really create the calorie deficit that you need to accomplish your weight loss goals. Sharecare virtual trainers are fully equipped to help you find that perfect caloric balance for an individual’s weight loss.

A pair of walking shoes. Seriously. Match "moving your body" with food logging (knock out about 500-750 calories/day from your current intake) and voila!  Walking shoes are easy to pack for a trip, can be purchased everywhere, and don't require special training to use them. Maybe try some peppy music to go with it. Add a buddy to the mix and you've just created your own workout group - free of charge.

Creativity can be your best exercise equipment. As a private in-home trainer, I have fun coming up with new, challenging moves for my clients that have little to no equipment in their homes.

First, you can use your own body! With weight loss as a goal, you can do a variety of body-weight exercises in a circuit with little to no rest in between sets. This will get your heart rate up and really get you sweating! Incorporate some strength moves like prisoner squats and pushups; some core exercises like planks and bridges; and definitely some cardio blasts like squat jumps or jump rope. 

If you really want to add some toys in, you can incorporate equipment like resistance bands, medicine balls, a Bosu ball, dumbells, a bench, a TRX. If you're working out at home, those examples don't take up much space but you can also use things you have around the house! You can make dumbells out of soup cans, kettlebells out of gallons of water, for example.

Again, with creativity on your side, your options are limitless!

When it comes right down to it, you really do not need any equipment in order to lose weight.  All you really need to do is get moving.  Whatever you do, it should be something that you enjoy and will stick with.  If you have limitations such as knee issues, an elliptical machine for cardio may work best for you as it is very low impact.  Resistance training in order to increase lean muscle mass (LMM) is very important when trying to lose weight.  You will tone up, be slimmer and the additional LMM aids in keeping your metabolism elevated even at rest.  Using dumb bells, tubing and body weight exercises such as pushups is a great place to begin. 

Last, but not least, remember that in order to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than you burn.  Your appetite is almost certain to increase when you start exercising so be sure to eat high volume, low calorie foods.

The best exercise equipment for weight loss is the one that you are going to use. It doesn't really matter how effective certain equipment can be, if you do not enjoy it, you are not going to do it. Some people like being outside, so things like running, hiking, or riding a bicycle would be a good choice. Others want to be distracted while exercising so a treadmill or stationary bike in front of a television could be good. Some people do not want to work out alone, so group exercises classes such as aerobics or yoga would be effective. It is important to keep it fun and enjoyable. When it starts becoming a chore, it becomes easy to make excuses not to do it.

So start by doing something you enjoy and as you get in better shape and feel better about yourself, find new activities to keep things fresh and your motivation levels high. 

If you are training for a specific sport or have a particular training goal in mind, you need to be selective on the training equipments.

On the other hand if weight loss is your objective, variety is your best friend. Having the privilege of a gym membership can be very beneficial, because you can add or subtract different equipment in your exercise plan as you progress.

If you don't have access to a well equipped health club, don't sweat it because you can have the versatility of body weight exercises instead. Body weight exercises often incorporate many muscle groups at the same time unlike most exercise machines in your local gym.

Although it may look cool to work out with fancy gym machines and equipments, they don't provide the most optimum results. Sadly the popularity of exercise machines is often the result of advertising and certainly not a be all-end for a generally out-of-shape society.

For more ideas about Body weight exercises read “ YOU ARE YOUR OWN GYM” written by Mark Lauren, a former trainer for US Army.

As any good trainer can tell you, anything and nothing are just as useable. Weight loss is going to happen if you consistently eat fewer calories than you burn. For most people, getting calories under control is step one and will get the ball rolling, and then activity is increased to a level that will fit into your lifestyle. To increase calorie burn anything can be done. Walking, running, cardio machines hiking; it is all good for burning calories and getting your cardiorespiratory system working. As for working your muscles, there are numerous ways to apply resistance to them. Body weight exercises, exercise tubing, medicine balls, kettlebells, TRK or other suspension training…the list is substantial. There are resources that can help you design a workout to meet your needs, such as the Sharecare Fitness application. Ultimately, what you do must be enjoyed by you. If it is, you will continue to do it and reap the benefits.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.