How to Lose Weight at the Gym

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Obesity is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 33.3 percent of men, 35.3 percent of women and 16.3 percent of children in the U.S. are obese as of 2008. This means that weight related diseases such as diabetes also are on the rise. One way to combat obesity is to get active. Join a gym to lose weight and reduce your chances of serious health conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • Exercise clothing
  • Athletic shoes
  • Go regularly. The best way to ensure weight loss when going to the gym is to form a regular routine. Weight loss requires steady, consistent commitment to an exercise routine. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children should do 1 hour or more of physical activity each week, and adults age 18 to 64 should do 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity activity and 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity a week. Older adults should follow the adult guidelines if possible. If not physically able to do that much, they should do what they can, but always remain active.

  • Form a strength training schedule. Two or more days a week of strength training is advised for optimal health. You need to work different muscle groups on different days to avoid injury. Working the same muscles two days in a row can cause pain and damage to muscle tissue. Strength training will promote weight loss. A 150-lb. woman who lifts free weights at the gym for 20 minutes will burn 143 calories. The longer you exercise, and the more intense the workout, the more calories you will burn. To see how many calories you would burn at your specific weight, doing particular exercises, click the link in the Resources section to Bodybuilding.com.

  • Do cardio, or aerobic, activity to lose weight at the gym. Cardio workouts offer great calorie burning potential, improve heart health, and even cause endorphins to be released in the brain that combat depression. You will lose weight if you do regular cardio workouts. A 150-lb. woman can burn up to 298 calories in 20 minutes using a stationary bike at the gym. She can use 191 calories doing circuit training and 214 doing the treadmill or stair stepper for 20 minutes.

  • Combine strength training and aerobic workouts for maximum weight loss benefits when going to the gym. Doing both types of workouts allows for weight loss, improved cardiovascular health and muscle growth. You can lose weight at the gym if you put the required effort into it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get your doctor's permission before beginning any workout routine.
  • Start slowly with 10-minute exercise sessions if very out of shape.
  • Find a workout partner or hire a trainer if you can afford one.
  • Stop exercising immediately at any sign of intense pain or discomfort .

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  • Photo Credit gym image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
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