Why is weight loss important?

Weight loss can help to promote lower cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, stress on the bones and joints and less work for the heart. In addition, obesity is a gateway disease for numerous diseases that can result in long term effects or even death. Exercise can help to make a big difference by improving your brain health, helping to manage weight, reducing the risk of disease and improving every day activities. Weight loss can be very difficult to begin and maintain but the long term effects will outweigh the initial struggles that someone may experience. There are numerous ways to help lower weight, some examples are to exercise more frequently and to eat healthier and avoid foods higher in sugar, trans fats, and excess calories.

What types of exercises are there?

There are two different types of exercises that can be done. One is aerobic exercises and the other is anaerobic exercises. The difference between them is with aerobic exercises these types of exercise require more oxygen. In addition these types of exercise typically last longer than 2 minutes in duration. Meanwhile anaerobic means without air and refers to the body producing energy without oxygen.

The most common aerobic exercises are swimming, cycling, running/walking, rowing and going up stairs

  • Swimming: This is a great aerobic exercise especially if you want the least impact on your bones and joints. This exercise is very beneficial for people who want a full body workout
  • Cycling: This is a great alternative exercise for running/walking. If you want to cycle instead of running just remember that 3 cycling miles is equal to 1 mile of running/walking
  • Running/Walking: This is the best aerobic exercise to help lose weight, the only problem is running can cause some serious bodily damages that may impact you for the rest of your life. As an alternative you can walk which does not put as much strain on your body
  • Rowing: This is a great full body exercise that is done in the water. This exercise can make someone more prone to upper body injuries
  • Stairs: This is a good exercise for the lower body that can help lose weight

The most common anaerobic exercises are weight lifting, pilates, yoga, sprinting, and jumping rope

  • Weight Lifting: This exercise can help to lose weight and at the same time build muscle, which although may increase your weight just remember that muscle is more dense than fat
  • Pilates/Yoga: These exercises are great beginner exercises because it does not require much physical strain and can be done almost anywhere. This helps to increase flexibility which can help lead to other forms of exercise
  • Sprinting: This exercise is a form of running that is done in short intervals, this exercise similar to running can lead to physical strain and injuries however it is another great way to lose weight
  • Jumping rope: This is a form of exercise that can be viewed as fun. Typically people will warm up by jumping rope before they proceed to running, weight lifting, swimming, etc

What diseases can result from obesity?

As previously mentioned obesity is a gateway disease which means that if someone has obesity they are more likely to obtain these diseases as compared to a healthy person. Some examples of gateway diseases are high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, cancer risk, fertility issues, gout, liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you weigh yourself often?

Yes! People who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off weigh themselves more often than other individuals. This does not mean to weigh yourself every day, more like once a week is beneficial. Do not stress if the number on the scale changes in a direction you do not like, weight can change by several pounds over the course of a few days to a week due to water weight

To help lose weight faster, should you drink water before meals?

Yes! Drinking water, especially before mealtime can help to fill you up which in return makes you less hungry so you eat less. Water is also beneficial to help you stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is beneficial to your kidneys to help move the water throughout your body which helps to lessen your water weight

Can intermittent fasting help you lose weight?

Yes! A greater stretch in time between meals will make your body use the fat that is stored in cells for energy. But you have to be careful because this will make you more hungrier which can turn bad if you snack a lot on unhealthy foods during the day

Which carbs should you avoid to lose weight?

You should avoid carbs from processed foods. It is healthiest to ditch carbohydrates from sugar sweetened beverages such as soda, in addition you should avoid junk food. However you still should eat carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits and vegetables because your body needs carbohydrates to work


Written By:

Christopher Kelly

PharmD Candidate 2025

Philadelphia College of Pharmacy


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