The Best Workout Schedule to Lose Weight for Women

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Weight loss happens when the amount of calories expended exceeds the amount consumed. Aerobic exercise and strength training both aid in weight loss by burning calories, and both contribute to women's cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health. Schedule your workouts consistently to maximize weight-loss effects.

A woman works out on a machine at the gym.
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An ideal weight-loss plan includes five to six scheduled workouts per week, with at least one day of rest. But the key to women's weight loss is consistency, so ultimately the best workout schedule is one that is sustainable. Adopting a workout schedule is a lifestyle change, not a short-term program. Exercise goals and activities will evolve over time according to interests and fitness level, but finding a workout schedule that becomes an enjoyable habit is an important step to effective weight loss.

People taking an aerobic step class.
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For women juggling work, school and kids, this step can be difficult. Ease into a consistent workout schedule by adding motion throughout your daily routine. Park at the far end of the mall lot and walk. Take stairs instead of elevators. Do crunches, bent-knee push-ups or an exercise-band strength workout during television commercial breaks. Don't give up if you can't schedule an hour-long run or aerobics class; take several 10-minute walks throughout the day. Buoyed by positive progress, you may find it easier to then set a regular workout schedule. In the meantime, the best workout schedule for busy women's lives is whenever and wherever possible.

A woman walks and carries shopping bags.
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For some women, the gym is a respite from work and home; for others, it's an impossible expense, or getting to the gym creates increased scheduling difficulties. Check schedules for low-cost recreation department or school fitness classes, or invest in a few lost-cost home workout items, like a floor mat, exercise bands or dumbbells. If you belong to a gym but can't make it, stick to your schedule and work out at home or take a walk from the office.

A woman does yoga in her living room.
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The body continues to burn oxygen and calories at an elevated rate for some period of time after a workout. Post-exercise energy might keep you awake if you work out too late in the evening, while working out in the morning can help maximize weight-loss effects. If morning exercise fits your daily schedule, take advantage of this added timing benefit, but have a backup plan if your original schedule falls through.

Three women take a morning jog on a pier.
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